Saturday, March 22, 2014

My letter to the Washington Post RE Zionist letters "Israel’s position in the Middle East"

Earth from space
RE Washington Post Zionist letters "Israel’s position in the Middle East"

Dear Editor,

If Israel's alleged Jewishness meant the rule of fair laws, real justice, respect, security and true freedom for the native non-Jewish men, women and children of historic Palestine as well as all Jewish immigrants, there would not be an Israel-Palestine conflict... There would be two sovereign secular states, one named Israel and one named Palestine living side by side in peace shaping two separate but complimentary identities. 

Archaeological projects would be more inclusion and revealing, and faith would be a personal private affair, not a state sponsored intrusion into who gets to enjoy their heritage & inheritance and who gets to be persecuted, oppressed, impoverished, disenfranchised and pushed into forced exile. Religious extremism might still be a problem, but more reasonable people would have the tools to be good neighbors building healthy, stable communities, economic polices, and business practices that respect the rights and responsibilities of all people, including all Hebrew and Arabic speaking Semites: Muslims, Christians and Jews.

Your Zionist letter writers obsessing about Israel's Jewishness have a right to their opinion.... and the rest of us have a right to research, recognize institutionalized bigotry, and firmly oppose wasting precious time slogging through religious propaganda and distortions about Palestinians generated by a foreign regime that seeks to coerce American tax payers into subsidizing and empowering Israel's religious scholars and schemes ad infinitum.

For concerned citizens of the world who understand and empower the Universal Declaration of human rights and the idea that " 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", the Washington Post is obviously not the end all be all of news, opinion and perspectives regarding "Israel’s position in the Middle East."

Anne Selden Annab


U.N. rights investigator accuses Israel of 'ethnic cleansing'

Palestine Images.... flowering almond

Ashrawi: “There is a Global Rule of Law, and Israel Must be Subject to it”

In response to the concerns raised by Palestinian churches in Palestine and Israel, the World Council of Churches expresses its own grave concern about the law passed by the Israeli Knesset on 24 February 2014, which would define the status of Palestinian Arab Christians in the State of Israel against their own will.

Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian teen south of Hebron: Soldiers shoot dead teen after claiming he was damaging separation wall, victim's brother says he was picking local plants in the area with friends.

Israel approves 184 new settlement homes

"I believe that the root of all injustice and oppression has always been the same – the dehumanization of the other. It is the obsession with Us and Them that can lead us, regardless of racial or religious identity, into the abyss." Roger Waters: Why I must speak out on Israel, Palestine and BDS

Maen Rashid Areikat: Obama is right to criticize Israeli settlements

Celebrities press UN on Palestinian refugees in Syria

Old Man of Jerusalem... with an AP archive link to a wonderful old (& very brief) video made in 1957 of an amazing Palestinian, Mohammad Khalil Abulhawa, born in 1821

Outreach: American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) "Our Israeli and Palestinian partners in the Middle East as well as our partners in the U.S. believe as we do that a lasting peace must begin with a commitment to shared security for all."

#LetUsThrough ... & KUDOS to The Guardian for a dignified glance at what is it really like to be on the frontline of humanitarian response

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
( )

"The best and most effective way to reduce the tensions and tragedies such as the murder of the Jordanian judge, is to end the occupation and totally remove the unwanted Israeli occupiers from Palestinian territories." Daoud Kuttab Analysis: Allenby killing highlights need for serious change

Today (15/03/2014): The Israeli civil administration delivered a notice to a Palestinian village in the central West Bank declaring plans to confiscate parts of the village's land

Netanyahu's demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state bizarrely inserts Palestinians into the 'Who is a Jew' debate: Ziad Asali of the American Task Force on Palestine

Ibish: How many times must the Palestinians recognize Israel?  

Video of the Late Amb. Sam Lewis, a Friend of both Palestine and Israel

American Task Force on Palestine... A Decade of Achievement: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About ATFP

U.N. Denies Altering Image of Palestinian Refugees in Damascus By the NYTimes' Robert Mackey

Sam Jadallah: Netanyahu's Silicon Valley visit a lost opportunity

Visualizing Palestine: 20 Years of Talks Keeping Palestine Occupied

Arab League, Abbas reject recognizing Israel as 'Jewish state'

Palestine Refugees in Syria: An Andy Warner Comic

A UN Committee Expresses Concern over Recent Developments in Occupied Jerusalem... The committee said that Israel also continues to construct settlements in East Jerusalem, in violation of international law and in defiance of the international community's repeated calls for ending such illegal acts.

Plea to the Pope... Ash Wednesday Letter To Pope Francis: Speak Out Against Targeting of Palestinian Children

Official: Israel refused to let Palestinian refugees in Syria return

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu never tires of inventing new hoops through which he insists Palestinians jump. As he acknowledged a few weeks back, it's all part of a cynical game that he plays in an effort to kill the chances for peace....

The Palestinian national soccer team, a source of pride for many, has been under attack by the Israeli state.

Hanan Ashrawi: "Today, 20 years after Baruch Goldstein cut down so many innocent lives in a burst of hateful rage, the poisonous anti-Arab racism that turned him into a mass murderer is alive and well in Israel."

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

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.

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

More than sixty years ago, back in 1949, the Application of Israel for admission to membership in the United Nations (A/818) clearly pointed out that Israel was directly contravening "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." 

Do Palestinians have a right to return to the places from which they or their ancestors were displaced? UNHCR’s support for the right of return is based on the idea that the right of return is a recognized customary norm of International law which is included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

It’s important for people to know how far the Palestinians have come to put an end to the conflict with Israel.

The Palestinian Refugee's Right of Return: No issue is more emblematic of the 20th century Palestinian experience than the plight of the approximately seven million Palestinian refugees.

What message do we send?

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."

UNITED NATIONS: Give Peace a Chance... The year 2014 has been proclaimed the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People... “The objective of the  International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is to promote solidarity with the Palestinian people as a central theme, contributing to international awareness of (a) core themes regarding the question of Palestine, as prioritized by the Committee, (b) obstacles to the ongoing peace process, particularly those requiring urgent action such as settlements, Jerusalem, the blockade of Gaza and the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and; (c) mobilization of global action towards the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the question of Palestine in accordance with international law and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.”
History of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, was the result of the experience of the Second World War. With the end of that war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed never again to allow atrocities like those of that conflict happen again. World leaders decided to complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere. The document they considered, and which would later become the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was taken up at the first session of the General Assembly in 1946. "

U.N. Resolution 194 from 1948 Resolves that 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;

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.

Palestinian refugees’ right to return to the homes from which they were displaced is well established in International law.  The first source of support for Palestinian refugees’ claims to a right of return is UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) Of December 1948, paragraph 11, in which the UN General Assembly,
“Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors 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;
Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation…”
Since 1949, this resolution together with UNSC Res. 242 and 338 have been regularly reaffirmed by the UN General Assembly.

The rights outlined in this resolution are firmly grounded in international humanitarian, human rights, and refugee law.  According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Executive Conclusion No. 40, “…the basic rights of persons to return voluntarily to their country of origin is reaffirmed and it is urged that international cooperation be aimed at achieving this solution.”[xi]  UNHCR’s support for the right of return is based on the idea that the right of return is a recognized customary norm of International law which is included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Fourth Geneva Convention.[xii]   

  • 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.

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