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Saturday, November 23, 2013

My online comment posted 11-22-2013 RE UN secretary-general: JFK left indelible imprint on me

President Kennedy addresses Red Cross youth group at the White House on Aug. 29, 1962. Ban Ki-moon is second to the right of JFK.( Photo: Family photo)
RE: UN secretary-general: JFK left indelible imprint on me
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/11/22/ban-ki-moon-un-secretary-general-jfk/3639233/

comment i left on usatoday website

Delighted to see UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon's inspiring op-ed "JFK left indelible imprint on me"...  In giving sincere thanks, and telling such a charming story, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon helps elevate an important person, but more importantly he promotes magnificent ideas and ideals. 
Annie Annab

****************

UN secretary-general: JFK left indelible imprint on me

Meeting the president as a youth led to my decision to choose a life of public service.

My letter to The NYTimes RE Plan B for Palestine: Zone C by Ali Jarbawi

America's John F. Kennedy: His legacy lives on with "... the beginning of new hope for both the equal rights of Americans and the peace of the world."
RE Plan B for Palestine: Zone C
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/23/opinion/jarbawi-plan-b-for-palestine-zone-c.html?ref=international

Dear Editor,

Good to see "Plan B for Palestine: Zone C" By Ali Jarbawi: Obviously Israel has used Oslo agreements to further entrench its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, sabotaging Palestinians individually and collectively.

This time around, with current negotiations, one can succumb to the corrupting influences of cynicism and bigotry- or one can look for and find ways to help shape a just and lasting peace firmly based on full respect for international law and universal basic human rights.

A fully secular two state end to the Israel-Palestine conflict intentionally and conscientiously creating a fully sovereign, independent, economically able Palestine is the best way forward... for everyone's sake.

Sincerely,
Anne Selden Annab

Notes

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, January 20, 1961

The Office of International Religious Freedom ( http://www.state.gov/j/drl/irf/)   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

Why Muslims should love secularism: Though secularism is widely misunderstood as anti-religious and iconoclastic, all it means is the neutrality of the state on religious affairs ...  "Muslims must recognize secularism as the only real path to religious freedom, rather than confusing it with an attack against religion." Hussein Ibish

"One bad (theological) interpreter is worse than 100 terrorists," Katanacho said during a panel discussion. He said that some Israeli theologians "strive to establish a particular reading of biblical history in order to gain political advantage." Bible scholars: Zionists have 'weaponized' scripture

Israelis and Palestinians must refrain from undermining renewed talks... Settlement plans threaten renewed hopes for Israeli-Palestinian peace, UN envoy warns

It is widely accepted that under international law, the Jewish settlements in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 are illegal. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons... "The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies." BBC News

Poll: Oslo brought 'political normalization' but no benefits "83.3 percent of the respondents believe that settlement construction increased “unprecedentedly” in the Palestinian territory as a result of the Oslo Accord."

Palestinians cast first-ever vote in U.N. General Assembly "It's a symbolic (step)," he [ chief Palestinian U.N. observer, Ambassador Riyad Mansour] said. "But it is an important one because it reflects that the international community, particularly the General Assembly, is hungry and waiting for the state of Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations."

Israeli Settlers uproot 26 Palestinian olive trees in Nablus village... IT ADDS UP: Since 1967, 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, resulting in a loss of around $55 million to the Palestinian economy

Hollande: France urges 'full and complete halt to settlement'

Jewish mob attacks Palestinian man in Jerusalem

Israel's policy of erasure : A path to peace between Israelis and Palestinians requires not simply dealing with settlements but with the whole complex of displacement, suffocation and erasure.

"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

Welcome to Bethlehem, Secretary Kerry: A call for humanity by Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun

UNITED NATIONS 2013: The nations of the world call on Israel to comply with its obligations under international law, the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice concerning the apartheid wall and all UN resolutions.

