Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My letter to CSM RE What will drive Israelis, Palestinians to talks & Middle East peace talks: Finding believers amid the skeptics

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday, July 19, 2013 in the West Bank city of Ramallah. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stepped up his drive to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, meeting with the Palestinian president Friday as he sought to close a deep divide between the two sides over a formula for resuming peace talks after nearly five years. Mandel Ngan/Pool/AP
RE: What will drive Israelis, Palestinians to talks- With Secretary John Kerry confident of talks starting soon, the new imperatives in the US and Middle East can help drive a peace deal between Israel and Palestinian leaders. 

(& Middle East peace talks: Finding believers amid the skeptics )

Dear Editor,

"Middle East peace talks: Finding believers amid the skeptics" was a relief to read: It certainly is a much more helpful approach than nay saying pessimism which might sound clever and well informed but tends to persuade more and more people worldwide not to bother to believe in diplomacy and peace much less do what they can to help make peace and progress a reality.

Hussein Ibish of the American Task Force on Palestine is absolutely right that "We’ve gone from nothing to something... you’ve got to start with something.”  Your subsequent editorial "What will drive Israelis, Palestinians to talks" was also absolutely correct to conclude that "these talks need even more public and private support than past talks. What’s happening outside the negotiating room might be far more consequential than the deal making inside."

Starting with something on a personal level can be as simple as ignoring the temptation of cynicism and nay-saying.  Be part of the momentum that makes a just and lasting peace a priority... Ending the Israel-Palestine conflict with a negotiated settlement firmly based on full respect for international law and universal basic human rights gives both Israel and Palestine a chance to help make this world a better place for all people, regardless of supposed race or religion.

Anne Selden Annab

Congress overstepped with its 'Jerusalem, Israel' designation: US consular officials have maintained a long-running policy of neutrality on issues touching on the disputed status of Jerusalem. Israel claims a united Jerusalem as its capital, while Palestinians want historically Arab East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. ATFP and APN foster open dialogue and constructive conversation on Israeli-Palestinian relations

Israeli Settlers torch 400 Palestinian olive trees near Bethlehem

Israeli and Palestinian bands unite in 'metal brotherhood' Joint 18-gig tour by Orphaned Land and Khalas will take message of coexistence through rock'n'roll across Europe

Hussein Ibish: Muslim Brotherhood’s fiasco in Egypt will change future of Islamism

Finding peace for Israelis and Palestinians among people – not policies

Helen Thomas, Barrier-Busting White House Reporter, Is Dead at 92

“Generations of Commitment" American Task Force on Palestine Honoring the Achievements of Palestinian-Americans ... & This Could Actually Work: Why John Kerry's Middle East peace push isn’t a fool's errand.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Member of Congress to Oppose Visa Waivers to Israel: US laws mandate that all US citizens be afforded equal protection while traveling abroad, and therefore, Israel's engagement in racial, ethnic, and religious discrimination against US citizens is unacceptable and should not be codified in law

EU takes tougher stance on Israeli settlements... directive prohibits EU states from signing deals with Israel unless settlement exclusion clause is included

This Week in Palestine: My Mother, My Grandmother, and the Food They Made by Rana Abdulla

I AM MALALA ...infinite hope... #Malaladay

The New Arab Awakening

From Palestinians' point of view, the law [Israel's Absentee Property Law] has always been controversial. The rights of refugees are a core issue in their conflict with Israel.

Leaders must seize opportunity for peace and security... "The Arab League's peace initiative has regained relevance. The initial position between the parties is bleak, but the status quo is not an alternative. The Israelis and the Palestinians must now seize what is perhaps the last opportunity to create peace and security."

Palestinian Wedding Singer Enchants the World

"In 1949, the international community accepted Israel's UN membership upon two conditions: That they respect resolutions 181 (two states) and 194 (refugee rights). Neither has been honored. In fact, 65 years later, Israel has not even acknowledged what it did in 1948." Saeb Erekat

Jordan's King Abdullah II explains that extremism has "grown fat" off of the longstanding conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

American Task Force on Palestine Alarmed by "Price Tag" Violence, Welcomes Israeli and Jewish-American Condemnation

From the archives... 1971 & 1967

“Were you really shot in a fight over water?” He winces out his answer: “It wasn’t about politics. It wasn’t about the Muslim Brotherhood. It was about water.”

This Week in Palestine: Palestinian Institutions A Story of Perseverance ... Salam Fayyad "This was not about roads, buildings, or infrastructure, despite their importance. This plan was about statehood, citizen participation, and enfranchisement. It was based on the vision of establishing a functional framework where government is accountable and citizens participate in the widest and most effective way possible in decision-making and governance."

Palestine now recognised by greater power than US or Israel – Google

"I come from there and I have memories... "

".... it being clearly understood that nothing
          shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious
          rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine....
The Office of International Religious Freedom (   Given the U.S. commitment to religious freedom, and to the international covenants that guarantee it as the inalienable right of every human being, the United States seeks to:
Refugees and the Right of Return
Palestinian refugees must be given the option to exercise their right of return (as well as receive compensation for their losses arising from their dispossession and displacement) though refugees may prefer other options such as: (i) resettlement in third countries, (ii) resettlement in a newly independent Palestine (even though they originate from that part of Palestine which became Israel) or (iii) normalization of their legal status in the host country where they currently reside.  What is important is that individual refugees decide for themselves which option they prefer – a decision must not be imposed upon them.

UN Resolution 194 from 1948  : The refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.

"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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