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WARNING : Don't you judge by reading one article. This site is not for you if you cannot see the otherness of others and sufferings of both sides of the party in the conflict. Security for Israel and Justice for the Palestinians are interdependent, one will not happen without the other. My view focuses on building cohesive societies where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. I hope and pray a sense of justice to prevail. Amen. Website www.IsraelPalestineDialogue.com | Also Check Israel Palestine Confederation a pragmatic solution

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Israel’s foolish friends

Our Senators and Congressmen bark to show support for the ones who throw bones at them. Deep down they want peace for Israel and Palestine, but the lobby who funds them makes it difficult and they care less as long as the master has bones for them. It is a shame that these dudes do not see the mistakes they are making. Peace stops all the flows of monies for them to cash., it is time for the Israeli public to speak up and do what needs to be done. 
Mike Ghouse
# # #
 
ATTACKING OBAMA | Globe Editorial
POLITICIANS OF both parties did Israel no favors this week when they chastised President Obama for spelling out his principles for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Whether it was Republican Mitt Romney claiming the president had “thrown Israel under the bus’’ or Harry Reid, the Senate’s Democratic leader, saying that “no one should set premature parameters about borders, about building, or about anything else,’’ Obama’s critics were disregarding the threats Israel will face without a two-state peace agreement.
Obama called for negotiations based on 1967 borders, with land swaps acceptable to both sides. There are honest differences about just how to divide the land and provide security. But in defending his approach in a speech to the group AIPAC, Obama conveyed an important warning: that “the extraordinary challenges facing Israel will only grow.’’ If current Israeli leaders and their American supporters ignore this warning, they do so at Israel’s peril.
Demographic trends will soon create a Palestinian majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. When that happens, Israel will face a choice between giving those Palestinians the vote or becoming an undemocratic apartheid state. Instead of explaining how he would cope with this dilemma if Israel keeps occupying the West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his Tuesday address to a joint session of Congress presented a list of conditions the Palestinians must meet before negotiations can start — conditions that he knows the Palestinians will reject.
Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. Advances in missile technology will inevitably leave Israel less secure. And the political changes rippling through the Mideast threaten to leave Israel ever more isolated. Until recently, Israel could count on Turkey and Egypt as allies. Turkey was alienated when its citizens were killed in the 2010 Israeli raid on a Turkish flotilla headed for Gaza; and the fall of Hosni Mubarak is almost certain to reduce Egypt’s cooperation with Israel.
It wasn’t just rhetoric when Obama told AIPAC, “We can’t afford to wait another decade, or two decades, or another three decades to achieve peace.’’ The most generous thing to say about Romney, Reid, and others who accuse Obama of betraying Israel is that they are oblivious to the actual challenges confronting Israel.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bibi and the Yo-Yos

