Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My letter to the NYTimes RE Closing In on Basic Mideast Principles editorial & The B.D.S. Threat By Roger Cohen & Israel’s Big Question by Thomas L. Friedman

The Palestinian Village of Ein Kerem near Al Quds (Jerusalem) Circa 1944...This village was ethnically cleansed of its indigenous native Palestinian Arabs in 1948... photo from facebook wall of Mike Hanini Odetalla 
RE: Closing In on Basic Mideast Principles editorial & The B.D.S. Threat By Roger Cohen & Israel’s Big Question by Thomas L. Friedman

Dear Editor,

Are details regarding current negotiations to end the Israel-Palestine conflict leaking out, or are some people generating calculated guesses aimed at  influencing public opinion, as well as the talks themselves... Both Thomas L. Friedman and Roger Cohen use the podium of your pages to argue for an Israel obsessed about Jewishness. I think that is an imprisoning past that we Americans would be wise not to perpetuate: Tax payers should not be funding religious scholars and schemes and violations of international law as well as the insidious institutionalized bigotry and injustice necessary to sustain Israel's ongoing quest to be exclusively Jewish.

A fully secular two state solution to end the Israel-Palestine conflict is the best way forward.  In 1948 United Nations Mediator Count Folke Bernadotte wisely pointed out that "It would be an offence against the principles of justice if those innocent victims [Palestine refugees] could not return to their homes while [Jewish] immigrants flowed into Palestine to take their place." (  page 4, halfway down )

In 1949, the Application of Israel for admission to membership in the United Nations (A/818) clearly states "The State of Israel, in its present form, directly contravened the previous recommendations of the United Nations in at least three important respects: in its attitude on the problem of Arab refugees, on the delimitation of its territorial boundaries, and on the question of Jerusalem.

The United Nations had certainly not intended that the Jewish State should rid itself of its Arab citizens. On the contrary, section C of part I of the Assembly's 1947 resolution had explicitly provided guarantees of minority rights in each of the two States. For example, it had prohibited the expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State except for public purposes, and then only upon payment of full compensation. Yet the fact was that 90 per cent of the Arab population of Israel had been driven outside its boundaries by military operations, had been forced to seek refuge in neighbouring Arab territories, had been reduced to misery and destitution, and had been prevented by Israel from returning to their homes. Their homes and property had been seized and were being used by thousands of European Jewish immigrants."

Zionists then and Zionists now want the world to believe that Israel's "Jewishness" is more important than respecting property rights as well as universal basic human rights including but not limited to the Palestinian refugees right to return... keep in mind the fact that The United Nations had certainly not intended that the Jewish State should rid itself of its Arab citizens.

This week while Friedman & Cohen were essentially
asking Americans to be obsessed about keeping Israel "Jewish", Israeli Jews referred to as "settlers" (as if Palestine is the Wild West in the olden days, long before international law ) attacked Palestinian orchards  cutting down 150 olive trees in the Bethlehem-area village of al-Khader . Also this week Israeli forces destroyed the only water pipe serving a Palestinian community in the Jordan Valley and please note The number of Palestinian structures demolished by the Israeli authorities in the Jordan Valley in 2013 more than doubled, from 192 in 2012 to 393 in 2013.

Islamists are thriving on the continuation of the Israel-Palestine conflict. These are increasingly dangerous times for everyone in the region. Negotiations to end the Israel-Palestine conflict need to be the path to a just and lasting peace with the rule of fair and just laws galvanizing security and compassion for all human beings regardless of supposed religion- not a perpetuation of the cruelty, crimes and craziness created by the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.

Anne Selden Annab


Dr. Zogby: This Time Must Be Different

Jordan's King urges Arab, Islamic organisations to serve nation’s causes in US... peace efforts should lead to the two-state solution based on international resolutions and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which, he said, was a historical turning point.

Reflections By An ARAB JEW by Ella Habiba Shohat " When my grandmother first encountered Israeli society in the '50s, she was convinced that the people who looked, spoke and ate so differently--the European Jews--were actually European Christians. Jewishness for her generation was inextricably associated with Middle Easterness. My grandmother, who still lives in Israel and still communicates largely in Arabic, had to be taught to speak of "us" as Jews and "them" as Arabs. For Middle Easterners, the operating distinction had always been "Muslim," "Jew," and "Christian," not Arab versus Jew. The assumption was that "Arabness" referred to a common shared culture and language, albeit with religious differences."

Ziad Asali : The Road to the Arab Civil State

Children of the occupation: growing up in Palestine


Free to Fund Palestine ... a Growing Gardens for Palestine poem by Anne Selden Annab

UNITED NATIONS: Give Peace a Chance... The year 2014 has been proclaimed the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

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.

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.

EU warns Israel, Palestinians of the cost of peace failure

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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