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Unless you are open to seeing another point of view, this site is not for you. Shame on our Media, we don't show the facts, what's wrong with our sense of Justice? My view focuses on building cohesive societies where no one has to live in fear of the other.

MESSAGES

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Mike Ghouse

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Desmond Tutu to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine

The truth is one, no matter where it comes from or who says it.  I could not believe my eyes, when I read this appeal by Bishop Desmond Tutu.  So many sentences, thoughts and paragraphs are identical to mine in the following pieces I wrote a few weeks ago:

Do we fault Religion or the individual for the Gaza Crisis?
http://thearabdailynews.com/2014/08/06/fault-religion-individual-gaza-crisis/

Sanity Prayers for Jewish and Muslim Americans
http://foundationforpluralism.blogspot.com/2014/08/sanity-prayers-for-american-jews-and.html

Israel Palestine: Call for Accountability for the massacre of 1900 Civilians
http://thearabdailynews.com/2014/08/07/holding-obama-netanyahu-mashaal-accountable-massacres/

 Light a candle
http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/2014/08/light-candle-and-light-spirituality-in.html

White House petition
http://wh.gov/luT9U

Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net 

Desmond Tutu to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine - http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.610687

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land.

The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.

If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.

A quarter of a century ago, I participated in some well-attended demonstrations against apartheid. I never imagined we’d see demonstrations of that size again, but last Saturday’s turnout in Cape Town was as big if not bigger. Participants included young and old, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, blacks, whites, reds and greens ... as one would expect from a vibrant, tolerant, multicultural nation.
I asked the crowd to chant with me: “We are opposed to the injustice of the illegal occupation of Palestine. We are opposed to the indiscriminate killing in Gaza. We are opposed to the indignity meted out to Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. We are opposed to violence perpetrated by all parties. But we are not opposed to Jews.”

Earlier in the week, I called for the suspension of Israel from the International Union of Architects, which was meeting in South Africa.
 
I appealed to Israeli sisters and brothers present at the conference to actively disassociate themselves and their profession from the design and construction of infrastructure related to perpetuating injustice, including the separation barrier, the security terminals and checkpoints, and the settlements built on occupied Palestinian land.

“I implore you to take this message home: Please turn the tide against violence and hatred by joining the nonviolent movement for justice for all people of the region,” I said.

Over the past few weeks, more than 1.6 million people across the world have signed onto this movement by joining an Avaaz campaign calling on corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation and/or implicated in the abuse and repression of Palestinians to pull out. The campaign specifically targets Dutch pension fund ABP; Barclays Bank; security systems supplier G4S; French transport company Veolia; computer company Hewlett-Packard; and bulldozer supplier Caterpillar.

Last month, 17 EU governments urged their citizens to avoid doing business in or investing in illegal Israeli settlements.

The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.

If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.

A quarter of a century ago, I participated in some well-attended demonstrations against apartheid. I never imagined we’d see demonstrations of that size again, but last Saturday’s turnout in Cape Town was as big if not bigger. Participants included young and old, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, blacks, whites, reds and greens ... as one would expect from a vibrant, tolerant, multicultural nation.
I asked the crowd to chant with me: “We are opposed to the injustice of the illegal occupation of Palestine. We are opposed to the indiscriminate killing in Gaza. We are opposed to the indignity meted out to Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. We are opposed to violence perpetrated by all parties. But we are not opposed to Jews.”

Earlier in the week, I called for the suspension of Israel from the International Union of Architects, which was meeting in South Africa.
 
I appealed to Israeli sisters and brothers present at the conference to actively disassociate themselves and their profession from the design and construction of infrastructure related to perpetuating injustice, including the separation barrier, the security terminals and checkpoints, and the settlements built on occupied Palestinian land.

“I implore you to take this message home: Please turn the tide against violence and hatred by joining the nonviolent movement for justice for all people of the region,” I said.

Over the past few weeks, more than 1.6 million people across the world have signed onto this movement by joining an Avaaz campaign calling on corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation and/or implicated in the abuse and repression of Palestinians to pull out. The campaign specifically targets Dutch pension fund ABP; Barclays Bank; security systems supplier G4S; French transport company Veolia; computer company Hewlett-Packard; and bulldozer supplier Caterpillar.

Last month, 17 EU governments urged their citizens to avoid doing business in or investing in illegal Israeli settlements.