Uri Avnery
Former Knesset Member

28/05/11
IT WAS all rather disgusting.
There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu.
It was worse than the Syrian parliament during a speech by Bashar Assad, where anyone not applauding could find himself in prison. Or Stalin’s Supreme Soviet, when showing less than sufficient respect could have meant death.
What the American Senators and Congressmen feared was a fate worse than death. Anyone remaining seated or not applauding wildly enough could have been caught on camera – and that amounts to political suicide. It was enough for one single congressman to rise and applaud, and all the others had to follow suit. Who would dare not to?
The sight of these hundreds of parliamentarians jumping up and clapping their hands, again and again and again and again, with the Leader graciously acknowledging with a movement of his hand, was reminiscent of other regimes. Only this time it was not the local dictator who compelled this adulation, but a foreign one.
The most depressing part of it was that there was not a single lawmaker – Republican or Democrat – who dared to resist. When I was a 9 year old boy in Germany, I dared to leave my right arm hanging by my side when all my schoolmates raised theirs in the Nazi salute and sang Hitler’s anthem. Is there no one in Washington DC who has that simple courage? Is it really Washington IOT – Israel Occupied Territory – as the anti-Semites assert? [Many who abjure anti-Semitism assert it too, at least figuratively.]
Many years ago I visited the Senate hall and was introduced to the leading Senators of the time. I was profoundly shocked. After being brought up in deep respect for the Senate of the United States, the country of Jefferson and Lincoln, I was faced with a bunch of pompous asses, many of them nincompoops who had not the slightest idea what they were talking about. I was told that it was their assistants who really understood matters.
SO WHAT did the great man say to this august body?
It was a finely crafted speech, using all the standard tricks of the trade – the dramatic pause, the raised finger, the little witticisms, the sentences repeated for effect. Not a great orator, by any means, no Winston Churchill, but good enough for this audience and this occasion.
But the message could be summed up in one word: No.
After their disastrous debacle in 1967, the leaders of the Arab world met in Khartoum and adopted the famous Three No’s: NO recognition of Israel, No negotiation with Israel, NO peace with Israel. It was just what the Israeli leadership wanted. They could go happily about their business of entrenching the occupation and building settlements.  [Note: Saying "NO recognition" is not the same as saying "NO Israel," i.e., threatening to wipe out the state.  So one interpretation of the Khartoum declaration is that Israel's continued presence was accepted as a reality.]
Now Netanyahu is having his Khartoum. NO return to the 1967 borders. NO Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. NO to even a symbolic return of some refugees. NO military withdrawal from the Jordan River - meaning that the future Palestinian state would be completely surrounded by the Israeli armed forces. NO negotiation with a Palestinian government “supported” by Hamas, even if there are no Hamas members in the government itself. And so on – NO. NO. NO.
The aim is clearly to make sure that no Palestinian leader could even dream of entering negotiations, even in the unlikely event that he were ready to meet yet another condition: to recognize Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people” – which includes the dozens of Jewish Senators and Congressmen who were the first to jump up and down, up and down, like so many marionettes.  [This is an important point: Israel demands recognition as the Jewish state.]
Netanyahu, along with his associates and political bedfellows, is determined to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state by all and any means. That did not start with the present government – it is an aim deeply embedded in Zionist ideology and practice. The founders of the movement set the course, David Ben-Gurion acted to implement it in 1948, in collusion with King Abdallah of Jordan. Netanyahu is just adding his bit.  [And it mattered not when Jordan gave up the West Bank in 1988.]
“No Palestinian state” means: no peace, not now, not ever. Everything else is, as the Americans say, baloney. All the pious phrases about happiness for our children, prosperity for the Palestinians, peace with the entire Arab world, a bright future for all, are just that – pure baloney. At least some in the audience must have noticed that, even with all that jumping.
NETANYAHU SPAT in Obama's eye. The Republicans in the audience must have enjoyed that. Perhaps some Democrats too.
It can be assumed that Obama did not. So what will he do now?
There is a Jewish joke about a hungry pauper who entered an inn and demanded food. Otherwise, he threatened, he would do what his father did. The frightened innkeeper fed him, and in the end asked timidly: “But what did your father do?” Swallowing the last morsel, the man answered: “He went to sleep hungry.”
There is a good chance that Obama will do the same. He will pretend that the spittle on his cheek is rainwater. His promise to prevent a UN General Assembly recognition of the State of Palestine deprived him of his main leverage over Netanyahu.
Somebody in Washington seems to be floating the idea of Obama coming to Jerusalem and addressing the Knesset. It would be direct retaliation – Obama talking with the Israeli public over the head of the Prime Minister, as Netanyahu has just addressed the American public over the head of the President.
It would be an exciting event. As a former Member of the Knesset, I would be invited. But I would not advise it. I proposed it a year ago. Today I would not.
The obvious precedent is Anwar Sadat’s historic speech in the Knesset. But there is really no comparison. Egypt and Israel were still officially at war. Going to the capital of the enemy was without precedent, the more so only four years after a bloody battle. It was an act that shook Israel, eliminating in one stroke a whole set of mental patterns and opening the mind for new ones. Not one of us will ever forget the moment when the door of the airplane swung open and there he was, handsome and serene, the leader of the enemy.
Later, when I interviewed Sadat at his home, I told him: “I live on the main street of Tel Aviv. When you came out of that plane, I looked out of the window. Nothing moved in the street, except one cat – and it was probably looking for a television set.”
A visit by Obama will be quite different. He will, of course, be received politely – without the obsessive jumping and clapping – though probably heckled by Knesset Members of the extreme Right. But that will be all.
Sadat’s visit was a deed in itself. Not so a visit by Obama. He will not shake Israeli public opinion, unless he comes with a concrete plan of action – a detailed peace plan, with a detailed timetable, backed by a clear determination to see it through, whatever the political cost.
Another nice speech, however beautifully phrased, just will not do. After this week’s deluge of speeches, we have had enough. Speeches can be important if they accompany actions, but they are no substitute for action. Churchill’s speeches helped to shape history – but only because they reflected historic deeds. Without the Battle of Britain, without Normandy, without El Alamein, those speeches would have sounded ridiculous.
Now, with all the roads blocked, there remains only one path open: the recognition of the State of Palestine by the United Nations coupled with nonviolent mass action by the Palestinian people against the occupation. The Israeli peace forces will also play their part, because the fate of Israel depends on peace as much as the fate of Palestine.
Sure, the US will try to obstruct, and Congress will jump up and down, But the Israeli-Palestinian spring is on its way.

Gaza in Plain Language

I welcome the Israeli Version to be posted here as well.


Several images have been covered over, about one minute into the video, because they were cited as being 'disturbing', after the original video was uploaded, on February 6, 2010. The images of burnt children are certainly disturbing, but not nearly as disturbing as the lack of censure for those who were responsible for burning them.

