Sunday, June 2, 2013

My letter to CSM RE 'Breakthrough' in Israeli-Palestinian conflict : In a surprise opportunity for peace, a few hundred business leaders in Israel and Palestinian areas join up to demand their governments make a deal. Unlike other grassroots efforts, this one has both clout and the courage of conscience.

Jerusalem Calling 
Endangered Jerusalem
Photo by Tarek Bakri : This Week in Palestine

 RE 'Breakthrough' in Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Dear Editor,

Israel is facing boycott campaigns- and UNWRA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) is grappling with growing needs and shrinking funds.

Peace for the greater good of both Israel and Palestine: A business oriented "collective choice for hope and peace"... Sounds like a very sensible and timely initiative to me.  Certainly is a better direction to go in than the current trajectory of escalating religious extremism, bigotry, ignorance and terrorism exasperating unemployment and personal loss.

Plenty of past peace projects throughout the years have proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that individual Israelis and Palestinians are able to move beyond the nay saying and negativity and tenacious insanities that tend to complicate as well as perpetuate the Israel-Palestine conflict. 

This newest pro-negotiations initiative builds on all the work already done by numerous forward thinkers, compassionate visionaries and realists who understand that actually ending the conflict with a just and lasting peace creates a win-win situation. 

Where there is a will- there is a way.

Anne Selden Annab

Kerry: Palestinian economic plan looks to inject $4 billion ... "We need a new model for how we are going to bring order and open up the possibilities. We need to partner with the private sector because it's clear most governments don't have the money."

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

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.

John Kerry makes unscheduled shawarma sandwich stop in West Bank ...Kerry is urging an economic package to boost the Palestinian economy. Perhaps as a signal of his commitment, he insisted on paying for his food.

Kairos Palestine condemns the kidnapping of two bishops in Syria - and calls for all conflicts and violence and proxy battles to be stopped.

In Israel, a modern wall is halted by ancient terraces

AP PHOTOS: Palestinians in Egypt village exhibit consequences of 65 years of mass displacement

Time Magazine Pictures of the Week: May 10 – May 17... Palestinian refugee children play in front of their family house in Jabaliya Refugee camp, in the Gaza Strip.

"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

Repercussions... a poem

Why Ending the Occupation and Peace with Israel is Still the Palestinian National Goal...

“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.”

Former Palestinian fighter now battles for a middle path: Palestinian Mohammed Dajani, from a prominent Jerusalem family, has become a vocal advocate for pragmatism and peace.

Songs and Pictures from Palestine

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

Fayyad Steps Down, Not Out

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."

"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 only way to honor our tragic histories is to create a future for our children free of man-made tragedy. This means making peace fully, completely and without reservation, between Israel and Palestine." ATFP's Ziad Asali: To honor a tragic history, we must work for peace

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

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