Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My letter to the NYTimes RE The Righteous Among the Gazans: A Palestinian Saved My Life By Nimrod Nir

The American Task Force on Palestine's mission is to advocate for a negotiated end-of-conflict agreement that is in the American national interest and allows for two states, Israel and Palestine, to live side-by-side in peace and security.
RE: The Righteous Among the Gazans: A Palestinian Saved My Life

Dear Editor,

It was good to see "The Righteous Among the Gazans: A Palestinian Saved My Life". I thought his op-ed was very noble, generous, and helpful, but for one very important point:  Nir tells readers that "Because governments are only as strong as the peoples’ support for them, the only way to end the bloodshed is to renew dialogue between the peoples rather than the leaders".  Reading that I can not help but think hmmm.... BEWARE: There have been decades of dialogue and gazillions of compassionate acts, as well as intelligent insights, but what is really needed right now to end the Israel-Palestine conflict is full respect for international law and universal human rights.

Government leadership as well as religious leadership most certainly do have huge influence on how many people think, in many ways. Both official speeches and informal sermons provide talking points as well as a tone. Laws passed as well as policies promoted shape everyday life for the people being governed, and for their neighbors. Governments dominated by religious fanatics, demographically obsessed bigots and war mongers can be very powerful, and such a government can easily force all citizens to pay homage as well as tax money to a preferred official religion, which in turn perpetuates and empowers a government dominated by religious fanatics plus their favorite cronies. The rule of fair and just laws suffers, and so do many innocent people who have no way to escape, and very little chance of being heard.

Furthermore, when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict, Israelis and Palestinians are not the only ones involved shaping the conversation. World wide people who know about the Israel-Palestine conflict tend to be vehemently either pro-Israel or pro-Palestine. Money is made, books are sold, charities fund raise, and now with the internet web sites can get ad dollars plus donations, and echo chambers totally exasperate hostilities as angst, rage, righteous indignation and organized campaigns on all sides inspire and influence various people in various ways. 

Here in America people can't even agree on it being tit-for tat, or one state or two. Given more time left unresolved there will only be more points to argue about, with more shame blame and bully tweets, posts, diatribes and rants polluting the conversation at every turn. 

I am hoping that an upcoming American Task Force on Palestine press briefing helps generate a more civilized and compassionate public dialogue here in America, with a firm focus on the bigger picture, political realities, international law, and the vital importance of ending the Israel-Palestine conflict ASAP with a Palestinian state living alongside Israel in peace, security and dignity.

Anne Selden Annab

America/Israel/Palestine 1776

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

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.
"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

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 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.

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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