Monday, July 21, 2014

My letter to the Guardian RE Enough. It's time for a boycott The best way to end the bloody occupation is to target Israel with the kind of movement that ended apartheid in South Africa

This weekend saw the deadliest days in Gaza. Over the past 24 hours, UNRWA has provided refuge to 85,000 internally displaced people in 67 UNRWA schools, with more expected to open throughout the day. But without immediate support, we are at risk of running out of emergency supplies, as soon as tomorrow. This would devastate an already traumatized and vulnerable population.
RE: Enough. It's time for a boycott The best way to end the bloody occupation is to target Israel with the kind of movement that ended apartheid in South Africa

Dear Editor,

The best way to actually end the bloody occupation is with a negotiated two state end to the Israel-Palestine conflict, with full respect for international law and universal human rights shaping two separate fully secular nation states, one called Israel and one called Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.

Mainstream outreach everywhere is crucial in order to achieve this goal, specifically diplomatic mainstream outreach is crucial.  

Right now Palestine has a huge PR problem.

According to a recent Pew Research Poll As Mideast Violence Continues: "Currently, 51% of Americans say that in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, they sympathize more with Israel. Just 14% sympathize more with the Palestinians, while 15% volunteer that they sympathize with neither side and 3% sympathize with both."

What is most shocking to me about that poll is the graph showing support during the years 1978-2014, where it is clear that support for Israel is rising, and support for Palestine is falling.  One would think with the internet and the global information age breaking America's mainstream media's stranglehold on the conversation there would be a surge of support for Palestine. 

What went wrong?

Why are Palestine's calls for freedom and justice impossible for most Americans to understand?  

I suspect a failure to really think things through makes many of the loudest and most persistent, popular activists "for Palestine" not quite as helpful or as heroic as they might appear.  Grassroots campaigns that might have helped persuade more Americans to understand the very real plight of the Palestinians often end up being podiums for Zionist propagandists to make their point.  

Popular 'pro-Palestine' memes and alerts and petitions appeal emotionally to a small group of people who already care deeply about Palestine, but they are most certainly perceived differently by different people, and they can have unexpected negative ramifications for Palestinians, swatting away American support rather than adding into positive momentum for Palestine.

With the internet has come the algorithm, which means the more you click on a page the more likely it will be at the top of a search, making it appear to be important. When it comes to Palestine, quite often reasonable voices and winning arguments get pushed out of view.

Boycott campaigns really should proceed VERY very carefully, always mindful that the real goal is a just and lasting peace for the people of Palestine and the people of Israel.

Anne Selden Annab

MSNBC Video: Who supports Hamas? Nearly 300 Palestinians have died in the conflict between Hamas and Israel as both sides trade rockets and the blame. But who supports Hamas? Ziad Asali discusses.

To Stay or Stray ... a poem by Anne Selden Annab

BBC News: Iraqi Christians are fleeing Mosul after Islamist militants threatened to kill them unless they converted to Islam or paid a "protection tax"
In All Honesty ... a poem
Side by Side: Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine... "An eye-opening—and inspiring—new approach to thinking about one of the world’s most deeply entrenched conflicts"
ATFP Panel on Israeli-Palestinian War in a New Regional Landscape... & a firm call for an immediate ceasefire
  USAToday Palestine occupied by Islamism as much as Israel: Political Islamists push out legitimate Muslim groups and contribute to regional dysfunction.

UN agency says Gaza destruction 'immense'

Balt Sun: Unemployment, poverty at the root of Israeli-Palestinian conflict [Letter] by Roger Lawson


What Israel and Hamas are really trying to accomplish in Gaza... "The sole purpose of this war with Israel is to force Egypt to change its policies"

Palestinians die in the most cynical of all military games

Syrian refugees, sectarian tensions endanger Lebanon

Thousands of Palestinians seek safe refuge at U.N. offices in Gaza
UN security council calls for Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire: Statement expresses 'serious concern regarding crisis related to Gaza and protection and welfare of civilians'
Gaza bloodshed spirals as world powers plead for ceasefire

"I have yet to meet a refugee who wanted to be a refugee and even less so, who wished to remain a refugee. Palestine refugees are no different. Their call for a just and lasting solution to their plight must be heard." UNWRA's Pierre Krähenbühl on World Refugee Day

America/Israel/Palestine 1776

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

Normalizing Intelligent Conversations, Diplomatic Support, and Hope for Palestine: American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP)

The American Task Force on Palestine supports Palestinian institution-building, good governance, anti-corruption measures, economic development, and improved living standards. ATFP holds that these same values are relevant to the broader Arab world, and that the question of Palestine is inextricably linked to regional realities and developments.

ATFP provides an independent voice for Palestinian-Americans and their supporters and advances human rights and peace. It categorically and unequivocally condemns all violence against civilians, no matter the cause and who the victims or perpetrators may be.

ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians
July 8, 2014, Washington, DC -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today called on Israel and the Palestinians to de-escalate as quickly as possible from an increasingly explosive situation and a moment of grave peril. Major airstrikes on Gaza have killed numerous Palestinians, reportedly including several children, today while another heavy barrage of rocket fire from Gaza was launched towards southern Israel, and at least one rocket being reportedly shot down over Tel Aviv. Today's violence comes in the context of tit-for-tat killings of, and attacks on, Israeli and Palestinian teenagers in Jerusalem, widespread tensions in the West Bank, and even growing unrest among Palestinian citizens of Israel.

ATFP called on all sides to demonstrate leadership and to take immediate and concrete actions to de-escalate the growing conflict and refrain from inflammatory rhetoric. ATFP urged all parties to consider the negative consequences of similar conflagrations in the past, and recall that they did not benefit either side, militarily or politically, but caused the deaths of countless innocent civilians, enormous destruction of property, and widespread and lasting misery. ATFP urged President Barack Obama and the rest of the international community to use their good offices to ensure that all prospects for resolving the crisis are fully explored.

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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