2013: Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues ...Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question

"The direct threat to Israeli and Palestinian existence — and, in fact, to the existence of all peoples in the region — is the absence of peace in Palestine." Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh in The Jordan Times

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

Christians are being driven out of regions around the world where they are a minority

Palestinian villages subject to Israeli mock raids not told they are exercises: Israeli military rejects complaints by Israeli human rights group Yesh Din over 'training' arrests of Arabs and raids on homes

Washington Post 2013: Israeli hard-liners eye West Bank

Israeli Settler Violence Map

'It is where religious freedom is most dishonored or repressed that the forces of violent religious extremism are likely to thrive.' Katrina Lantos Swett, vice chairwoman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom: JFK's call for religious freedom can transform...

  • 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


PBS Newshour: Poet Naomi Shihab Nye: 'Telling a story helped us figure out who we were'

A quest to preserve Palestinian heritage in the digital stacks: Sami Batrawi's struggle to open an online Palestinian Library of Congress is part of a broader effort to recover lost Palestinian intellectual heritage.

U.S. 'working tirelessly' to restore UNESCO funding... UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova: "This is not only about financing. This is about values. This is the 'smart power' that is in such need today, to lay the foundations for lasting peace and sustainable development,"

U.S., Israel lose voting rights at UNESCO over Palestine row

UNWRA ... a crucial lifeline for Palestinian refugees


Dr Zogby: Focus on Palestinians’ Rights

At ATFP Gala, White House Reaffirms Commitment to Palestinian State, Opposition to Settlements and Settler Violence


Pomegranates in season along the path!
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.

We Need to Talk... Ziad Asali has proven that Palestinian-Americans can work within the system as first-class American citizens and Washington has paid attention: The status quo is clear: occupation. Asali's mission is to change that status quo.

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


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

The Charter for Compassion is a call to restore the Golden Rule to the center of religious, moral and civic life. The path to a just economy and a peaceful world requires listening, understanding and treating all others as we wish to be treated ourselves.

Freedom for Palestine - OneWorld

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Israelis and Palestinians must refrain from undermining renewed talks... Settlement plans threaten renewed hopes for Israeli-Palestinian peace, UN envoy warns




Statement by the Middle East Quartet - 27 September 2013
Question of Palestine
Key Resources
The Question of Palestine
View of Jabalia refugee camp, Gaza City. IRIN
The UN has been working on the question of Palestine since the first special session of the General Assembly in April 1947, which set up a body to investigate the issue. Since then, the UN's work on the issue has continued to adapt to address changing realities on the ground.
Issues in Focus
*******
Map of the region
UN agencies
VIOLATIONS AGAINST CHILDREN

My letter to CSM RE Why one Israeli settler invites tour groups over for tea. Ardie Geldman, who lives in the Israeli settlement of Efrat, regularly speaks to groups with a predominantly pro-Palestinian agenda.

"We are witnessing the end of the two-state solution, and if Israel is not held to account, chances of peace and stability in the region will be destroyed indefinitely," PLO official Hanan Ashrawi, explaining that Israel is using peace negotiations as a "cover" to continue building illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Photo shows the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim near Jerusalem in this picture taken Dec. 4, 2012. (Reuters/Ammar Awad) Photo and Quote from Ma'an News 11-21-2013
RE: Why one Israeli settler invites tour groups over for tea. Ardie Geldman, who lives in the Israeli settlement of Efrat, regularly speaks to groups with a predominantly pro-Palestinian agenda.
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/Olive-Press/2013/1120/Why-one-Israeli-settler-invites-tour-groups-over-for-tea

Dear Editor,

Israelis who reassure themselves that "entire continents were stolen" in the past, in order to justify the nefarious part they currently play in stealing Palestinian land, resources and peace, are foolishly ignoring timelines and the emergence of international law as well as the idea of universal human rights.

We live in a post-Holocaust world. Compassionate and rational people worldwide understand the horrors of the Holocaust and the crucial importance of upholding respect for international law and universal human rights.

