Friday, October 17, 2014

My letter to the NYTimes RE Room for Debate: Should Nations Recognize a Palestinian State?

Pro-Palestinian supporters position a giant banner calling for a recognised Palestinian State, in Parliament Square, central London on October 13, 2014 (AFP Photo/Leon Neal)
RE: Recognition’s Diplomatic Leverage Could Strengthen Palestinian Rights

Dear Editor,

Delighted, and relieved, to see NYTimes Room for Debate asking if nations should recognize a Palestinian state, especially because crucial points were made such as pointing out that  "The Palestinian right to self determination, according to the United Nations, includes, aside from national sovereignty, “the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted.”  " (Omar Barghouti - Recognition of a Palestinian State Without Full Rights Is Meaningless)

I agree with Nadia Hijab that you can't go wrong with rights!  But I think one can go wrong, very very wrong with one state activism.  One state is an empty promise with no real foundations, no workable plan, and no serious mainstream international support.   One state errs the same way Israel errs- by ignoring important UN Resolutions.

Day by day, year after year, decade after decade, as long as the Israel-Palestine conflict continues, Palestinian individuals are being further disenfranchised by Israeli antics, as well as by misguided  'pro-Palestine' activists (including agent provocateurs) who scorn diplomacy and sabotage support for Palestinian state building efforts...  Many 'pro-Palestine' activists like to dwell on generous U.S. aid to Israel, as if that is the only reason Israel is able to build and defend its Jews-only settlements in the illegally occupied territories, but these 'pro-Palestine' activists foolishly ignore massive U.S. aid to Palestinians, not only more recent state building efforts but also to UNWRA, The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees the relief and human development agency, established in 1948 which has helped keep Palestinian men, women and children from dying of hunger and thirst. 

Furthermore, many stateless Palestinians have been welcomed to America with full and equal rights and good job opportunities.  Diplomacy helps keep that door open for now, as well as for future generations.

Avital Leibovich, Israel's director of the Jerusalem office of the Jewish advocacy group AJC, has a good point that Only Negotiations Can Lead to Palestinian Statehood and she is right to point out that "A future Palestinian state will need to ensure the safety of its citizens and the security of its contiguous neighbors. A Palestinian government that cannot disarm Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups will not be able to provide that protection. " She is right to worry about Islamists (we all should be worried) and she is also right to conclude by asking if the Middle East needs another failed state.

Richard Ottaway states the obvious in realizing that a Vote to Recognize a Palestinian State Is a Wakeup Call for Israel ... I think it should also be a wakeup call for Palestinians and their supporters. Do you want Palestine to be a rally cry for Islamists and religious tyranny, or do you want Palestine to be a real nation state, a fully sovereign and free nation state of the people, for the people and by the people with fair and just laws and a future living alongside and with Israel in peace and security:  A fully secular two state solution firmly rooted in international law with full respect for universal human rights is the best way forward.

As American Task Force on Palestine's astute
Ziad Asali (who was born in Jerusalem) says in his inspiring essay

Anne Selden Annab


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

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Citizens of the Earth

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UN report spotlights 'staggering' Islamic State atrocities in Iraq... "The group, which is fighting in Iraq and Syria, has carried out a wide range of atrocities, including mass executions, abductions, rape and other forms of sexual and physical violence against women and children"

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ATFP... American Task Force on Palestine

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International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 2014

UNRWA photo and film archive for Palestine refugees

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It's time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace... It's time for freedom from occupation... It's time for equal rights.... It's time for the healing of wounded souls..... World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel: "Let my people go!"... 21 - 27 September 2014 An initiative of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches

Palestinian Refugees (1948-NOW) refused their right to return... and their right to live in peace free from religious bigotry and injustice.


Time and time again I have watched the cycle of incitement and spin sabotage support for Palestine

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Live by the Golden Rule

An Anne Frank Moment ... a poem by Anne Selden Annab

"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?

1940s: The United Nations General Assembly adopts 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, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”

America/Israel/Palestine 1776
America/Israel/Palestine 1948: 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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