Friday, July 15, 2011

Islamism, The Boycott Bill, And Democracy

"Islamists who want to restrict the rights of individuals to criticize Islam or the rights of women and gays can never be meaningful democrats because they attempt to curtail the very rights that make democratic participation possible. This would be the case even if the Islamists were legitimately voted into office. Infringements on core individual rights would not magically cease to damage the foundations of democracy because a majority or democratically elected legislature approved of them. " Zack Beauchamp

Islamism, The Boycott Bill, And Democracy

Thursday, July 14, 2011

NY Times: A Year of Waste By Roger Cohen

A Year of Waste

WASHINGTON — Almost a year ago, President Obama declared to the United Nations General Assembly: “When we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations — an independent sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel.”

It’s been a wasted year. ...READ MORE

Israel's dilemma

Israel's dilemma

Re "New Israeli law targets boycott campaigns," July 12

So the "only democracy in the Middle East" will now penalize those who wage boycott campaigns against its occupation of the Palestinian territories. A nonviolent protest tool used by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and opponents of South African apartheid is too threatening to be tolerated.

What does Israel fear? Deligitimization of the occupation? Financial harm to a rich country? Whatever it is, Israel's new law shows it is beginning to fear the collapse of its expansionist policies.

Too bad it is less concerned about the collapse of the two-state solution.

Erica Hahn


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

House Arrest: A Palestinian Prison

"When discussing the conflict, many people try to differentiate between the different “types” of settlers – those who are just “regular people” trying to go about their lives and maybe living in settlements for cheap housing, and the “other”, ideological, violent settlers. Regardless, all settlements are illegal under international law. When I see the Ghrayeb family being suffocated by this aggressive colony, trying to force them to leave each day, there is no longer any differentiation to be made between the different “types”. Anyone who is complicit in this situation and is okay with looking out their window and seeing this family living in a cage is not innocent, no matter what their motivation is for residing there." Meg Walsh for MIFTAH

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Israel 1967 Borders Are Central in Mideast Talks Restart Effort

Knesset of Fools - By Hussein Ibish | Foreign Policy

"...When the Knesset itself says it does not recognize the difference between any effort to boycott Israel and those that target the settlements, it invites the rest of the world to see things in the same light. It encourages those who would not stop at expressing disapproval of the occupation but wish to target Israel and Israelis generally. Moreover, by making Israel indistinguishable from the illegitimate settlement project, it raises the banner of delegitimization higher than any group of non-Israeli activists could ever have hoped to." Hussein Ibish
Knesset of Fools - By Hussein Ibish | Foreign Policy

FB FYI ATFP's Hussein Ibish is honored and deeply humbled to be included in Foreign Policy's Twitterati 100: A who's who of the foreign-policy Twitterverse in 2011 -

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Two Marches, Two Futures for Jerusalem by David Shulman | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

"Here, then, is the other future for Jerusalem, the alternative to the settlers’ program. On one side, we have a violent, mystically charged racism with its vision of brute domination of one people by another, and of an endgame of perpetual disenfranchisement and dispossession. On the other side, we have the prospect of a free Palestine, with its capital in East Jerusalem, the end of the Occupation, and the realistic hope of an agreement based on compromise and mutuality, an agreement whose details are by now common knowledge and broadly acceptable to a majority on both sides of the Green Line..." David Shulman
Two Marches, Two Futures for Jerusalem by David Shulman | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

Graffiti showing the Dome of the Rock on the Separation Barrier in Abu Dis, near Jerusalem
photo from William Parry's recent book Against the Wall: The Art of Resistance in Palestine.

On the Mend ... poem by Anne Selden Annab

Surgery sometimes makes scar tissue
that grows nerves and ties tight knots
of pain... persistent pain... nervous pain...
adhesions-potentially debilitating pain
if you do too much- and eventually
all the time.

Persistent pain makes breath shallow
thoughts short - restructures
the world in ways
the young and healthy
can't fathom...

In childbirth pain is of beginnings
a climb the mountain feat
on familiar paths...
exhausting but exhilarating-
a known process of crescendo
and then a quick conclusion
that arrives (more often than not)
bringing personal happiness for many years
to come- for generations a life time to love
and be loved... And in loving one's child
often a much better understanding
of one's own parents (and grandparents)
and marriage... and time.

