Friday, August 1, 2014

My letter to the Washington Post RE UNWRA & "The controversial UN agency that found rockets in its Gaza schools "

Folke Bernadotte, the first official mediator in the United Nation's history: Born January 2, 1895 Stockholm, Sweden. Assassinated September 17th 1948 (aged 53) in Jerusalem
RE The controversial UN agency that found rockets in its Gaza schools

Dear Editor,

US Congressmen are foolish to be trusting Israeli advice on UNWRA.  Islamists and Israel are both in the wrong, and they are both making the very real plight of the Palestinians much worse.

Tax payers here and there should not be coerced into funding religious preferences and religious fantasies- and religious war.  Nations and neighborhoods and NGOs should be nurturing golden rule thinking and fair and just policies- for everyone's sake, not just coreligionists.  A fully secular two state solution shaping two fully sovereign, fully secure, fully free nation states, one called Israel and one called Palestine, to once and for all end the Israel-Palestine conflict ASAP is in everyone's best interests. 

Established in 1949 UNWRA's "mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. " (An UNRWA historic moment: UNRWA Commissioner-General briefing to the UN Security Council 31 July 2014)

Chris Gunness's twitter profile sums up perfectly who he is, and why he is worth following: "UNRWA Spokesman advocating passionately for Palestine refugees to enjoy all their rights to the full, including the right to a just and durable solution."   I admire him immensely, but not being very twitter savvy did not even know I could follow him on twitter until I started to do a little research to write this letter objecting to the very VERY slanted and misleading article "The controversial UN agency that found rockets in its Gaza schools "

Back to my main point: Following the shocking horrors of the Nazi Holocaust, the United Nations gathered representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world to draft the carefully and thoughtfully crafted Universal Declaration of Human Rights which sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected: "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world" Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 1945 a noble man named Folke Bernadotte succeeded in rescuing 15,000 people from German concentration camps- in 1948 Folke Bernadotte became the first official mediator in the United Nation's history.

Folke Bernadotte pointed out that "it would be an offense against the principles of justice if those innocent victims [Palestinians] could not return to their home while immigrants flowed into Palestine to take their place"

United Nations Mediator Folke Bernadotte was murdered on Friday 17 September 1948 by members of the armed Jewish Zionist group Lehi (commonly known as the Stern Gang or Stern Group).

December 11, 1948 The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 194 (III), resolving that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date...

There would be no UNWRA today if Israel had respected the Palestinian refugees right to return to live in peace.  Time plus Jews-preferred Israel's continuing persecution and forced displacement of the native non-Jewish population of historic Palestine has swelled the number of official Palestinian refugees, as well as the number of those who are also in forced exile but not registered as official refugees. 

The real controversy is not that UNWRA exists, but that Israel refuses to respect international law and the Palestinians basic human rights.

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.

Anne Selden Annab

If a problem ever seems too big, too insurmountable, remember Nelson Mandela's words: "It always seems impossible until it's done."

One Sorrow ... a poem

This Week in Palestine SOCIAL MEDIA: How do we move from “preaching to the choir” to communication with a wider audience that leads to more understanding, empathy, and behaviours in concert with our plight for self-determination and an end to the Israeli occupation?

The Solution to Middle East Chaos ... American Task Force on Palestine: Categorically and unequivocally condemning all violence against civilians, no matter the cause and who the victims or perpetrators may be

Palestinians in Gaza

"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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