The article "Gaza in Plain Language", by Joe Mowrey, first published by Dissident Voice
http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/01/gaz...

The Mideast Peace Process: Washington Makes Things Worse

I hope the People of Israel realize that these dudes are really not their friends, the right wing Republicans have lost their morality, they are pandeing because the lobby is throwing money at these men and women, you stop that, they will stop wagging their tails. Look for sustainable peace, listen to Obama's peace plan which has been the plan in works for a while by several administrations and take the leap of faith. The revenge system has not worked, let the peace method work. Gather the morality and say no to the right wing among American Christians and Jews, who are the reason Israel does not have the security after sixty years.

Mike Ghouse


New York Times Editorial
May 26, 2011
Only a few minutes after President Obama finished his carefully balanced speech on the Middle East last week, Republican presidential candidates and lawmakers began twisting his words to suggest that he was calling for an epochal abandonment of Israel.
“President Obama has thrown Israel under the bus,” said Mitt Romney. Tim Pawlenty wrongly said Mr. Obama had called for Israel to return to its 1967 borders, which he called “a disaster waiting to happen.” Rick Santorum said Mr. Obama “just put Israel’s very existence in more peril.”
Others went even further. Representative Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee, a former presidential candidate, said Mr. Obama had “betrayed Israel.” The worst line came from Representative Allen West of Florida, who somehow believes Mr. Obama wants to keep Jews away from the Western Wall and wants to see “the beginning of the end as we know it for the Jewish state.”
Some Democrats were also piling on, evidently afraid Republicans will paint them as anti-Israel. It was not helpful when Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, said that no one outside of the talks should urge the terms of negotiation, clearly repudiating the president’s attempts to do just that. Steny Hoyer, the House minority whip, and other Democrats have made similar statements.
Pandering on Israel in the hopes of winning Jewish support is hardly a new phenomenon in American politics, but there is something unusually dishonest about this fusillade. Most Republicans know full well that Mr. Obama is not calling on Israel to retreat to its 1967 borders. He said those borders, which define the West Bank and Gaza, would be the starting point for talks about land swaps.
Do the president’s critics even agree on the need for a Palestinian state next to Israel, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel says he does? It is not clear that several of the Republicans would go as far as the prime minister, who at least noted that Mr. Obama does not want to return to the 1967 lines. But even those who do should admit that two-state proposals have always been along the lines sketched out by the president.
In 2007, for example, Mr. Romney told The Jerusalem Post that his administration would “actively work toward a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.” What could the outline of that solution be if not the one Mr. Obama mentioned? Mr. Romney doesn’t address that question in his speeches. It is one thing to make noise on the campaign trail. It is quite another to lead a quest for peace.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Netanyahu's stance jeopardizes Israel's security

May 26, 2011
Professor Alon Ben-Meir
 
The supposed controversy over President Obama's speech on the Middle East, manufactured by Prime Minster Netanyahu and enabled by the media, is disgraceful and insincere. President Obama said nothing new about borders, just the facts: no border will ever be acceptable to the Palestinians that does not carve out a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, the two territories based on the "1967 lines," and no border will ever be acceptable to Israel that does not include the three major settlement blocs. Negotiating the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps meets both demands, which is why it has been the foundation of border negotiations in every peacemaking effort including UN Resolutions 242 and 338, to which Israel is signatory. However, by misrepresenting the President's remarks, Netanyahu irresponsibly chose to pick a fight with the one man who can safeguard Israel from near total international isolation, while ignoring the very significant steps the president took in Israel's favor.
 

Days before President Obama's speech, Netanyahu spoke to the Knesset and identified Israel's core demands: maintaining the settlement blocs, a united Jerusalem, opposing Palestinian refugees' return to Israel, and receiving recognition as a Jewish state. President Obama has now backed them all-but Netanyahu is choosing not to listen. Netanyahu's reaction to Obama's speech, stating that the 1967 lines are "indefensible" simply ignored Obama's call for mutually agreed land swaps, which inherently means an adjusted 1967 border, as President Obama's explained in his remarks to AIPAC. The notion of "indefensible" borders also ignores pure common sense. The width between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is a mere 44 miles-if an adjusted 1967 border is "indefensible," what is defensible? How many handfuls of acres or kilometers more are needed to maintain the balance of Israel's national security? The inconvenient truth is that expanding territory by a few more acres is not what will maintain Israel's national security. Israel's security can only be guaranteed by four elements: 1) a lasting peace agreement, 2) credible deterrence, 3) enforceable international guarantees and finally 4) a strong U.S.-Israel relationship that provides Israel with a security umbrella. This will safeguard Israel from international opprobrium by supporting its right to self-defense and working alongside it to address regional threats such as that from Iran.
 
