Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My letter to Newsweek's Jeff Stein RE Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?

NEWSWEEK: Dr. Mubarak Awad in his office on August 7, 2014 in Washington, D.C. photo by "Awad came to pacifism through violence. His father was killed by Jewish fighters during Israel’s war for independence in 1948 when he was 5, but his mother counseled him to turn the other cheek. “She told me, ‘The one who killed your father did not know he was leaving me a widow with seven children to raise.’ She said, ‘Please don’t take revenge on your father, don’t kill anyone, don’t ever destroy a human life.’"...READ MORE
Dear Jeff Stein,

I liked your article Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?  It was surprisingly honest about the very real plight of the Palestinians.

Mubarak Awad sounds like a very admirable and interesting Palestinian-American, and it was good of you to point out his work advocating non-violence.  All in all it really was a very good article BUT I think your lead up to the excellent quote by Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, is not really fair or informative as ATFP clearly promotes non-violence to end the conflict, and from what I have seen of Ibish's brilliant essays he is not giving up on Palestine and peace.

You say in Where is the Palestinian Gandhi? "Many longtime observers think his [Mubarak Awad's nonviolent] strategy is, at best, way too late. “Even if most Palestinians [were] convinced of the virtues of nonviolent resistance, it’s likely that there will be small groups who are still committed to violence and will take the opportunity to act on a provocation” from Israeli forces, says Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, a private group that advocates a two-state solution to the 60-year-long struggle. “This will then justify an even more harsh Israeli crackdown, and the vicious circle will be in full effect.”"

While it is true that many long term observers do think it is way too late for non-violence, Ibish does not succumb to such pessimism. He and his colleagues at ATFP have been working tirelessly to promote diplomacy and negotiations: ATFP clearly, vehemently, and frequently condemns Palestinian violence, Israeli violence, and Islamist violence. It is part of their very noble mission: ATFP "categorically and unequivocally condemns all violence against civilians, no matter the cause and who the victims or perpetrators may be."

Anne Selden Annab
American homemaker & poet & letter writing blogger & a very big fan of ATFP

Normalizing Intelligent Conversations, Diplomatic Support, and Hope for Palestine: ATFP Panel on Israeli-Palestinian War in a New Regional Landscape... & a firm call for an immediate ceasefire

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