Saturday, December 17, 2011

My letter to the Washington Post RE What ‘pro-Israel’ should mean

RE: What ‘pro-Israel’ should mean By Jeremy Ben-Ami president of J Street, a Washington-based nonprofit that advocates a diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the author of “A New Voice for Israel.”

Dear Editor,

Food for thought from the late great Christopher Hitchens : "I'm one of those people of Jewish descent who believes that Zionism would be a mistake even if there were no Palestinians."

But there are Palestinians and just this past week "Israeli authorities made the wife of the Palestinian ambassador in London interrupt a course of chemotherapy in order to return to Jerusalem or risk losing her residency rights, a trip that hastened her death from cancer" London ambassador says Israeli refusal to renew wife's residency papers led to trip that hastened her death

Israel's obsession with being "Jewish" helped create and exasperate the largest, longest running refugee crisis in the world today- and countless native non-Jewish Palestinian men women and children continue to be displaced and impoverished today by Jewish soldiers and settlers and bureaucrats who want the land but not the people of that land: A two state solution to once and for all end the Israel/Palestine conflict must be based on full respect for basic human rights and the rule of fair and just laws, not demographic dictates and demented fantasies fueled by bigoted ideologues (Zionists as well as Islamists) and their dupes deploying math rather than compassion.

How would you feel if you were evicted from your home and prevented from visiting your mother or getting a job because officialdom deemed you to be a demographic threat because you were born the 'wrong' religion. J-Street is a wonderful idea as is the need for a
diplomatic resolution, but J-Street is wrong to advocate the argument that Israel needs to be officially Jewish. Pro-Israel should not be yet another way to coerce tax payers here or there into funding Jewish religious 'scholars' and segregated buses. Pro-Israel should be about modern law and enlightenment and real freedom.... real justice, real peace, real rapprochement, and real progress for all the people regardless of supposed race or religion.

Anne Selden Annab

"Feminists who once thought Israel's battle for gender equality had been mostly won are warning of a new assault from Israel's fast-growing ultra-Orthodox community, which is seeking to expand religious-based segregation into the public realm." As ultra-Orthodox flex muscle, Israel feminists see a backsliding

"What we have here is creeping insanity, which is reflected in various types of violence. The expression “price tag” does not mean an eye for an eye, but seven eyes and fists for an eye. These violent people are reminiscent of the bad guys in Westerns, who gallop into a remote town and fire in all directions. In everyday language that’s called hooliganism. " Israel's far right-wing is real threat to Mideast peace

As part of the weekly nonviolent protests against the occupation, settlements, the Wall, and the illegal Israeli attempts to annex lands that belong to the Cremisan Christian Monastery In Beit Jala, Palestinian Christians held prayers on lands that belong to residents of the town, located near the West Bank city of Bethlehem." Latin Church In Beit Jala Holds Prayers On Lands Threatened By Wall, Settlements

"The birth of Jesus Christ has played an essential role in forming our humanity, refining our history and tolerating the injustice and persecution in our daily lives amidst an absence of peace.

One day soon, we hope this occupation and blockade will fade from memory as Palestinians are granted their national and legitimate rights, and peace.

Let us hope 2012 is a year of prosperity, tranquility and peace -- for the holy land and the entire world." Victor Batarseh, mayor of Bethlehem. Why we're celebrating hope this Christmas

"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."Eleanor Roosevelt

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