Meanwhile, Netanyahu, along with much of the media, and the president's critics and challengers chose to ignore the significant steps Obama took to place the onus on the Palestinians. In fact, Obama's iteration of the 1967 border discussion was geared directly for this purpose. First, it provides the Palestinians - and the Europeans - with a new consideration ahead of the planned United Nations General Assembly vote in September. That President Obama gave an exclusive interview after the speech to the BBC - addressing a European audience - and soon after embarked on a five-day trip to Europe, only underscores his commitment to ensuring that "efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure," and that "actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won't create an independent state." Second, the focus on borders was intended to remove the issue of a settlement freeze from continuing to serve as the primary obstacle to negotiations. It appears he has succeeded, with Palestinians now requesting Netanyahu's response to Obama's formulation on borders as a prerequisite to renewed negotiations, rather than a full freeze. Third, the president addressed Palestinian national aspirations in the context of the Arab Spring to maintain credibility for the United States in the region. But more importantly, he did so without wavering from the United States' commitment to Israel's security "as a Jewish state." In fact, his reiteration of "Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people," were both endorsements of a two-state solution and a rejection of the Palestinian right of return to Israel. Fourth, not only did President Obama state that the Palestinians "walked away from talks," but with regard to the recent Fatah-Hamas unity government, he challenged the Palestinians to produce a "credible answer" to the question, "How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist?"
 
It is one thing to establish maximalist positions knowing that negotiations will ultimately moderate these stances to achieve one's actual goals. It is entirely another matter to articulate a position that is totally and completely unacceptable to the other side, as Netanyahu has done when he addressed a joint session of Congress, and that does not allow any opportunity for negotiation. After all, both parties know very well what the contours of any peace agreement will look like.
 
On borders, as Obama stated, a negotiated border will be based on the 1967 border with land swaps to include the major settlement blocs. On Jerusalem, the city must remain "united" but the Palestinians must also have some presence in the Arab neighborhoods to form a capital in East Jerusalem for a Palestinian state. On security, Israel must have ironclad security guarantees with an international peacekeeping force (perhaps with some Israeli and Palestinian participation) to be stationed along the Jordan River. The force should be assembled from specific countries that have a vested interest in maintaining peace, including Arab states such as Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, EU nations like Britain, France and Germany, all under the command of the United States. Finally, both sides must face these hard truths: that Israel's recognition as a Jewish state requires a Jewish majority that can only be sustained through a two-state solution, and, in turn, a solution to the plight of Palestinian refugees must be a return to Palestine, not to Israel. No moderate Israeli or Palestinian could accept anything less. None of this is new, none of it should be controversial, and none of it can be achieved without the active participation, encouragement and facilitation of the United States-whether the international community, the Palestinians, or Israel likes it or not.
 
Still, if this solution is ever to be achieved, Israel and the Palestinians must address those who would rather perpetuate the conflict than end it. For Israel, this means not enabling settlers and other right-wing radicals to hijack the Zionist cause in ways that are weakening the United States-Israel alliance and placing Israel's future in jeopardy. It also means that instead of shielding his eyes from the truth, and pointing to obstacles to justify his inaction, Netanyahu must be pro-active in presenting real leadership and a realistic, practical path that can bring Israel toward greater peace and security, and away from its growing isolation. For the Palestinians it is a clear recognition that violence will only lead to destruction. Hamas must be disabused of the notion that Israel can be destroyed. The use of such rhetoric, and violence, will not just place Hamas at risk, it will completely annihilate it. Israel will not hesitate to respond to such threats by decapitating its leadership and inflicting a severe blow on its infrastructure, even at the expense of international condemnation. But Israel should also welcome any sign of moderation on the part of Hamas, especially if the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah holds.
 
Top Egyptian officials have privately conveyed this message to Hamas leaders-if they ignore the advice, they will do so at their own peril, and at the demise of the Palestinian national cause as well as the significant progress that has been made to achieve the goal of Palestinian independence. As one Palestinian recently told me, he is concerned about the unknown changes that will emanate from the recent reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas: "Right now the Palestinians in the West Bank feel as though we are living in Switzerland-except we don't sleep," he said. "Now, we have so much to lose." The same is true of Israelis-the situation can change overnight, and time is running out. In his remarks on Sunday to AIPAC, President Obama was blunt: "If there is a controversy, then it's not based in substance. What I did on Thursday (in the speech on the Middle East) was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately. I've done so because we can't afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades to achieve peace. The world is moving too fast ... The extraordinary challenges facing Israel will only grow. Delay will undermine Israel's security and the peace that the Israeli people deserve."
 
Reflecting on these remarks, Israelis must ask themselves: Are we better off today than we were more than two years ago when the Netanyahu government came to power? The question, of course, is rhetorical-but the answer is a clear, unequivocal "no." As such, Israeli leaders should be asking themselves a subsequent question: What are we prepared to do about it? If Netanyahu's speech to a joint session of Congress is his answer, the Israelis should expect further isolation while jeopardizing rather than enhancing their national security.
 