But what ultimately forced these leaders together around the negotiating table was the cocktail of persuasive, nonviolent tools that had been developed to isolate South Africa, economically, academically, culturally and psychologically.

At a certain point – the tipping point – the then-government realized that the cost of attempting to preserve apartheid outweighed the benefits.

The withdrawal of trade with South Africa by multinational corporations with a conscience in the 1980s was ultimately one of the key levers that brought the apartheid state – bloodlessly – to its knees. Those corporations understood that by contributing to South Africa’s economy, they were contributing to the retention of an unjust status quo.

Those who continue to do business with Israel, who contribute to a sense of “normalcy” in Israeli society, are doing the people of Israel and Palestine a disservice. They are contributing to the perpetuation of a profoundly unjust status quo.

Those who contribute to Israel’s temporary isolation are saying that Israelis and Palestinians are equally entitled to dignity and peace.
Ultimately, events in Gaza over the past month or so are going to test who believes in the worth of human beings.

It is becoming more and more clear that politicians and diplomats are failing to come up with answers, and that responsibility for brokering a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land rests with civil society and the people of Israel and Palestine themselves.

Besides the recent devastation of Gaza, decent human beings everywhere – including many in Israel – are profoundly disturbed by the daily violations of human dignity and freedom of movement Palestinians are subjected to at checkpoints and roadblocks. And Israel’s policies of illegal occupation and the construction of buffer-zone settlements on occupied land compound the difficulty of achieving an agreementsettlement in the future that is acceptable for all.

The State of Israel is behaving as if there is no tomorrow. Its people will not live the peaceful and secure lives they crave – and are entitled to – as long as their leaders perpetuate conditions that sustain the conflict.
I have condemned those in Palestine responsible for firing missiles and rockets at Israel. They are fanning the flames of hatred. I am opposed to all manifestations of violence.

But we must be very clear that the people of Palestine have every right to struggle for their dignity and freedom. It is a struggle that has the support of many around the world.

No human-made problems are intractable when humans put their heads together with the earnest desire to overcome them. No peace is impossible when people are determined to achieve it.

Peace requires the people of Israel and Palestine to recognize the human being in themselves and each other; to understand their interdependence.

Missiles, bombs and crude invective are not part of the solution. There is no military solution.

The solution is more likely to come from that nonviolent toolbox we developed in South Africa in the 1980s, to persuade the government of the necessity of altering its policies.

The reason these tools – boycott, sanctions and divestment – ultimately proved effective was because they had a critical mass of support, both inside and outside the country. The kind of support we have witnessed across the world in recent weeks, in respect of Palestine.

My plea to the people of Israel is to see beyond the moment, to see beyond the anger at feeling perpetually under siege, to see a world in which Israel and Palestine can coexist – a world in which mutual dignity and respect reign.

It requires a mind-set shift. A mind-set shift that recognizes that attempting to perpetuate the current status quo is to damn future generations to violence and insecurity. A mind-set shift that stops regarding legitimate criticism of a state’s policies as an attack on Judaism. A mind-set shift that begins at home and ripples out across communities and nations and regions – to the Diaspora scattered across the world we share. The only world we share.

People united in pursuit of a righteous cause are unstoppable. God does not interfere in the affairs of people, hoping we will grow and learn through resolving our difficulties and differences ourselves. But God is not asleep. The Jewish scriptures tell us that God is biased on the side of the weak, the dispossessed, the widow, the orphan, the alien who set slaves free on an exodus to a Promised Land. It was the prophet Amos who said we should let righteousness flow like a river.

Goodness prevails in the end. The pursuit of freedom for the people of Palestine from humiliation and persecution by the policies of Israel is a righteous cause. It is a cause that the people of Israel should support.

Nelson Mandela famously said that South Africans would not feel free until Palestinians were free.
He might have added that the liberation of Palestine will liberate Israel, too.

# # #

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fanning Islamophobia equals enflaming Anti-Semitism

It pained me to read one of my Jewish friends saying Islamophobia is justifiable – it is not, and we have to fight all evil, we cannot let current circumstances ruin our relationships. Our anger should not make us unjust and ruined our futures.

No one can justify Anti-Semitism, Apartheid, racism, Misogyny, Islamophobia, Xenophobia, Hinduphobia, Homophobia and other evils of the society.  If you fan anyone of these evils, the flame will engulf others. You will be as much of a bloody victim in the end, as you want others to be now.  You should stand up against all evil.

