Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I expect Israel to respect and protect the rights of all children, Palestinian and Israeli.... Urge your Members of Congress to join Representative Betty McCollum in signing the letter to Secretary of State John Kerry asking the State Department to make the human rights of Palestinian children a priority in the United States’ relationship with Israel.

In February UNICEF shared the details of their ongoing dialogue with Israeli authorities about the rights of children in military detention. Dialogue is a positive first step, however as long as Palestinian children continue to be arrested and detained by an Israeli military system that violates their basic human rights more must be done.

My letter to the Guardian RE A cross to bear: the vanishing Christians of the Middle East

A funeral in Deir Abu Hennis, Egypt, where many of the inhabitants have never left the village (July 2012). Photograph: Linda Dorigo
RE A cross to bear: the vanishing Christians of the Middle East

Dear Editor,

Framing the current tragedy and burgeoning refugee crisis in the Middle East as America's fault for invading Iraq is easy, but not entirely true- and not at all helpful... Right now Islamist militants and their supporters and apologists are FULLY to blame for impoverishing the region and exasperating intolerance, cruelty and corruption. 

Life is local: Israel's example of flourishing economically while actively usurping Palestinian land and refusing to respect the Palestinian refugees inalienable right to return to original homes and lands because Israel wants to be a "Jewish" democracy has a huge influence on people in the region, who like people everywhere on planet earth, simply want to survive. 

Israel's refusal to respect international law and universal human rights should not be ignored.  Nor should the vital necessity of a fairly negotiated settlement to shape a fully secular sovereign and free  Palestinian state to live alongside and with a fully secular already sovereign Israel. Ending the Israel/Palestine conflict ASAP would go a long way towards empowering decency, dignity and better investments of time, money, and emotion, so that all the people of the region can move forward away from perpetual war and sectarian strife.

Anne Selden Annab