*A version of this article appears in the Jerusalem Post, May 26, 2011 and is available online:http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/Article.aspx?id=222338

Where Netanyahu fails himself and Israel

 
Conventional wisdom is fast congealing in Washington that President Obama was wrong to demarcate a shift in American policy toward Israel last week. In fact, it was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who broke with the past — in one of a series of diversions and obstacles Netanyahu has come up with anytime he is pressed. He wins in the short run, but ultimately, he is turning himself into a version of Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, “Mr. Nyet,” a man who will be bypassed by history.
 
Here is what Netanyahu’s immediate predecessor, Ehud Olmert, said in a widely reported speech to the Israeli Knesset in 2008: “We must give up Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and return to the core of the territory that is the State of Israel prior to 1967, with minor corrections dictated by the reality created since then.” Olmert, a man with a reputation as a hard-liner, said that meant Israel would keep about 6 percent of the West Bank — the major settlements — and give up land elsewhere. This was also the position of Ehud Barak, Israel’s prime minister during the late 1990s.
 
The Bush administration did not have a different position, as statements from the president and Condoleezza Rice make clear. Here is George W. Bush in 2008: “I believe that any peace agreement between them will require mutually agreed adjustments to the armistice lines of 1949 to reflect current realities and to ensure that the Palestinian state is viable and contiguous.” (The 1949 armistice lines is another way of saying the 1967 borders.)
 
Or consider this statement from last November: “[T]he United States believes that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state, based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.” That’s not Obama, Bush or Rice, but a statement jointly issued by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Netanyahu on Nov. 11, 2010.
 
Today, Netanyahu says that any discussion of the 1967 borders is treason and that new borders must reflect “dramatic changes” since then. So in three years, an Israeli prime minister’s position has gone from “minor corrections” to “dramatic changes.” Netanyahu’s quarrel, it appears, is with himself. Yet we are to think it is Obama who has shifted policy?
 
Why did Netanyahu turn what was at best a minor difference into a major confrontation? Does it help Israel’s security or otherwise strengthen it to stoke tensions with its strongest ally and largest benefactor? Does such behavior further the resolution of Israel’s problems? No, but it helps Netanyahu stir support at home and maintain his fragile coalition. And while Bibi might sound like Churchill, he acts like a local ward boss, far more interested in holding onto his post than using it to secure Israel’s future.
 
The newsworthy, and real, shift in U.S. policy was Obama publicly condemning the Palestinian strategy to seek recognition as a state from the U.N. General Assembly in September. He also questioned the accord between Fatah and Hamas. Obama endorsed the idea of a demilitarized Palestinian state, a demand Israel has made in recent years. Instead of thanking Obama for this, Netanyahu created a public confrontation to garner applause at home.
 
Netanyahu’s references to the “indefensible” borders of 1967 reveal him to be mired in a world that has gone away. The chief threat to Israel today is not from a Palestinian army. Israel has the region’s strongest economy and military, complete with an arsenal of nuclear weapons. The chief threats to Israel are from new technologies — rockets, biological weapons — and demography. Its physical existence is less in doubt than its democratic existence as it continues to rule millions of Palestinians in serf-like conditions — entitled to neither a vote nor a country.
 
The path to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been clear for 20 years. Israel would cede most of the land it conquered in the 1967 war to a Palestinian state, keeping the major settlement blocks. In return, it would get a series of measures designed to protect its security. That’s why the process is called land for peace. The problem is that Netanyahu has never believed in land for peace. His strategy has been to put up obstacles, create confusion and wait it out. But one day there will be peace, along the lines that people have talked about for 20 years. And Netanyahu will be remembered only as a person before the person who made peace, a comma in history.
 
 
© The Washington Post Company

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Post your comments

Please do share your opinion, the more things we learn about an issue, the inclusive the perspective would be. Rantings will be deleted. This site is http://www.israelpalestinedialogue.com/
Thank you.
Mike Ghouse
http://www.mikeghouse.net/

PEACE IN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE BEGINS WITH YOU AND ME


Thomas Friedman (New York Times) beat me to it; this is the solution for the endless conflict in the Middle-East. I urge the right wing Jewish, Muslim and Christian organizations not to hate him for writing this piece, it is something they wanted to begin with but went about in the wrong way, their passion and support is crucial to be applied in the right path, the path of peace in the holy land of Moses, Solomon, Jesus and Muhammad.  My prayers for Friedman for writing this piece and God willing I am writing one to supplement his efforts. 

