Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My letter to the NYTimes RE How Arabs Can Defeat Sectarianism By Marwan Muasher

AN ARAB AMERICAN CALL FOR UNITY...  a concert with beautiful voices expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people and their steadfastness and perseverance.
RE How Arabs Can Defeat Sectarianism

Dear Editor,

Good to see Jordan's exploring "How Arabs Can Defeat Sectarianism" in the New York Times.  Much of what he said makes sense, and is excellent advice at a very troubled time for the Middle East. 

The easiest and most obvious divide to point out right now is between Sunni-Shiite, but within both those groups there are subdivisions, and there will be even more subdivisions as time goes on, just as there has been within the Christian church.  Religious and ethnic differences are part of life, and part of every country.  Religious extremists, racists, opportunists and criminals are too, but with the rule of fair and just laws far more people have far less sympathy for religious extremists and racists. 

America's strength is rooted in an inspiring Constitution and Bill of Rights, but America's real strength does not come not from official decrees. America's strength comes from private, personal efforts to make our local communities, our homes and our schools and our country and our world, all a better place- for everyone's sake. Investing thought into our marketplace of ideas, and investing time and money in the arts and sciences and education, in museums and the preservation of history, in the protection and enjoyment of nature in the wild, as well as in our own private gardens and public parks, are a few of the many various ways that individuals and families have been nation building America for generations... all of that adds up into a building a positive identity and an allegiance for a country worth caring about. It also helps build a stronger economy with more job opportunities for more people.

In looking for ways America might be able to help curb religious extremism, sectarian strife, and refugee crises in the Middle East, our own political and religious leaders, as well as our fourth estate, would be wise to put some serious energy and compassion into helping Israel and Palestine end the Israel-Palestine conflict with a fully secular two state solution based on full respect for international law and universal human rights.

Anne Selden Annab

Israel should stop distractions, focus on peace

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

The Arab villages lost since Israel's war of independence - Guardian Interactive: ...Pre 1948 ...March 1948 ... May 1948 ...June 1948 ...Oct 1948 ...July 1949 ...Now

Remembering the Nakba: Israeli group puts 1948 Palestine back on the map Zochrot aims to educate Israeli Jews – through tours and a new phone app – about a history obscured by enmity and denial

Palestine adopts UN human rights treaties, becoming a formal party to five global treaties banning torture and racial discrimination, and protecting the rights of women, children and the disabled

Dr. Saeb Erekat: With Status Quo On Its Side, Israel Happily Rejects Peace

Palestinian Identity

A few examples of the separate — and often unequal — rules and standards for Israeli settlers and Palestinian civilians

New York Times: Why Abbas Reconciled With Hamas by

Weighing in... for Palestine (a poem)

Pro-Palestine, Pro-Peace, Pro-Israel.... productive, pragmatic and focused on what can actually help people

Sources ...a poem (for Palestine)

Middle East peace: The concrete proof of Israel’s opposition to a two-state solution - the construction of nearly 14,000 homes in occupied territories

Reactions to the new unity deal ... for Palestine

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. ... FINDING alternatives to conflict and revenge: The Forgiveness Project

Jordan's King honours winners of King Abdullah II Award for World Interfaith Harmony Week 2014

Palestinians signal willingness to continue peace talks

Abbas: New govt recognizes Israel and rejects violence

King hails outgoing UNRWA chief in Jordan

PBS: Six takes on the Palestinian unity deal

That is real cultural and educational leadership and integrity. It is principled, brave, intelligent and unflinching. It deserves only support, applause and emulation...

American Task Force on Palestine Springs Forward

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."

Growing Gardens for Palestine: "And it's up to all of us together"... a Spring poem for Palestine & peace

Peace Building ... civic muscle
  • 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

"The only way to honor our tragic histories is to create a future for our children free of man-made tragedy. This means making peace fully, completely and without reservation, between Israel and Palestine." American Task Force on Palestine's born in Jerusalem Dr. Ziad Asali: To honor a tragic history, we must work for peace 

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