Friday, May 2, 2014
Why Two-States? American, Palestinian and Jewish Voices for Justice, Security and Dignity in the Middle East
What does a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict look like? How can dignity and security be restored to Palestinians and Jews on the ground in the Middle East? Americans for Peace Now Campus Outreach Manager Aaron Mann, The American Task Force on Palestine Youth Outreach Coordinator Tala Haikal and J Street U Mid-Atlantic Campus Organizer Andrew Gordon-Kirsch will speak to how their work addresses these key questions and more. Join Vassar students for an honest discussion with three leading Washington-based organizations who share a vision of two states for two peoples.
A conversation with
Tala Haikal, The American Task Force on Palestine;
Aaron Mann, Americans for Peace Now; and
Andrew Gordon-Kirsch, J Street U
***Thursday, May 01, 2014
“We really wanted to show that it’s possible to have a conversation about this issue that’s productive, pragmatic and focused on what could actually help people,” Boxerman said. “We believe that via the two-state solution, you are being pro-Israel, pro-Palestine and pro-peace.”
Ghaith al-Omari, an executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine: “You can’t deal with this conflict by denying the other...”
“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 neighbourhood 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 concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.” Eleanor Roosevelt, “In Our Hands” (1958 speech delivered on the tenth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
The concept of human rights acknowledges that every single human being is entitled to enjoy his or her human rights without distinction as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
The following are some of the most important characteristics of human rights:
- Human rights are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each person;
- Human rights are universal, meaning that they are applied equally and without discrimination to all people;
- Human rights are inalienable, in that no one can have his or her human rights taken away; they can be limited in specific situations (for example, the right to liberty can be restricted if a person is found guilty of a crime by a court of law);
- Human rights are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent, for the reason that it is insufficient to respect some human rights and not others. In practice, the violation of one right will often affect respect for several other rights.
- All human rights should therefore be seen as having equal importance and of being equally essential to respect for the dignity and worth of every person.
Article 1 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
- 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.