Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My letter to the Washington Post RE On Mideast, a hopeful dialogue

Good quote from Maya Angelou... may she rest in peace.  In 2006, Maya Angelou recorded a reading for the commemoration of Rachel Corrie's life on the third anniversary of Rachel's tragic death: Maya Angelou Reads Rachel Corrie's Email
RE: On Mideast, a hopeful dialogue by David Ignatius

Dear Editor,

Ignatius is inching towards understanding the Israel-Palestine conflict... but he is not there yet, and his analysis reflects that. One can phrase the same basic thing multiple ways, and end up with very different meanings, and very different advice: Palestinians have been calling for Israel to withdraw. They are ignored by Ignatius. Instead Ignatius features an Israeli, and an Israeli “Plan B” if other negotiating options fail.

The Israeli "Plan B" Ignatius promotes in his column rewards Israelis who foolishly chose to move into Israel's Jews-only housing extravaganzas and "neighborhoods" in the illegally occupied territories.  These Israelis have been enjoying the comfort of subsidized housing, job opportunities, freedom and security provided by the state of Israel. The Palestinians have not.  These Israelis might or might not believe that Israel's "Plan A" is to continue to violate international law and the Palestinians basic human rights, usurping as much Palestinian land as possible, and continuing to oppress the native non-Jewish Palestinians, pushing as many as possible into poverty, exile and despair. 

Arabs agreeing that "that Abdullah’s peace initiative should be seen as a framework for discussions, rather than a diktat to the Israelis, and that issues such as borders, the status of refugees and Jerusalem must be negotiated between the parties" are not saying that Israel is free to turn basic human rights into bargaining chips.

Negotiations must be a way to agree on how best to fully respect international law and universal basic human rights- for everyone's sake.

Abbas' welcome speech to Pope Francis the other day in Bethlehem is good food for thought, if you dare really listen:  " We take this historic opportunity of your presence among us today to send a message of peace to our Israeli neighbors by saying: come and make peace based on truth, justice, equality, and mutual respect. Your work for the good of your people to live in prosperity, peace, and stability is the exact same thing that we strive for. " Palestine's Abbas calls on pope to support Palestinian struggle: "Your visit today carries all the symbolism that your name and holiness hold as a defender of the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized. Your visit represents a call for peace during your pilgrimage to the land of Palestine, the land of love and peace."

Sensible people learn to research, and think things through. 

Anne Selden Annab
American Homemaker & Poet

Have you taken action yet to condemn the destruction at the Nassar family farm?

Middle East Peace

Palestine: Residential buildings with old windows in Nablus. Photos by Ayman Nobani/WAFA.

Palestine's Abbas welcomes Pope Francis to Bethlehem, calls on pope to support Palestinian struggle: "Your visit today carries all the symbolism that your name and holiness hold as a defender of the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized. Your visit represents a call for peace during your pilgrimage to the land of Palestine, the land of love and peace."

Full text of Pope Francis' speech at the Palestinian president palace... "I can only express my profound hope that all will refrain from initiatives and actions which contradict the stated desire to reach a true agreement, and that peace will be pursued with tireless determination and tenacity. Peace will bring countless benefits for the peoples of this region and for the world as a whole."

LATIMES: Pope Francis calls on Israel, Palestinians to back two-state solution

SAVE THE DATE! American Task Force on Palestine 2014 Annual Gala, Tuesday, Nov. 18... Washington DC

Daoud Kuttab: Pope Francis exceeds expectations for Palestinians

"Words matter, and words of support are crucial to the success of any international and diplomatic project. Palestinians just got an enormous boost from Pope Francis, who underlined – particularly for the Israelis – the strong international expectation that there will indeed be a state of Palestine in the foreseeable future." Hussein Ibish of ATFP

"We were trying to take the Christian message and teachings and juxtapose them with the current situation, to help us think through what has happened over the last 66 years," Museum director John Persekian

POPE FRANCIS Pilgrimage.... So That They May Be One: The unity of Christians is a message of unity for all humanity, called to overcome the divisions of the past and march forward together towards a future of justice, peace, reconciliation, pardon and fraternal love.

Israeli and Palestinian Leaders [invited] to Meet With Pope at Vatican... Francis took the unexpected step in Bethlehem, where he became the first pontiff ever to fly directly into the West Bank and to refer to the Israeli-occupied territory as the “State of Palestine.”

"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

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?

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

"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."

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

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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