Friday, January 31, 2014

My letters to CSM & The Guardian RE "Palestinian workers back Scarlett Johansson's opposition to SodaStream boycott" & John Kerry in final push to disprove cynics on Middle East peace deal

"Israel Needs Peace with Palestine to Avoid Looming Boycotts" Ziad J. Asali (ATFP on facebook I CAN SEE PALESTINE)
RE John Kerry in final push to disprove cynics on Middle East peace deal

Dear Editor,

I hope it works. I hope that Israelis can find the courage and compassion to fully respect international law and universal basic human rights... and I hope Palestinians can find the courage and compassion to forgive all who have conspired to oppress, impoverish and displace them.

I hope both Israelis and Palestinians start seriously investing in and empowering a fully secular two state solution to end the Israel-Palestine conflict, and that negotiations are the beginning of a transition away from institutionalized bigotry and religious extremism in the Holy Land.

I hope that the rule of fair and just laws is allowed to flourish, and that living side by side in peace and security individual by individual, family by family, community by community and country by country becomes the interwoven norm... with positive ramifications for the entire region.

Anne Selden Annab


RE Palestinian workers back Scarlett Johansson's opposition to SodaStream boycott (+video)

Dear Editor,

"Changing the world one sip at a time" the Scarlett Johansson ad has become an online meme for Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Pretty face plus ugly facts culled from years of depressing news reports and photographic evidence explaining the Israel-Palestine conflict make for an intriguing and reinvigorating combination. Perhaps in the end it will help add up into a tipping point for a just and lasting peace and security with a plethora of good job opportunities for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Even in a fully free society people need to earn a living and most know to refrain from saying insulting things about their employer ... Of course Palestinian workers at the Israeli factory built in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank like having a job and being able to feed their families!  Knowing the very real plight and suffering of the Palestinians, it is utterly cruel and quite shortsighted for your report on the topic to set these very vulnerable Palestinians up as opposition to international calls for Israel to end it's invasive and illegal settlement policies.

Negotiations for a just and lasting peace based on full respect for international law and universal basic human rights are not helped by obfuscations. I applaud OxFam's clear and straightforward response to the Scarlett Johansson scandal: “Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors,” the group’s official statement reads. “Oxfam believes that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”

Anne Selden Annab


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
The Office of International Religious Freedom
( )

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

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

Refugees and the Right of Return
We call for a just solution to our refugee issue in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194. Our position on refugees is also included and supported in the Arab Peace Initiative (API), which calls for “a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.” A just solution to the refugee issue must address two aspects: the right of return and reparations.

The Arab Peace Initiative

Emanating 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 council:
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.

John Kerry defends US foreign policy “The reason we’re so devoted to finding a solution is simple: Because the benefits of success and the dangers of failure are enormous for the United States, for the world, for the region and, most importantly of all, for the Israeli and Palestinian people,” US secretary of state John Kerry at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“You have to understand that the progressive forces in the Arab world, those that support having a visible relationship with Israel, cannot reach out to it until the Palestinian problem is resolved,” said one Jordanian official. “Moreover, this should also be Israel’s interest, because the only way to stop the Islamic movements from seizing control in the West Bank is through an agreement with the Palestinians.”

Hanan Ashrawi tells The Times of Israel: Jews and members of all religions would have the right to apply for Palestinian citizenship. But “Palestine” could not accept “ex-territorial Jewish enclaves” where residents maintained their Israeli citizenship status

EU warns Israel, Palestinians of the cost of peace failure

MIFTAH: Anti- corruption youth strategy; young Palestinians put a corruption-free society as their priority "...This is their future, they say, because in the end, it is the youth that seeks a society free of corruption that will offer them the opportunity to obtain the right job and the right social status based on their own merits, not on grounds of nepotism and favoritism."   

Analysis: Why Palestinian leadership is right to engage in peace talks

Ziad Asali of ATFP: Why Palestinians are puzzled by the 'Jewish state' demand... Netanyahu's demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state bizarrely inserts Palestinians into the 'Who is a Jew' debate

  • 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

 Live by the Golden Rule

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