If you think it is ok with Islamophobia, you are approving Judeophobia, or vice-versa, evil does not end with one, it eats us all.


Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He
is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Israel did not exist before 1948

Here is a clip from the TV show West Wing – quite a debate about Israel’s existence in it.  The video is self explanatory.


About 10 years ago, a film made by Palestinian and an Israeli was released in Angelica Theater in Dallas. My wife and I were the only non-Jews in the theater... As usual I am the one who speaks out…
when the Q A followed. I was attacked by just about every one claiming there was no Palestine ever… and all kinds of non-sense was spilled, one claiming that in 1967 Jordanian Arabs start claiming themselves as Palestinians.. I remember those fingers pointing at me. I stood my ground and of course, I was friendly to some of those belligerent fingers. I am amazed at the amount of lying that one does to himself.

The problem will not go away by denying the fact or believing in something that is not there, this is an incredible video.


West wing - Holy land Map

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k9IlR3-_-A

Israel Braces for War Crimes Inquiries on Gaza

No one is above the law, and no one should go Scot free. I am glad they are talking about inquiry, which I had proposed a week ago including a petition.

Israel Palestine: Call for Accountability for the massacre of 1900 Civilians - August 7, 2014
 
 
Washington Petition (August 7, 2014)
http://wh.gov/luT9U

Mike Ghouse
# # #

Israel Braces for War Crimes Inquiries on Gaza

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Israelis should appreciate President Jimmy Carter with a statue at Ben-Gurion Airport

Also Published at the Daily Arab News
http://thearabdailynews.com/2014/08/14/israelis-appreciate-president-jimmy-carter-curse/

Shame on the men and women who hurl curses at President Jimmy Carter at every opportunity they get – all we see on the internet is ugliness displayed towards him.  What is wrong with their sense of gratitude?  Of course, a majority of good decent Israelis respect and honor him, but we don't hear much from them, it is time for them to speak up, lest not the world think they are ungrateful people.   
.


The Israelis should kiss his feet, he is the only man in the difficult Jewish history who brought a real sustainable security to Jews; he removed a major enemy of Israel by forging a friendship agreement with Egypt. Carter is a peace maker, and has the balls to do the right thing. I wish Obama was man enough to stand up to Netanyahu to get him to do the right thing; instead he buckled to Netanyahu, who is not good for Israel's long term security, neither his actions will mitigate the rise in Anti-Semitism across the globe.
President carter locked Begin and Sadat in a room and told them to come to agreement or rot in there. It took tremendous courage on his part, despite the attempts by right wing lobby to derail his work and the end his courage and wisdom won for Israel. Israelis should be grateful to their savior and honor him by building a statue in his name at Ben-Gurion Airport.

The book he wrote on Apartheid in Israel is good for Israel in the long run; you cannot bury your head in the sand and deny it. Apartheid is not good for Israel, as it was not good for America or South Africa. Apartheid is expressed in so many ways, including the stinky attitude that does not value the lives of Palestinians and justifies killing them; they can be spared.  I am concerned about the abnormal guilt laden people Israel will have in the future.  It is not good for Israel. Talk to Iraqi veterans, Vietnamese Veterans and thoughtful Israeli soldiers and others, they know injustice towards others impairs their mental balance. 

A good Jewish Scholar disappointed me severely. He and I worked together on a few projects, and then he disappeared and would not return my calls or emails. One day at a Synagogue I was a greeter; he walked in, saw me and walked away in a hurry, as if I were a land mine.  I was not going to let that happen and ran up to him. He did not like a bit, when I pointed that as a scholar like him, should give me a reason for his cold shoulders. He looked at me with disgust and said, "Take that xxx xx x xxxxx Carter off your website" then I will talk with you.  He did not want to elaborate and simply walked away and I kept looking at him in disbelief; such a hatred for your savior?

President Carter is being attacked on facebook again, "He accuses Israel of committing "deliberate attacks on civilians." And responses were like, "Major. Asshole”,”Nasty old man, a liar as well as a fool."  Someone wrote Fxxx him. This is disgusting.  Those few men who 'curse' him should repent and pray for him. No one has done more good to Israel than Jimmy Carter. None!

 Of course, a majority of good decent Israelis respect and honor him, but we don't hear much from them, and all we see on the internet is ugliness displayed towards him. Evil persists if we don't speak up, and we have to speak up to bring awareness to the moderate Jews that they need to speak up.

