Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ashrawi Calls on the EU to Investigate Sunday Times Report

Tuesday, 22 October 2013
PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, called on the European Union (EU) to investigate the misleading Sunday Times report on EU funding and the alleged Palestinian mismanagement of billions of Euros in European aid.

"Such a blatantly inaccurate report and subsequent commentaries constitute a targeted and flagrant attack on the Palestinian leadership and signify an attempt to slander the whole Palestinian political system. This serves an anti-Palestinian and an anti-peace agenda." Ashrawi continued, "It should be stressed that similar accusations have been made in the past and eventually turned out to be inaccurate."

She added, "Thus, we call on the European Union to investigate and debunk such claims of corruption that have nothing to do with corruption or combating it. It is evident that such reports are politically motivated and represent an attempt to put pressure on the EU to end its support for the Palestinian cause by maligning the Palestinian leadership."

Ashrawi's statements came during a meeting in Ramallah with Consul General of the Netherlands, Birgitta Tazelaar, Representative of Denmark to the State of Palestine, Anders Tang Friborg, and Swedish Consul for Political Affairs, Lena Skoglund.

Dr. Ashrawi also highlighted the importance of the EU guidelines banning dealings with Israeli settlements.

She said, "We believe that this is a positive contribution by the EU to inject legality and fairness in the pursuit of peace. It is our hope that the EU maintains this position despite Israeli and American efforts to circumvent the implementation of the guidelines."

The meeting also addressed the latest political developments in Palestine, the negotiations, Israeli measures and violations, regional developments, and future cooperation.

My letter to the Guardian RE Jerusalem elections: the ballot and the boycott

West Bank: Mapping an Occupation
RE: Jerusalem elections: the ballot and the boycott

Dear Sir,

It is a tragic shame that through the years Palestinians have been convinced to disengage, disenfranchise, and further impoverish themselves by boycotting elections and existing political infrastructures which have a significant impact on day to day life.

The reality that is Israel has many engaged and empowered loyal Jewish citizens and supporters and will most certainly not disappear, but like anything will change with changing times- hopefully for the better.

Meanwhile, for now at least, an independent and free as well as secure and economically viable Palestinian state has yet to become fully sovereign with firm internationally recognized borders.

Palestinians should have voting rights in both Israel and Palestine, just as America's dual citizens are able to help influence their country of birth as well their newly adopted homeland: "The Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual citizenship is a "status long recognized in the law" and that "a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both."

Furthermore, there is an obvious legal precedent already set: American citizens living in Israel may cast deciding votes in American elections.

If all Palestinians ( including those in Israel, those in the occupied territories, as well as those in forced exile- the Palestinian refugees) made a strategic decision to seek full voting rights within "the reality that is Israel" there would still be the matter of who to vote for, and a large complex system of existing institutions and infrastructures. 

The Israel vote will not not usher in a one state end to the conflict, nor will it magically transform the Palestinian struggle from a nationalist one into a civil rights one, for the Palestinians have already been very much engaged in a civil rights struggle all along. 

Palestinian statehood is a separate but equally important issue.  Fact is a fully secular two state solution to once and for ALL end the Israel-Palestine conflict will be liberating for Jewish Israelis as well as Palestinians because as things are Israel's tax payer funded official "Jewishness" cannot help but head towards Jewish sectarian strife and civil war.

"Secularism offers Muslims (& Christians & Jews) religious freedom, religious authenticity, and religious meaning. Imposing or privileging religion through state power invalidates all three. Muslims (& Christians & Jews) must recognize secularism as the only real path to religious freedom, rather than confusing it with an attack against religion." Hussein Ibish Why Muslims (& Christians & Jews) should love secularism (I added in the (& Christians & Jews)  for Ibish's point really is a universal truth.)

Anne Selden Annab

*From Wikipedia: "Based on the U.S. Department of State regulation on dual citizenship (7 FAM 1162), the Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual citizenship is a "status long recognized in the law" and that "a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact he asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other", (Kawakita v. U.S., 343 U.S. 717) (1952). In Schneider v. Rusk 377 U.S. 163 (1964), the US Supreme Court ruled that a naturalized U.S. citizen has the right to return to his native country and to resume his former citizenship, and also to remain a U.S. citizen even if he never returns to the United States."

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"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

Thomas Paine: "Of all of the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny of religion is the worst."

"In every country and in every age, the priest [rabbi/imam/...etc...] has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own"
Thomas Jefferson

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

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

"So let us put the narrative of injustice away and find the joy, if it’s the last thing we ever do. " Tala Abu Rahmeh, Palestinian poet and writer

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The Arab Peace Initiative
1. Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well.
2. Further calls upon Israel to affirm:
I- Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.
II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194.
III- The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following:
I- Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region.

II- Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.