Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hussein Ibish: Arabs yearn to move on... The end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

"Israelis need to understand that the "cold" nature of the treaties with Egypt and Jordan stems from popular outrage about the continued occupation in Palestine. If that were resolved, as the API anticipates, the potential for widespread Arab-Israel reconciliation at the cultural and emotional level, which is otherwise impossible, will likely develop over time. Warmth is too much to ask at first, but without occupation, both peace and reconciliation become achievable.

The Palestinian citizens of Israel are likely to play a crucial role in such a reconciliation. The end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would do more than anything imaginable to normalize their status as Israeli citizens, and they are perfectly positioned to become Israel's economic and cultural ambassadors to the Arab world. It could transform them from a beleaguered, discriminated-against minority to a crucially positioned and empowered group that can broker economic and cultural exchanges that are mutually beneficial and form the basis for a broader reconciliation.

It's become quite obvious that while almost all Arabs are still passionate about the plight of the Palestinians and committed to ending the occupation that began in 1967, most Arab states yearn to move past the pointless and exhausting conflict with Israel that began in 1948. All parties stand to gain from the normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world, but, as the API makes very clear, that can only happen if the occupation is ended and a Palestinian state is established to live alongside Israel in peace and security"
Hussein Ibish: Arabs yearn to move on

Friday, April 1, 2011

Palestinian voices need support - The Hill's Congress Blog

Palestinian voices need support - The Hill's Congress Blog
By Rula Jebreal - 03/31/11 04:02 PM ET

Controversy continues to swirl over the recent release of “Miral,” a film about Palestinians made by acclaimed Jewish-American director Julian Schnabel. The spark was a remarkable and inspiring event that occurred at the United Nations building in New York in mid-March when the General Assembly played host to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars for the film's premiere.

Remarkable because “Miral” is the first mainstream Hollywood film about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict told from a Palestinian point of view, and inspiring because so many people came out in support of the filmmakers despite criticism from the Israeli government, the American Jewish Committee, and others who called for the cancellation of the screening.

Based on my autobiographical novel and directed by Julian Schnabel, “Miral” follows the lives of three generations of women in my family, including my own, from the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, through the 1967 War, the first Intifada in 1987, and the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.

Because “Miral” is a Palestinian story told through Palestinian eyes, it has been attacked by some as “anti-Israel.” It would seem that to these critics the mere existence of Palestinians is threatening. “Miral” is not “anti-Israel,” it is pro-understanding and pro-peace. It is intended to advance dialogue by giving voice to the Palestinian narrative, which has gone unheard in Israel and the United States for far too long....READ MORE

April is National Poetry Month: 30 Ways to Celebrate

Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day
The idea is simple: select a poem you love, carry it with you, then share it with co-workers, family, and friends.

Read a book of poetry
"Poetry is a response to the daily necessity of getting the world right."

Memorize a poem
"Getting a poem or prose passage truly 'by heart' implies getting it by mind and memory and understanding and delight."

Revisit a poem
"America is a country of second acts, so today, why not brush the dust off these classics and give them a fresh read?"

Put poetry in an unexpected place
"Books should be brought to the doorstep like electricity, or like milk in England: they should be considered utilities."

Bring a poem to your place of worship
"We define poetry as the unofficial view of being, and bringing the art of language in contact with your spiritual practices can deepen both."

Attend a poetry reading
"Readings have been occurring for decades around the world in universities, bookstores, cafes, corner pubs, and coffeehouses."

Play Exquisite Corpse
"Each participant is unaware of what the others have written, thus producing a surprising—sometimes absurd—yet often beautiful poem."

Read a poem at an open mic
"It's a great way to meet other writers in your area and find out about your local writing community."

Support literary organizations
"Many national and local literary organizations offer programs that reach out to the general public to broaden the recognition of poets and their work."

Listen on your commute
"Often, hearing an author read their own work can clarify questions surrounding their work's tone."

Subscribe to a literary magazine
"Full of surprising and challenging poetry, short fiction, interviews, and reviews, literary journals are at the forefront of contemporary poetry."

Start a notebook on
" lets users build their own personal portable online commonplace book out of the materials on our site."

Put a poem in a letter
"It's always a treat to get a letter, but finding a poem in the envelope makes the experience extra special."

Take a poem out to lunch
"Adding a poem to lunch puts some poetry in your day and gives you something great to read while you eat."

Put a poem on the pavement
"Go one step beyond hopscotch squares and write a poem in chalk on your sidewalk."

Recite a poem to family and friends
"You can use holidays or birthdays as an opportunity to celebrate with a poem that is dear to you, or one that reminds you of the season."

Organize a poetry reading
"When looking for a venue, consider your local library, coffee shop, bookstore, art gallery, bar or performance space."

Promote public support for poetry
"Every year, Congress decides how much money will be given to the National Endowment for the Arts to be distributed all across America."

Start a poetry reading group
"Select books that would engage discussion and not intimidate the reader new to poetry."

Read interviews and literary criticism
"Reading reviews can also be a helpful exercise and lend direction to your future reading."

Buy a book of poems for your library
"Many libraries have undergone or are facing severe cuts in funding. These cuts are often made manifest on library shelves."

Start a commonplace book
"Since the Renaissance, devoted readers have been copying their favorite poems and quotations into notebooks to form their own personal anthologies called commonplace books."

Integrate poetry with technology
"Many email programs allow you to create personalized signatures that are automatically added to the end of every email you send."

Ask the Post Office for more poet stamps
"To be eligible, suggested poets must have been deceased for at least ten years and must be American or of American descent."

Sign up for a poetry class or workshop
"Colleges and arts centers often make individual courses in literature and writing available to the general public."

Subscribe to our free newsletter
"Short and to the point, the Update, our electronic newsletter, will keep you informed on Academy news and events."