Friedman challenges the Palestinians in New York times, “To the Palestinians I would say: You believe the Israelis are stiffing you because they think they have you in box. If you resort to violence, they will brand you terrorists. And if you don’t resort to violence, the Israelis will just pocket the peace and quiet and build more settlements. Your dilemma is how to move Israel in a way that won’t blow up in your face or require total surrender.”
He urges the Israelis, “Israel today still has enormous leverage. It is vastly superior militarily and economically to the Palestinians, and it has the U.S. on its side. If Netanyahu actually put a credible, specific two-state peace map on the table — not just the same old vague promises about “painful compromises” — he could get the Americans and Europeans to toss in anything Israel wanted, including the newest weapons, NATO membership, maybe even European Union membership. It could be a security windfall for Israel.”
The silent peace loving Jewish, Muslim and Christian majorities to the conflict want peace, they want Jews to feel secure, they want Palestinians to live with the basic necessity of life; hope and Christians to be free from the conflicts between extremist in all groups. All of them want that region of land to remain a holy land, where peace shines and radiates to the world.  Let peace and non-violence take root and win the support of every one of us in the world.
I'm thinking of going to Jerusalem and doing my share of the work in bringing together the people and taking a step forward. This has been my calling and perhaps yours too; would you consider joining the movement at least in terms of gathering momentum in the net world?
It's time for peace and time for us to come together, with justice for Palestinians (both Muslim and Christian) and security for Israelis, much of the world’s frustration will fade away.
Blessed are the peace makers. I feel that was on the Mount of the Beatitudes where Jesus delivered that sermon; I feel the words and its power and, although a Muslim, I feel blessed with the baptism in the river Jordan where Jesus, my mentor and prophet, was baptized.  I went there [a few years ago] with the Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI) of Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s ministry. Founded in 2003, the Middle East Peace

Initiative is based on Reverend Moon's vision that problems of the Middle East will ultimately be solved by religious leaders – the leaders of Christianity, Judaism and Islam working together, rather than political leadership alone. I urge Rev. Moon’s movement to give MEPI momentumnow.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, interfaith, cohesive societies offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He work is logged in at

http://www.mikeghouse.net/
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/opinion/25friedman.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha212

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

FACT CHECK: Netanyahu speech ignores rival claims

May 24, 2011
Associated Press
By JOSEF FEDERMAN

(05-24) 14:29 PDT JERUSALEM, Israel (AP) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave an impassioned defense of his approach to peace during a speech to Congress on Tuesday. But the address reflected the world view of Israel's nationalistic right wing, one of several conflicting narratives that divide Israelis and Palestinians.

Here is a sampling of Netanyahu's claims along with what he did not mention.

NETANYAHU: "You don't need to send American troops to Israel. We defend ourselves."

THE FACTS: Israel is a leading recipient of American foreign aid, including more than $1 billion in military assistance each year.

NETANYAHU: "In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We are not the British in India. We are not the Belgians in the Congo."

THE FACTS: While the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, is promised to the Jewish people in the Bible, the international community considers the West Bank occupied territory. Israel captured the area in the 1967 Mideast war but has never annexed it. Its occupied status is underscored by the presence of tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers who protect Israeli settlements and control the movement of Palestinian residents in the name of security.

NETANYAHU: "You don't need to export democracy to Israel. We've already got it."

THE FACTS: Israel does give its Arab minority full civil rights, including participation in elections. But Israeli Arabs suffer from systematic discrimination in housing and the workplace. Also, more than 2 million Palestinians living in the West Bank do not have Israeli citizenship and therefore cannot vote in Israeli elections.

NETANYAHU: "The vast majority of the 650,000 Israelis who live beyond the 1967 lines reside in neighborhoods and suburbs of Jerusalem and greater Tel Aviv."

THE FACTS: Nearly all of these communities were built in the face of overwhelming international opposition and are considered illegal settlements by the world, including the U.S. There are 300,000 Israelis living in the West Bank and 200,000 in east Jerusalem, making a total of 500,000.

NETANYAHU: "The Palestinian economy is booming. It's growing by more than 10 percent a year."

THE FACTS: The West Bank economy is indeed growing rapidly. But the World Bank has noted that the growth comes after years of contraction during fighting with Israel and has been fueled by huge amounts of foreign aid. It warns the growth is unsustainable unless Israel does more to encourage the Palestinian private sector.

NETANYAHU: "Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by the Palestinian version of al-Qaida."

THE FACTS: While Hamas and al-Qaida have killed hundreds of people in religious holy wars, they have no connection, and Hamas has in fact come under criticism from the global terror network for being too moderate. Al-Qaida preaches global jihad. Hamas says its struggle is solely against Israel, not the West at large. In its Gaza stronghold, Hamas has violently clashed with smaller armed groups that claim inspiration from al-Qaida.

Josef Federman can be reached at www.twitter.com/joseffederman

Israel in a Strategic Dead End

Rebranding Israel: will Netanyahu get away with it?

Rebranding Israel: will Netanyahu get away with it?
 
