Friday, May 23, 2014

My letter to the NYTimes RE Open a Middle Road to Mideast Peace by Dennis B. Ross

American Task Force on Palestine NEWS Holy Land prepares for papal visit
Two days before Pope Francis arrives in the Holy Land, Israelis and Palestinians were putting the finishing touches Thursday on a flurry of festive preparations for the visit.
RE: Open a Middle Road to Mideast Peace

Dear Editor,

Do we walk away from Mideast Peace?  Some always have, some always will- but many good and decent people world wide have been hoping for a just and lasting peace for both Israel and for Palestine, and doing all they can to help make that hope a reality. 

The proposal to end the Israel-Palestine conflict is already here, and has been.  It is a fully secular two state solution, shaping a fully sovereign Palestine living alongside an already sovereign Israel, with both Israel and Palestine respecting each other as well as fully respecting international law and universal human rights, including but not limited to true respect for the Palestinian refugees inalienable right to return to original homes and lands to live in peace.

Palestinian refugees must be free to return, but they should not be forced to return, nor should they be forced to hang in stateless limbo for yet another generation, with more and more native non-Jewish Palestinians pushed into poverty and forced exile by a Jews-preferred Israel controlling all the land and resources.

Palestinian families need justice and real freedom, including the freedom to make a new life where they want to live and work and pay their taxes and pledge allegiance.  Engaged citizenship where ever they might be has already helped formulate more inclusive and informative media coverage for Palestine and for peace here in America.

Jewish is a religion. Peace needs to be between Israel and Palestine: Tax payers (here and there) should not be forced to fund religious scholars and schemes. Dennis Ross might have good intentions, but American leadership should not be advising Palestinians or Israelis (or anyone one else who might be listening) to endorse and empower the idea that a person's religious identity is the best way to determine citizenship, entitlements, job opportunities, home ownership, security, and state subsidies.  Peace is and must be an ongoing project, with ALL people, ALL MEN, WOMEN and CHILDREN fully empowered to contribute regardless of their supposed race or religion.

Anne Selden Annab

"It is critically important to have a broad strategic vision of the future that embodies the values and aspirations of your people. And it is equally important to be able to project how you can see that vision being implemented in the short term. " James Zogby of AAI...

"Thinking about the future means we do not create "false idols" of the past or present. It means that we understand that we are human, subject to God's laws, and that we do not allow ourselves become so arrogant as to subject God to our own whims and fancy. It also requires that we reject the temptation to use means that contradict the very ends we seek to accomplish."

Connecting the dots: How We Stop the Next Boko Haram... Attacks on dissenting journalists show how scared Hezbollah really is... Maronite patriarch's Israel trip raises Hezbollah ire... Experts Outline Challenges, Propose Solutions for Gaza at ATFP-UNRWA Briefing

My letter PUBLISHED CSM May 19, 2014 The 'big-ticket questions, such as Palestinian sovereignty, claims to Jerusalem, and the "right of return" ' are very relevant to the day-to-day lives of Palestinians.

Christian exodus shadows papal visit to Holy Land

Pope Francis to visit The Holy Land: JORDAN hopes the visit will "push for achieving peace and stability in the region, including the Israeli-Palestinian peace process"

How do we want to define feminism in 2014?   In the first panel discussion at the second annual FORBES Women’s Summit this morning, a four-woman slate moderated by former Hewlett-Packard HPQ CEO Carly Fiorina, gave personal answers to Fiorina’s thoughtful questions. The conclusions: Women should reclaim the term and think of it as the struggle for gender equality, while looking to their own personal experience for strength....READ MORE

Miriam Awadallah, Intern at the American Task Force on Palestine: Assaf is Now My Idol: Sorry, Kanye West

Hussein Ibish: ADL Anti-Semitism survey has the potential to mislead

Religious Fact ... a poem in Growing Gardens for Palestine

"Laws are necessary but not sufficient for countering intolerance in individual attitudes. Intolerance is very often rooted in ignorance and fear: fear of the unknown, of the other, other cultures, nations, religions. Intolerance is also closely linked to an exaggerated sense of self-worth and pride, whether personal, national or religious. These notions are taught and learned at an early age. Therefore, greater emphasis needs to be placed on educating more and better. Greater efforts need to be made to teach children about tolerance and human rights, about other ways of life. Children should be encouraged at home and in school to be open-minded and curious."

"It is, of course, naïve to expect total reconciliation. Some grievances are so deep that the people who suffered them will never be satisfied. But the point is not satisfaction — the point is that the present is superior to the past, and it has to be cultivated as such."  Colum McCann  author of the novel “TransAtlantic” and a co-founder of Narrative 4, a global story exchange project

Visual map of how the Israeli ID system is stratified to limit democratic access to home ownership, security, services & participation in the polical system which creates and sustains the Israeli ID system

STAY CONNECTED... 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

UNITED NATIONS: International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 2014

American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) congratulates Arab America for the outstanding accomplishment in organizing a highly successful event that featured “Arab Idol” Mohammed Assaf and Lebanese vocalist Ziad Khoury on May 11 2014 ... in Growing Gardens for Palestine

850 Guests Attend Arab America "Ya Hal Arab" Event with Mohammed Assaf and Ziad Khoury  "Tonight we celebrate the unwavering Palestinian unity and determination to see a Palestinian homeland after more than 66 years of occupation!"

UN photo archive tells story of Palestinian exodus

"We Refuse to Be Enemies" a briefing call with Daoud Nassar, a Palestinian farmer

Reasonable voices & helpful resources ...America for Palestine MAY 2014

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

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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