I am glad Jimmy Carter has the vision and foresight to call on US, EU to recognize Hamas, indeed, I am writing a piece, it is good for Israel to have working relationships with its purported enemies and friends, if not who will they make peace with? Duh!  It is time for the right wingers to sit on the side lines, and watch good things happen without their animal instincts.  Let Jimmy Carter be in the middle again, God has blessed him to be a peacemaker. May he bring security to Israel and Justice to the Palestinians, Amen!    
 
...............................................................................................................................
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at
www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Jimmy Carter calls on US, EU to recognize Hamas

Indeed President Carter beat me to it, I have been working on my piece for a few days, and now I have to complete it. It will be published here  at www.israelpalestinedialogue.com

Jimmy Carter calls on US, EU to recognize Hamas

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4555502,00.html

In op-ed written for Foreign Policy, former US president accuses Israel of 'deliberate attacks on civilians' saying there was 'no humane or legal justification for the way the IDF are conducting this war.'
Ynetnews
Published: 08.06.14, 08:52 / Israel News





Former US president Jimmy Carter has called on the United States and EU to recognize Hamas as "not just a military but also a political force" in an op-ed written for Foreign Policy on Monday.

"Hamas cannot be wished away, nor will it cooperate in its own demise. Only by recognizing its legitimacy as a political actor - one that represents a substantial portion of the Palestinian people - can the West begin to provide the right incentives for Hamas to lay down its weapons," Carter writes.
In his op-ed, the former president accuses Israel of "deliberate attacks on civilians," saying these are war crimes.
"There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defense Forces are conducting this war. Israeli bombs, missiles, and artillery have pulverized large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals. More than 250,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Gaza. Hundreds of Palestinian noncombatants have been killed. Much of Gaza has lost access to water and electricity completely. This is a humanitarian catastrophe," he writes.
While he does lay the blame on Hamas for doing the same - indiscriminately targeting Israeli civilians - he draws a comparison between the number of casualties on both sides.


Jimmy Carter (Photo: AP)
Jimmy Carter (Photo: AP)


"However, three Israeli civilians have been killed by Palestinian rockets, while an overwhelming majority of the 1,600 Palestinians killed have been civilians, including more than 330 children. The need for international judicial proceedings to investigate and end these violations of international law should be taken very seriously," he asserts.

Carter pledges his support to the Palestinian unity government, calling it "one of the most encouraging developments in recent years."
Carter also urges the UN Security Council to vote on a resolution "recognizing the inhumane conditions in Gaza and mandate an end to the siege."

He stipulates the need for international monitors to control Gaza's border crossings, as well as report on ceasefire violations, calling for the reinstatement of the EU Border Assistance Mission that was launched in 2005 and suspended in 2007, when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip after a Palestinian civil war.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Obsessive Gaza coverage is fanning antisemitism

The following article is an extension of what I have been writing for years. Time has come for the world to figure out stopping hateful expressions like Anti-Semitism, Anti-Arabism, Islamophobia and other evils, they will spare no one, and all of us will pay a price for it in insecurities.

The world is shaped by its leaders. Bush screwed up the entire Middle East, besides messing up the United States' Economy, Romney would have repeated after him bombing Iran listening to bad advice, thank God Obama did the right thing to dialogue with Iran. That is the difference. Now Obama has screwed it up badly along with our goatish Senators (no dissent?) by shamelessly justifying bombing Gaza as a revenge- had he put in the effort to get these guys to talk, nearly 2000 lives could have been saved.

I hold Netanyahu, Obama and our Senators responsible for rise in Anti-Semitism. It is their actions that is causing world wide anger - it is not anti-Semitism, it is rather anti-bullying sentiment. I am writing a piece "An appeal to Jews" to chronicle the details. It will be hear as well.

We have to take steps to stop the nonsense.

Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net
www.IsraelpalestineDialogue.com

# # #



The media must beware of fuelling an anti-Jewish backlash with over-the-top comparisons to the Holocaust or likening Gaza to a concentration camp.


theguardian.com,

israel boycott
A protest against the Israeli offensive in Frankfurt. 'In Germany, chants of 'Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!' have been heard.' Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters
It is no longer possible to deny that Europe still has a “Jewish problem”. In France, synagogues have been firebombed. In Germany, chants of “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!” have been heard. The British Jewish community, too, is reporting a spike in antisemitic incidents – most thankfully non-violent – in a nasty spillover of anger over Gaza. “Free Gaza” was spray-painted onto a Brighton synagogue; a “child murderers” sign affixed to a synagogue in Surrey. This nastiness permeates polite society too: in sympathising with David Ward MP’s pro-Hamas comments, former Lib Dem MEP Edward McMillan-Scott derided the Board of Deputies of British Jews as “a frightful bag of disputatious Jews”.