By  Alan Hart

Alan Hart argues that the timing of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s “rebranding Israel” trip to the United States, coming as the US prepares for congressional and presidential elections and, therefore, when President Barack Obama is least courageous, means “Only bad things can come out of Netanyahu’s visit to America. And I mean bad things for all of us, everywhere.”
 
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a master of Zionist double-speak and deception, is about to undertake the most important assignment of his life. Because of its continuing occupation and oppression of the Palestinians (not to mention on-going property and land grabs), Israel is becoming a pariah state so far as a growing number of the citizens of nations are concerned. The main purpose of Netanyahu’s forthcoming trip to America is to .launch a public relations campaign to rebrand Israel in the hope of stopping the rot of its growing isolation.
 
The highlights of this campaign launch will be a meeting with President Barack Obama on 20 May; an address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual convention the following day; and, the climax, a speech to a joint session of Congress on 24 May.
 
When he meets with Obama, I imagine Netanyahu will say something very like the following: “Mr President, you have demonstrated the strength of your commitment to fighting and winning the war against terrorism by bringing your policy into line with ours on the matter of targeted assassinations.” (I also imagine that Netanyahu has given Mossad the greenlight to liquidate Hamas leaders.)
 
"With most Republicans who run for election to Congress now as willing as most Democrats to speak from Zionism’s script ... it can be taken for granted that the applause Netanyahu will receive in Congress for his propaganda nonsense will match that he’ll get at AIPAC’s convention."


With most Republicans who run for election to Congress now as willing as most Democrats to speak from Zionism’s script in order to secure Zionist lobby-organized campaign funds and votes, it can be taken for granted that the applause Netanyahu will receive in Congress for his propaganda nonsense will match that he’ll get at AIPAC’s convention. The truth can be simply stated. On matters to do with Israel-Palestine, it is not the Congress of the United States of America. It’s the Congress of Zionism and its deluded Christian fundamentalist allies.
 
The line Netanyahu will take has been trailed by the Zionist lobby, which probably wrote more of the words he will deliver than his advisers in Israel. In its response to the resignation of George Mitchell, Obama’s Middle East envoy, the lobby said in a statement that it “deeply regrets Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas’s continued unwillingness to negotiate directly with his Israeli counterpart without preconditions”. Mitchell, the statement went on to say, had made it clear to both parties that the only way to “true peace” was via direct, bilateral negotiations. But instead of making peace with Israel, the statement added, Abbas opted for reconciling with Hamas, “a US-designated terrorist organization responsible for the death of countless civilians and unwilling to recognize the existence of the Jewish state”.
 
So the name of Netanyahu’s game will be, as ever, to blame the Palestinians for the failure to get a peace process going and to present Israel as the only party seriously interested in peace.
 
The timing of Mitchell’s resignation is not without interest. I thought the BBC’s Kim Ghattas reporting from Washington was probably about right in her analysis (my emphasis added).
 
Mr Mitchell is said to be resigning for personal reasons. He is 77 and the travelling has probably taken a toll. But if Mr Mitchell had sensed that success was within reach, it's unlikely he would be quitting his job. The timing is also interesting: an indication the policy disagreement had reached an impasse. Mr Obama is expected to make a speech about his Middle East strategy next week. Mr Mitchell was in favour of a more hands-on approach, maybe even pushing to put a detailed US peace plan on the table.
 
Kim’s conclusion? “It looks like the administration may have decided to take a step back.”
 
From reading between the lines of recent reports in the New York Times, I think it is possible to identify the particular step back Obama has taken and which probably did cause Mitchell to resign.
 
For quite some time, urged on by Mitchell behind closed doors, Obama was seriously considering the idea of putting a US plan on the table as the only hope for getting a real peace process going, but that idea was killed by Israel’s predictable response to the agreement between the PA and Hamas. When Israel said it would not deal with the PA if it was doing business with Hamas, Obama’s advisers said that now was not the time for an American initiative. (They meant something like: “It will seriously damage your chances of re-election, Mr President.”)
 
A report in the New York Times by Mark Landler offered this insight. Interviews with several administration officials suggested that the tensions in Obama’s Middle East policy “are less the product of a debate among advisers than of a tug of war within the president himself”.
 
In my reading of Obama that makes a lot of sense. He knows that it’s not in America’s own best interests to go on supporting Israel right or wrong. He knows that he ought to be putting an American peace plan on the table and challenging Netanyahu and the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress to reject it. But he also knows that would be political suicide for himself and many other Democrats who’ll be running for re-election next year.
 
On 24 April there was an editorial in the New York Times with the headline “President Obama and the Peace Process”. It’s opening paragraph was this.
 
President Obama began his presidency vowing to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian peace. He backed off in the face of both sides’ obstinacy and after a series of diplomatic missteps. Since then, the stalemate, and the mistrust, have only deepened, and it is clear that nothing good will happen until the United States fully engages. [My emphasis added].
 
