Friday, August 2, 2013

My letter to USA Today RE East Jerusalem thorniest of issues ahead of peace

To be clear: Return
RE East Jerusalem thorniest of issues ahead of peace

Dear USA Today ... and anyone else who might be concerned,

While I very much admire American Task Force on Palestine efforts to help usher in a more reasonable, compassionate, intelligent, realistic and mainstream conversation regarding Palestine and peace, I totally and completely disagree with senior fellow Hussein Ibish's recent declaration in USA Today that "Palestinians will have to accept that refugees and their descendants who've lived for decades without full citizenship in other nations will never be allowed to return to the homes they left. Their numbers would outnumber the Jewish population, which Israel would never accept."

I disagree because I believe with every fiber of my being that no country should ever use religion as a determining factor for who is allowed to live and work in peace and prosper and who will be pushed into poverty and forced exile. 

And I disagree because I think international law and universal basic human rights have to be the deciding factor on how negotiations are shaped.

Israel as a sovereign nation with a strong economy as well as polished media and PR skills has all the power- including the power to actually withdraw from the illegally occupied Palestinian territories.

Negotiations to end the Israel-Palestine conflict are not between equals but between the oppressor and the oppressed.  The Palestinians have been systematically disenfranchised by Israel and the last thing they need is for Israel to be given the green light to destroy even more Palestinian homes and families.

I was very sad to see Ibish's comment for I had hoped that Ibish and the American Task Force on Palestine could help America usher in peace in the Middle East by setting a good example on how to reach out to America so that more Americans- and more Israelis... and more people worldwide- might understand the very real plight of the Palestinians and the importance of negotiations to forge a just and lasting peace for everyone's sake.

Anne Selden Annab

Kerry: "The only announcement you will hear about meetings it's the one that I just made, and I will be the only one by agreement authorized to comment publicly on the talks in consultation obviously with the parties... That means that no one should consider any reports, articles or even rumors reliable unless they come directly from me and I guarantee you they won't."

Boston Globe editorial: Kerry’s enormous effort stirs new hope for Mideast talks

Friendship can inspire peace and build bridges between communities

"The way forward is to be found not in looking back at what might have been, but in an honest assessment of what can be done to address current realities." Dr. James Zogby

Live by the Golden Rule
Words to Honor: The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1.
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

"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.

"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

".... 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:
Promote freedom of religion and conscience throughout the world as a fundamental human right and as a source of stability for all countries

Palestinian Refugees(1948-NOW) refused their right to return... and their right to live in peace free from religious bigotry and injustice.

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

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