But that might change.  Customary International law  are "those aspects of international law that derive from custom." If everyone follows the example of the Israelis; freedom, justice, citizenship and job opportunities will all eventually be based on a person's inherited religion. When  you look for housing your options will be based on your assigned religion... and when you leave your carefully planted beautiful garden on an errand you might find yourself barred from ever returning to enjoy to fruits of your own family's labor because you have been deemed the "wrong" religion. 

That is the world the Palestinian have been forced to endure for generations as Israelis continue to push the native non-Jewish population of the Holy Land into poverty, forced exile, and despair.

An end to the Israel-Palestine conflict with a fully secular two state configuration empowering both Israel and Palestine as sovereign separate nation states cooperatively shaping a new beginning with a just and lasting peace based on Golden Rule thinking (and international law) will not magically return every flower and every tree to rightful heirs.  An end to the conflict with all its many negative ramifications won't erase the past, but ending the conflict will help ease [and eventually end] the pain and suffering of countless victims of the conflict.

A negotiated two state end to the conflict will help ensure that all our children have a chance to grow up in a world where the rule of fair and just laws can flourish, a world where bigotry is scorned and disarmed, a world where healing can begin- where character counts and where (as the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights wisely points put) "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world"

Sincerely,
Anne Selden Annab

NOTES
It is widely accepted that under international law, the Jewish settlements in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 are illegal. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons... "The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies." BBC News

"It is unlawful under the Fourth Geneva Convention for an occupying power to transfer parts of its own population into the territory it occupies. This means that international humanitarian law prohibits the establishment of settlements, as these are a form of population transfer into occupied territory. Any measure designed to expand or consolidate settlements is also illegal. Confiscation of land to build or expand settlements is similarly prohibited. " International Red Cross

GENEVA CONVENTION RELATIVE TO THE PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS IN TIME OF WAR (THE “FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION”)

Adopted in August 1949, the Fourth Geneva Convention defines humanitarian protections for civilians

In 1993, the United Nations Security Council adopted a report from the Secretary-General and a Commission of Experts which concluded that the Geneva Conventions had passed into the body of customary international law, thus making them binding on non-signatories to the Conventions whenever they engage in armed conflicts.

more notes
PBS Newshour: Poet Naomi Shihab Nye: 'Telling a story helped us figure out who we were'

Poll: Oslo brought 'political normalization' but no benefits "83.3 percent of the respondents believe that settlement construction increased “unprecedentedly” in the Palestinian territory as a result of the Oslo Accord."

Palestinians cast first-ever vote in U.N. General Assembly "It's a symbolic (step)," he [ chief Palestinian U.N. observer, Ambassador Riyad Mansour] said. "But it is an important one because it reflects that the international community, particularly the General Assembly, is hungry and waiting for the state of Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations."

Israeli Settlers uproot 26 Palestinian olive trees in Nablus village... IT ADDS UP: Since 1967, 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, resulting in a loss of around $55 million to the Palestinian economy

Hollande: France urges 'full and complete halt to settlement'

Jewish mob attacks Palestinian man in Jerusalem

Israel's policy of erasure : A path to peace between Israelis and Palestinians requires not simply dealing with settlements but with the whole complex of displacement, suffocation and erasure.

"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

Welcome to Bethlehem, Secretary Kerry: A call for humanity by Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun

UNITED NATIONS 2013: The nations of the world call on Israel to comply with its obligations under international law, the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice concerning the apartheid wall and all UN resolutions.

2013: Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues ...Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question

"The direct threat to Israeli and Palestinian existence — and, in fact, to the existence of all peoples in the region — is the absence of peace in Palestine." Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh in The Jordan Times

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

Christians are being driven out of regions around the world where they are a minority

Palestinian villages subject to Israeli mock raids not told they are exercises: Israeli military rejects complaints by Israeli human rights group Yesh Din over 'training' arrests of Arabs and raids on homes

Washington Post 2013: Israeli hard-liners eye West Bank

Israeli Settler Violence Map

'It is where religious freedom is most dishonored or repressed that the forces of violent religious extremism are likely to thrive.' Katrina Lantos Swett, vice chairwoman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom: JFK's call for religious freedom can transform...

