Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My letter to the NYTimes RE Dear Guests Revelations in the Gaza War by Thomas L Friedman

Speak, Bird, Speak Again: Palestinian Arab Folktales, selected on the basis of their popularity and the excellence of their narration from approximately two hundred tales collected on cassette tapes between 1978 and 1980 in various parts of Palestine—the Galilee (since 1948 part of the state of Israel), the West Bank, and Gaza.

RE Dear Guests Revelations in the Gaza War by Thomas L Friedman

Dear Editor,

"What struck me most, though, was the craftsmanship — the way all the prefab concrete pieces were perfectly designed and fit together. This tunnel took years and millions of dollars to build and required diverting massive resources from civilian roads, buildings and schools."

In 2007 newly elected Hamas Islamists demanded that the book "Speak, Bird, Speak Again: Palestinian Arab Folktales" be pulled from Gaza school libraries and destroyed. Islamists are obviously not freedom fighters, nor are they state builders.

If only it was someone other than Thomas L Friedman, well known for his pro-Israel spin, pointing out the facts about the tunnels and that " The third pillar of the Iran/Hezbollah/Hamas strategy is: Israel must forever occupy Palestinians in the West Bank because the perpetuation of that colonial occupation is essential for delegitimizing and isolating Israel on the world stage — especially among young Westerners — and energizing Muslims against Israel."

I say if only it was someone other than
Thomas L Friedman because his history of being so pro-Israel makes it too easy for pro-Palestine intellectuals and activists to ignore and dismiss what he has to say, and right now, rather than empowering efforts and negotiations to actually end the Israel-Palestine conflict with a two state solution in line with international law and fully respecting universal human rights, too many pro-Palestine intellectuals and activists have been led astray into one-state activism.  I speak from experience. If you care about Palestine it is very easy to get swept up by the cynicism and the rage and one sided stories that tend to escalate the Israel-Palestine conflict. 

Anti-Israel activists, anti-Palestine activists, and Islamists are all thriving on the continuation of the Israel-Palestine conflict. I am not so sure about the Iran part in all of this, because in today's world sovereign governments are not necessarily as free or as motivated to pour endless funds and energy into nefarious projects as wealthy non-state organizations and individuals are- for instance Sheldon Adelson, casino magnate and 8th richest person in the world who invests heavily in Israel's illegal settlement projects. Minus a fully free press and [fully accountable] fourth estate to ferret out facts, it is hard for anyone in the Middle East to know how many wealthy Arab and Muslim versions of Sheldon Adelson invest in Islamist enterprises.

Furthermore, one does not even need huge amounts of money to find a podium on the internet, spinning one sided stories and tweets to distract distraught people away from supporting the political process and diplomatic efforts needed to actually end the Israel-Palestine conflict with a just and lasting peace.

American Task Force on Palestine's senior fellow,
Hussein Ibish, a brilliant clear headed thinker adept at big picture thinking wisely points out in a recent very telling op-ed about ISIS : "As Arab state disintegration and systemic failure continues to metastasize, ISIS and similar groups are a mortal peril. They not only bring death and destruction, mayhem and chaos, and the worst kind of vicious obscurantist rule imaginable, they threaten to replace the existing state system with substate actors that are autonomous criminal gangs ruling over little fiefdoms – the Hezbollah and Hamas model writ large and spreading fast, but in a much more savage and extreme form. The Arab world has entered into a growing phase of terrorist warlordism. It's a calamity hitherto unimaginable.

Anne Selden Annab

Atef Abu Saif: Life and Death in the Gaza Strip

"This is a time of national crisis, I will be honest with you, that does require commitment to non-violence of the kind that would give everyone the time needed to rebuild, to unify, but at the same time to agree with Israel and the world on a date certain for ending the occupation." Palestine's Salam Fayyad

ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians - See more at:
ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians - See more at:
ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians - See more at:
ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians - See more at:
ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians

UPDATE: American Task Force on Palestine Advocacy Efforts During the Ongoing Tragic Hostilities : As tragic and appalling hostilities erupted again between Israelis and Palestinians, the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) engaged in intensive advocacy efforts to call for an immediate cease-fire to save lives and spare the innocent. On July 8th, ATFP issued a formal press release calling for de-escalation between Israel and the Palestinians...READ MORE

"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

Emanating from the conviction of the Arab countries that a military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties, the council:

1. Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well.
2. Further calls upon Israel to affirm:
I- Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.
II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194.
III- The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following:
I- Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region.
II- Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.

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"

"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

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

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