Cherish what you can, while you can.

Both the process of birth
and the process of death
are totally messy... obscenely so- but both
are also scrubbed totally clean by most
in memory, to echo the inherent dignity
and charm of the child.

But persistent pain
persistent pain
has no known path
no destination
and little mess
beyond the clutter
one can't sort
and the cleaning
one can't do.

Persistent pain
But it also prioritizes
makes more precious
what one can do.
Offers a person
the freedom to chose carefully
what really matters....

poem & photo copyright ©2011 Anne Selden Annab

Devotion ... a poem by Anne Selden Annab

Devotion is twenty some years
of marriage day by day learning to love
the best of him with the best of me
shaping the I Ching of us.

Two decades of sharing and daring
to know when to argue
when to back down.

Learning trust and being trustworthy.

Remembering to remember what is worth remembering

(and forgetting most of the bad, except
as a cautionary clue)

Figuring out what to say- and what not to say.

Creating and keeping a comfortable home and a world
where we are King and Queen-
noble partners mixing spheres
and making the most of life
what ever might be, as we are humble citizens
as well as mighty rulers here
here in our world...
the I Ching of us.

Hollywood can manipulate emotions BUT
Hollywood can not capture
real happiness- nor can it depict
a healthy heavenly marriage in full.
Hollywood can only offer up
entertaining stereotypes and symbols.

The best role models
are real people
with real time and experience proving
their integrity...

"Birds of a feather flock together"
my grandmother used to say.

She too lived a happily ever after
happily honoring her husband
and their heirs
and their ancestry
and life itself
day by day
and the beauty of a garden...

poem & photo copyright ©2011 Anne Selden Annab

My letter to the London Review of Books Regarding: Is Palestine Next? 14 July 2011

RE: Is Palestine Next? by Adam Shatz

Dear Sir,

I very much appreciated Adam Shatz's careful essay "Is Palestine Next?" In particular I was relieved to see that he did not demonize or try to dismiss the Palestinian refugees right of return. At this point in time, knowing that the Israel/Palestine conflict has been heading towards becoming a religious war with bigotry and cynicism on both sides rising, I very much believe that a fully secular two state solution ASAP is the only way to actually end the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Anne Selden Annab


The truth elided by both parties is that the Palestinian and Israeli identities are 20th-century phenomena that emerged in parallel and in contradiction to each other. One hundred years ago, the words “Israeli” and “Palestinian” were meaningless. This is not to say that Arabs and Jews don’t have deep histories, but both political identities are recent constructs, forged in the context of the ongoing conflict." Hussein Ibish: Two Narratives for Two Peoples

FB FYI ATFP's Hussein Ibish is honored and deeply humbled to be included in Foreign Policy's Twitterati 100: A who's who of the foreign-policy Twitterverse in 2011 -

ATFP Resources on Palestinian State and Institution Building ATFP's unique collection of online resources on Palestinian state and institution building, including hundreds of relevant documents

The Golden Rule... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

"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

London Review of Books: Is Palestine Next?

"The question of the refugees, off the table during the Oslo years, has reasserted itself. Few Palestinians I spoke to believe they will return to their ancestral homes in Israel, but the right of return, inscribed in UN Resolution 194, is considered sacred, and the passions it stirs are more intense than ever. Several Palestinians told me they had no desire to return, but none would say it on record: ‘giving up the right of return’ – before Israel has even recognised it – is regarded by many as treason. ‘The right of return is a right,’ a friend in Nablus whose family is originally from Haifa explained, ‘so give me my right, and then let me decide how to implement it. I have made a life for myself in Nablus, and I don’t plan to return to Haifa, but I would like to take my children there. I am not talking about throwing the Jews into the sea.’ For many, perhaps most Palestinians, the right of return is now less about physical repatriation than about Israeli acknowledgment of the crimes of the Nakba and about reparations – and, just as important, about the restoration of their freedom of movement inside the entire country, regardless of whether it is called Israel or Palestine." Adam Shatz

Is Palestine Next?