  • 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 Office of International Religious Freedom ( http://www.state.gov/j/drl/irf/)   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

Why Muslims should love secularism: Though secularism is widely misunderstood as anti-religious and iconoclastic, all it means is the neutrality of the state on religious affairs ...  "Muslims must recognize secularism as the only real path to religious freedom, rather than confusing it with an attack against religion." Hussein Ibish

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


U.S. 'working tirelessly' to restore UNESCO funding... UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova: "This is not only about financing. This is about values. This is the 'smart power' that is in such need today, to lay the foundations for lasting peace and sustainable development,"


U.S., Israel lose voting rights at UNESCO over Palestine row

UNWRA ... a crucial lifeline for Palestinian refugees


Dr Zogby: Focus on Palestinians’ Rights

At ATFP Gala, White House Reaffirms Commitment to Palestinian State, Opposition to Settlements and Settler Violence


"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

A quest to preserve Palestinian heritage in the digital stacks: Sami Batrawi's struggle to open an online Palestinian Library of Congress is part of a broader effort to recover lost Palestinian intellectual heritage.

Pomegranates in season along the path!
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.


Ancient stone villages in the occupied West Bank have become trapped in rural poverty, while investors and donors shy away from a zone of seemingly endless conflict.
.. Israel's restrictions affect much of Palestinian economic life. It controls every access point, which enables it to oversee all imports and exports, creating bureaucratic hurdles that Palestinians say stifle or kill entrepreneurship.

The Israelis also impose strict limits on water supply, which affects industry and agriculture. Israel has not allowed Palestinians access to 3G mobile technology, citing security concerns, rendering many smartphone apps largely useless....READ MORE

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


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

"Compassion is not religious business, it is human business. It is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival."~Dalai Lama

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate."~ Albert Schweitzer,1952 Nobel Peace Prize

"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."~ Stephan Grellet, a prominent French-born American Quaker missionary

The Charter for Compassion is a call to restore the Golden Rule to the center of religious, moral and civic life. The path to a just economy and a peaceful world requires listening, understanding and treating all others as we wish to be treated ourselves.

Freedom for Palestine - OneWorld


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

PBS Newshour: Poet Naomi Shihab Nye: 'Telling a story helped us figure out who we were'

NAOMI SHIHAB NYE: "...My father was very disappointed by war and fighting. And he thought language could help us out of cycles of revenge and animosity. And so, as a journalist, he always found himself asking lots of questions and trying to gather information. He was always very clear to underscore the fact that Jewish people and Arab people were brother and sister. That was in every story that he told.

He would say, this conflict came about because of political decisions or decisions made by powers in different countries, and it's not the fault of Jewish people and Arab people. He was convinced all through his life that resolution was possible.

"Many asked me not to forget them. Where do you keep all these people, the shoemaker with his rumpled cough, the man who twisted straws into brooms? My teacher, oh, my teacher. I will always cry when I think of my teacher. The olive farmer who lost every inch of ground, every tree, who sat with head in his hands in his son's living room for years after."

In the poem "Many Asked Me Not to Forget Them," I found the line, that actual line in my father's notebooks after he died, and then the poem I wrote came out in his voice. And when he died, and I really couldn't imagine how I would continue to live without this voice, until I realized I would always have that voice in my days. It was in my DNA, it was in my memory.

"I tucked them into my drawer with cufflinks and bow ties, touched them each evening before I slept, wished them happiness and peace, peace in the heart. No wonder we all got heart trouble."