Perhaps no wonder that Newsweek’s cover story last week had the chilling headline: “Exodus: why Europe’s Jews are fleeing once again”.

Critics of Israeli policy might say that only Zionists, not all Jews, should be facing reproach for the operation in Gaza. But the anti-Jewish backlash – aimed at Jewish, not specifically Zionist, targets – has, ironically, reminded many Jews precisely why they need a safe and secure Jewish homeland in the first place – the essence of Zionism.

Why has the conflict in Gaza caused such a frightening reaction on the streets of Europe? One answer is that the media attention has been excessive, exaggerated beyond all reasonable proportions, and it is this which encourages outbursts of anger by appealing to the public’s emotions. Tiny Israel ranks fifth in the list of foreign countries most reported on by the Guardian. Gaza is an important news story – but the wall-to-wall coverage leaves many scratching their heads. Nobody seems to recall similar attention devoted to the far greater civilian casualties of the UK’s operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why the disproportionate coverage of Israel? “Jews are news” many say, with a shrug. But this obsession with Israel’s conduct tacitly encourages the easy slide into hostility towards Jews.

First, the reporting gives the false impression that the situation in Gaza, though tragic, is uniquely horrific. Compare it to the silence surrounding Isis’s frightening rampage through Iraq: Mosul has been emptied of its ancient Christian community; hundreds of thousands of Yezidis have been cleansed from Nineveh province. Compare it also to coverage of the plight of Palestinians in Syria, where thousands of Palestinians have been killed and the Yarmouk refugee camp remains under siege. How many newspaper front pages have been devoted to these events?

The problem is not helped by hyperbole: one report on Sky News even compared the Gaza operation to the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Moreover, the flood of heartbreaking images of dead children addles the brain: Israel’s protestations that it does more than any other army to avoid civilian casualties are simply laughed off. Israel is painted as irredeemably evil; its friends, accomplices in crime. I cannot count the number of times I have been told that if I am a Zionist – which means no more than believing that Israel has a right to exist – that means I must support the murder of children.

Second, much of the media have failed to seriously engage with Israel’s moral and strategic dilemmas, assuming instead that Israel deliberately seeks civilian casualties. Perhaps it is taken for granted that liberal democratic Israel should be held to higher standards than an internationally recognised terrorist group. But the incessant opprobrium can easily give the impression that Israel alone is at fault – as if Hamas were not indiscriminately firing missiles at Israeli civilians, and digging tunnels to abduct or massacre them. This induces people to see the conflict in black and white: Palestinians, good; Israelis, bad. Hence the curious paradox whereby Israel’s detractors no longer expect better of Israel – they think it kills children for sport – but still assign it a disproportionate share of the blame, giving Hamas a free pass. The anti-Jewish backlash follows, as Jews are perceived as supporting action that is patently and unquestionably wrong.

Sometimes the hyperbole gets close to incitement. When people accuse Israel of “genocide”, invoking the Holocaust or likening Gaza to a “concentration camp” or wielding placards that equate the Star of David – a Jewish symbol as well as an Israeli one – with the swastika, they reveal a deep ignorance of both the past and present. As Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust has argued: “It’s a totally false comparison that plays on Jewish sensibilities in order to provoke a reaction. Another word for that is Jew-baiting.”


It is no less disturbing to find the casual use of classically antisemitic tropes for example accusations that the Jews control the media or governments or that they thirst for gentile blood. The Everyday Antisemitism Project, which I established two weeks into the current round of conflict to expose this phenomenon, overflows with examples of anti-Israel rage expressed through traditional anti-Jewish stereotypes and tropes.
Sometimes these tropes are applied euphemistically to “Zionists”, but the euphemism isn’t fooling anyone. To Jews, aware that these have been the staple motifs of Jew-hatred over many years, they press too many buttons.

Of course Israel deserves criticism: it would not be such a vibrant democracy without it. But those rightly concerned by civilian deaths should be careful not to allow emotion to override their reason, to treat the conflict in simplistic terms, or to slip into language and images associated with classical antisemitism. The lessons of history are all too plain when the perceived iniquities of a certain population develop an obsessive grip on the public imagination.