Friday, September 5, 2014

RECRUIT ... a poem

Israeli soldiers set fire to olive trees in Hebron Ma'an News 05/09/2014: Jewish settlers routinely threaten and harass local Palestinians in Hebron's Old City in an effort to force them to hand over their properties for the expansion of Jewish settlements.


The crazies
take religion,
make it mean

as in cruel.

The crazies
want your kids
want your kids
want your world
want you

to hate...

to become killer or killed.

The crazies
in a global globbing
of Islamic State/Israel/Leila Khaled


Lure the weak
and tortured
lure the concerned
lure the kind
lure the compassionate
lure the sensitive
lure the naive
lure the hurt
lure the brutes
into fiery sermons
and excuses...

Become killer or killed.

It is an international
action adventure...

Wordsmiths here forge
and glinting swords there
behead the journalists.

The crazies
want you
to be momentum
making empathy into war.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

For all its empty boasting, Hamas’s strategy of armed struggle has once again been exposed as not merely a dead-end for securing Palestinian rights, but a disaster.

USA Today Cartoon August 2014
Palestinian women look at the shattered remains of a building complex that was destroyed by Israel this month. The best form of resistance to such brutality is non-violent, argues Hussein Ibish. (AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT)
"Although in the West it is sometimes thought Palestinians mainly refer to militants as “martyrs,” in fact they define everyone who perishes in the conflict with Israel as a martyr. The term has traditionally been used indiscriminately, including everyone from babies killed in their sleep to suicide bombers.

Not only is there no need to dispense with the concept of martyrdom in the Palestinian cause. There is a crying need to clarify the term and strictly apply it to those who willingly risk – and unfortunately who will have to also give – their own lives for freedom without trying to harm others. Those who damage the Palestinian cause through counterproductive violence should be excluded from this honorific. But so, too, should random victims.

Martyrdom status should instead be reserved for those who actually act like martyrs and who step forward to accept injury or death, without evil intent towards anyone else, in order to free their people from outrageous oppression.

Religious leaders, especially, and other Palestinian opinion-shapers, would be key figures in a conscious, coordinated and sustained campaign for as long as it takes to change the way martyrdom is understood in Palestinian society.

Is this an absurd pipe-dream? Possibly. But there is no other way to successfully unleash the massive power potentially at the disposal of the Palestinian people. Israel would have no effective answer to a campaign of non-violence, and the power-dynamics between the occupier and occupied would be totally upended..."  HUSSEIN IBISH of ATFP, September 2, 2014


Monday, September 1, 2014

My letter to the Wash Post RE On growing up in Ferguson and Palestine By Naomi Shihab Nye

Winged Victory. Detail from the statue 161-69.A.D. Vatican museum.
RE On growing up in Ferguson and Palestine

Dear Editor,

's mother's advice “Be your best self” is perfect advice, for any child, and any conscientious writer attempting to influence public opinion about current events in hopes that eventually more people will be more willing to help shape a more enlightened and compassionate conversation producing a more enlightened and compassionate world with real freedom, justice, job opportunities, decent wages, respect and security for more and more people, regardless of supposed race or religion.

"Be your best self" takes huge courage and honesty, and diplomatic skills.  I think a good example of "Be your best self" effort is the American Task Force on Palestine's Hussein Ibish and his tireless work to help convince Americans to support a two state solution to once and for all end the Israel-Palestine conflict, for everyone's sake.

Ibish's most recent op-ed  Palestinians Must Redefine Martyrdom for Nonviolent Resistance, wisely concludes that "Martyrdom status should instead be reserved for those who actually act like martyrs and who step forward to accept injury or death, without evil intent towards anyone else, in order to free their people from outrageous oppression."

Seems to me the main thing the people of Ferguson and the people of Palestine have in common, other than the alluring poet, is that they need jobs and a way out of poverty.  They need state building efforts whereby every citizen has a chance to live in peace and security. There are many factors that can make things better or worse. For instance, here in America, the rule of fair and just laws can only go so far- in an age of global corporations with CEOs amassing colossal personal fortunes while their workers lucky enough to have a living wage haven't had a raise in years can not help but impoverish all local communities. 

Anne Selden Annab

US urges Israel to reverse appropriation of land for West Bank settlement: Israel has claimed almost 1,000 acres near Bethlehem, in a move Palestinians say will only increase tension

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

Vatican Urges Muslim Leaders To Condemn The Islamic State Formerly Known As ISIS

The Real Middle East Crisis Is Economic "While Western observers focus on political issues in the Middle East, people in the region are themselves preoccupied with economic matters"

NYTimes: Resisting Nazis, He Saw Need for Israel. Now He Is Its Critic.

Dean Obeidallah in The Daily Beast: Searching for a Palestinian Dr. King

There Are Clues

Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?

What we found was that there has been a continued erosion in the favorable ratings Americans have of both Arabs and Muslims, posing a threat to the civil rights and political inclusion of both Arab Americans and American Muslims.

"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

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

Ziad Asali
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

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