I do think that all of us think in poems. I think of a poem as being deeper than headline news. You know how they talk about breaking news all the time, that -- if too much breaking news, trying to absorb all the breaking news, you start feeling really broken. And you need something that takes you to a place that's a little more timeless, that kind of gives you a place to stand to look out at all these things. Otherwise, you just feel assaulted by all of the tragedy in the world... READ MORE AND/OR LISTEN TO THE POET'S VOICE

My letter to the NYTimes RE Pushing Peace on the Palestinians

Marking the ratification of the UN Charter on 24 October 1945

UNITED NATIONS 2013: The nations of the world call on Israel to comply with its obligations under international law, the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice concerning the apartheid wall and all UN resolutions

RE: Pushing Peace on the Palestinians
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/20/world/middleeast/pushing-peace-on-the-palestinians.html

Dear Editor,

All of Israel's Jewish settlement projects in the occupied territories are illegal. Israelis might prefer to have the major "blocs" perceived as a border already in place, but that needs to be officially negotiated, not assumed.

Any and all provocative proposals by Israelis wishing to rig the game so that Palestinians end up with nothing but some crumbs from the table while Israel eats the cake are simply provocative proposals. Provocative proposals by either side are not wise well meaning plans aiming to help promote justice and peace and security for Israelis and for Palestinians. 

Mr. Barlev's $14,000 parliamentary budget would have been better spent printing up copies of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights for presentation to fellow politicians, diplomats and thought leaders.

Negotiations to actually end the Israel-Palestine conflict must be firmly rooted in international law and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A fully secular two state solution to actually end the conflict once and for all really is in everyone's best interests.

Sincerely,
Anne Selden Annab

NOTES
Poll: Oslo brought 'political normalization' but no benefits "83.3 percent of the respondents believe that settlement construction increased “unprecedentedly” in the Palestinian territory as a result of the Oslo Accord."

Palestinians cast first-ever vote in U.N. General Assembly "It's a symbolic (step)," he [ chief Palestinian U.N. observer, Ambassador Riyad Mansour] said. "But it is an important one because it reflects that the international community, particularly the General Assembly, is hungry and waiting for the state of Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations."

Hollande: France urges 'full and complete halt to settlement'

Israeli Settlers uproot 26 Palestinian olive trees in Nablus village... IT ADDS UP: Since 1967, 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, resulting in a loss of around $55 million to the Palestinian economy

Jewish mob attacks Palestinian man in Jerusalem

Israel's policy of erasure : A path to peace between Israelis and Palestinians requires not simply dealing with settlements but with the whole complex of displacement, suffocation and erasure.


"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

Welcome to Bethlehem, Secretary Kerry: A call for humanity by Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun

UNITED NATIONS 2013: The nations of the world call on Israel to comply with its obligations under international law, the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice concerning the apartheid wall and all UN resolutions.

2013: Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues ...Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question

"The direct threat to Israeli and Palestinian existence — and, in fact, to the existence of all peoples in the region — is the absence of peace in Palestine." Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh in The Jordan Times

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

Christians are being driven out of regions around the world where they are a minority

Palestinian villages subject to Israeli mock raids not told they are exercises: Israeli military rejects complaints by Israeli human rights group Yesh Din over 'training' arrests of Arabs and raids on homes

Washington Post 2013: Israeli hard-liners eye West Bank

Israeli Settler Violence Map

'It is where religious freedom is most dishonored or repressed that the forces of violent religious extremism are likely to thrive.' Katrina Lantos Swett, vice chairwoman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom: JFK's call for religious freedom can transform...

  • 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 Office of International Religious Freedom ( http://www.state.gov/j/drl/irf/)   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

Why Muslims should love secularism: Though secularism is widely misunderstood as anti-religious and iconoclastic, all it means is the neutrality of the state on religious affairs ...  "Muslims must recognize secularism as the only real path to religious freedom, rather than confusing it with an attack against religion." Hussein Ibish

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


U.S. 'working tirelessly' to restore UNESCO funding... UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova: "This is not only about financing. This is about values. This is the 'smart power' that is in such need today, to lay the foundations for lasting peace and sustainable development,"


U.S., Israel lose voting rights at UNESCO over Palestine row

UNWRA ... a crucial lifeline for Palestinian refugees


Dr Zogby: Focus on Palestinians’ Rights

At ATFP Gala, White House Reaffirms Commitment to Palestinian State, Opposition to Settlements and Settler Violence


"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

A quest to preserve Palestinian heritage in the digital stacks: Sami Batrawi's struggle to open an online Palestinian Library of Congress is part of a broader effort to recover lost Palestinian intellectual heritage.

Pomegranates in season along the path!
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.


Ancient stone villages in the occupied West Bank have become trapped in rural poverty, while investors and donors shy away from a zone of seemingly endless conflict.
.. Israel's restrictions affect much of Palestinian economic life. It controls every access point, which enables it to oversee all imports and exports, creating bureaucratic hurdles that Palestinians say stifle or kill entrepreneurship.

The Israelis also impose strict limits on water supply, which affects industry and agriculture. Israel has not allowed Palestinians access to 3G mobile technology, citing security concerns, rendering many smartphone apps largely useless....READ MORE

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


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

"Compassion is not religious business, it is human business. It is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival."~Dalai Lama

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate."~ Albert Schweitzer,1952 Nobel Peace Prize

"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."~ Stephan Grellet, a prominent French-born American Quaker missionary

The Charter for Compassion is a call to restore the Golden Rule to the center of religious, moral and civic life. The path to a just economy and a peaceful world requires listening, understanding and treating all others as we wish to be treated ourselves.

Freedom for Palestine - OneWorld

My letter to the Washington Post RE U.S., Israel need to agree on an Iran deal

(ATFP (American Task Force on Palestine) photo (& film))
RE: U.S., Israel need to agree on an Iran deal
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/us-israel-need-to-agree-on-an-iran-deal/2013/11/18/a60f934a-507d-11e3-9e2c-e1d01116fd98_story.html

Dear Editor,

The big picture: A bit of a rift between America and Israel is not such a bad thing, for it gives everyone leeway to look around, research, reconsider and seriously think about what really is the best way forward... for everyone's sake.

The big picture: Concerns about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, as well as acts of aggression should not be limited to Iran: Israel's own aggressive tendencies have played a part in creating an arms race and a huge amount of hostility.

The big picture: Thinking about security not only for Israel but also for Palestine and for all their neighbors (and all Iran's neighbors), everyone, including Israel, should make it a priority to make peace with Palestine- a just and lasting peace based on full respect for international law and universal basic human rights.  The Arab Peace Initiative is an excellent reference concerning issues that need to be addressed and resolved.

 The Arab Peace Initiative is also an obvious gesture of good will and diplomatic grace, for it emanates "from the conviction of the Arab countries that a military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties"

The big picture: Ending the Israel-Palestine conflict would go a long way towards calming down the entire region.

Sincerely,
Anne Selden Annab

Notes

PBS NewsHour 11-13-2013 How the Iran nuclear talks affect Israel's confidence in the U.S. as mediator ATFP's HUSSEIN IBISH:  "Obviously, if Israel's disappointed in the United States, it's very likely the United States is disappointed with Israel.

Look, our regional allies, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, et cetera, these are regional powers with regional interests. We are a global power with global interests. It's understandable if Israel is obsessed with Iran, and thinks only in terms of Iranian issues.

The United States can't do that. We have to deal with multiple issues. We have to deal with Syria. We have to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. We have to deal with repairing our relations with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and many other things all over the world.

So you have got to come back to the Israeli-Palestinian file as one that the United States takes seriously on its own."

more notes

Poll: Oslo brought 'political normalization' but no benefits "83.3 percent of the respondents believe that settlement construction increased “unprecedentedly” in the Palestinian territory as a result of the Oslo Accord."

Palestinians cast first-ever vote in U.N. General Assembly "It's a symbolic (step)," he [ chief Palestinian U.N. observer, Ambassador Riyad Mansour] said. "But it is an important one because it reflects that the international community, particularly the General Assembly, is hungry and waiting for the state of Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations."

Hollande: France urges 'full and complete halt to settlement'

Israeli Settlers uproot 26 Palestinian olive trees in Nablus village... IT ADDS UP: Since 1967, 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, resulting in a loss of around $55 million to the Palestinian economy

Jewish mob attacks Palestinian man in Jerusalem

Israel's policy of erasure : A path to peace between Israelis and Palestinians requires not simply dealing with settlements but with the whole complex of displacement, suffocation and erasure.

"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

Welcome to Bethlehem, Secretary Kerry: A call for humanity by Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun

UNITED NATIONS 2013: The nations of the world call on Israel to comply with its obligations under international law, the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice concerning the apartheid wall and all UN resolutions.

2013: Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues ...Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question

"The direct threat to Israeli and Palestinian existence — and, in fact, to the existence of all peoples in the region — is the absence of peace in Palestine." Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh in The Jordan Times

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

Christians are being driven out of regions around the world where they are a minority

Palestinian villages subject to Israeli mock raids not told they are exercises: Israeli military rejects complaints by Israeli human rights group Yesh Din over 'training' arrests of Arabs and raids on homes

Washington Post 2013: Israeli hard-liners eye West Bank

Israeli Settler Violence Map

'It is where religious freedom is most dishonored or repressed that the forces of violent religious extremism are likely to thrive.' Katrina Lantos Swett, vice chairwoman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom: JFK's call for religious freedom can transform...

  • 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 Office of International Religious Freedom ( http://www.state.gov/j/drl/irf/)   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

Why Muslims should love secularism: Though secularism is widely misunderstood as anti-religious and iconoclastic, all it means is the neutrality of the state on religious affairs ...  "Muslims must recognize secularism as the only real path to religious freedom, rather than confusing it with an attack against religion." Hussein Ibish

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


U.S. 'working tirelessly' to restore UNESCO funding... UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova: "This is not only about financing. This is about values. This is the 'smart power' that is in such need today, to lay the foundations for lasting peace and sustainable development,"


U.S., Israel lose voting rights at UNESCO over Palestine row

UNWRA ... a crucial lifeline for Palestinian refugees


Dr Zogby: Focus on Palestinians’ Rights

At ATFP Gala, White House Reaffirms Commitment to Palestinian State, Opposition to Settlements and Settler Violence


"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

A quest to preserve Palestinian heritage in the digital stacks: Sami Batrawi's struggle to open an online Palestinian Library of Congress is part of a broader effort to recover lost Palestinian intellectual heritage.

Pomegranates in season along the path!
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.


Ancient stone villages in the occupied West Bank have become trapped in rural poverty, while investors and donors shy away from a zone of seemingly endless conflict.
.. Israel's restrictions affect much of Palestinian economic life. It controls every access point, which enables it to oversee all imports and exports, creating bureaucratic hurdles that Palestinians say stifle or kill entrepreneurship.

The Israelis also impose strict limits on water supply, which affects industry and agriculture. Israel has not allowed Palestinians access to 3G mobile technology, citing security concerns, rendering many smartphone apps largely useless....READ MORE

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


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

"Compassion is not religious business, it is human business. It is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival."~Dalai Lama

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate."~ Albert Schweitzer,1952 Nobel Peace Prize

"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."~ Stephan Grellet, a prominent French-born American Quaker missionary

The Charter for Compassion is a call to restore the Golden Rule to the center of religious, moral and civic life. The path to a just economy and a peaceful world requires listening, understanding and treating all others as we wish to be treated ourselves.

Freedom for Palestine - OneWorld