The US is not going to fully engage. Only bad things can come out of Netanyahu’s visit to America. And I mean bad things for all of us, everywhere.
 

Netanyahu says will give up some land for peace

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/24/us-mideast-usa-netanyahu-idUSTRE74M6OM20110524?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews
By Jeffrey Heller
WASHINGTON | Tue May 24, 2011 1:25pm EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israel is prepared to make "painful compromises" for peace with the Palestinians, including the handover of land they seek for a state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Congress on Tuesday.

 
Addressing a joint meeting of Congress, a bastion of support for Israel, after a testy exchange last week with President Barack Obama over the contours of a future Palestine, Netanyahu reiterated his terms for peace.
 
They included Palestinian recognition of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and the scrapping of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' unity accord with the Islamist movement Hamas.
"Tear up your pact with Hamas. Sit down and negotiate. Make peace with the Jewish state," he said.
"I am willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historical peace. As the leader of Israel, it is my responsibility," the right-wing leader added, echoing a pledge he made in a speech to Israel's parliament on May 15.

 
"Now this is not easy for me. It's not easy, because I recognize that in a genuine peace we will be required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland," he said, referring to the occupied West Bank.
Commenting on Netanyahu's Washington address, a spokesman for Abbas said the Israeli leader's vision for ending conflict with Palestinians put "more obstacles" in front of the Middle East peace process.

 
"What came in Netanyahu's speech will not lead to peace," said the spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdainah, in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

 
Settler leaders and members of Netanyahu's own Likud party voiced opposition last week to his hints of territorial compromise. But with Israeli-Palestinian peace talks currently frozen and no breakthrough in sight, his governing coalition did not appear to be in any jeopardy.

 
IMPLIED ANNEXATION
Though he implied in Congress that Israel would cede some Jewish settlements in the West Bank, he said others would be annexed in any future peace agreement.

 
"This compromise must reflect the dramatic demographic changes that have occurred since 1967," he said, referring to Israel's construction of hundreds of settlements on land Palestinians want for a state.
Repeating a message he has delivered consistently during his five-day visit to Washington, Netanyahu said "Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967," narrow lines that existed before the West Bank was captured in a war 44 years ago.

 
Obama drew Israeli anger when he said on Thursday a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip should largely be drawn along the pre-1967 frontiers.

 
A frosty meeting with Netanyahu followed at the White House on Friday when the Israeli leader, with Obama sitting at his side, rejected those borders.

 
On Sunday, Obama seemed to ease Israeli anger somewhat when he made clear Israel would likely be able to negotiate keeping some settlements as part of a land swap in any final deal with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu was greeted warmly by congressional leaders and received frequent standing ovations. He was heckled once from the gallery by a woman who shouted "No more occupation -- end Israeli war crimes!"
Legislators stood to applaud Netanyahu, to drown out further disruptions, and police hustled the woman out.
Netanyahu repeated his long-standing demand that a future Palestine must be demilitarized and accept a long-term Israeli military presence along its eastern border on the Jordan River.

 
He also called on Palestinians to see their future "homeland," rather than Israel, as the place to resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees.

 
"It's time for (Palestinian) President Abbas to stand before his people and say, 'I will accept a Jewish state'," Netanyahu said to applause.

 
"Those six words will change history. They will make it clear to the Palestinians that this conflict will come to an end," he said. "And those six words will convince the people of Israel that they have a true partner for peace."
Netanyahu again voiced his opposition to a planned bid by the Palestinians to seek U.N. recognition of statehood in September in the absence of peace talks.
"Peace cannot be imposed. It must be negotiated," he said.
(Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell and John McGowan)

Bibi to Congress: No compromise on Jerusalem, refugees or Jordan River

presencehttp://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/05/24/3087855/bibi-to-congress-no-compromise-on-jerusalem-refugees-or-jordan-river-presence

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any peace deal with the Palestinians must grant Israel a military presence along the Jordan River, exclude repatriation of Palestinian refugees to Israel and leave Jerusalem as Israel’s united capital.

However, the Israeli leader said in his address to a joint meeting of Congress on Tuesday, some Jewish settlements in the West Bank would fall outside Israel’s borders in a final peace deal.

Netanyahu did not appear to offer anything new by way of substance for his vision of peace with the Palestinians, saying Israel “would be very generous” about the size of the Palestinian state but providing few details.

“Israel needs unique security arrangements, because of its unique size,” Netanyahu said.
On the dispute over Jerusalem, which he vowed would remain Israel’s undivided capital city, he said, “With creativity and with good will, a solution can be found.”

On the Palestinian refugee, he said Palestinians could not be allowed to immigrate to Israel.
“Palestinians from around the world should have the right to immigrate, if they so choose, to the Palestinian state,” he said. “The Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of Israel.”
On borders and security, Netanyahu reiterated his call for a presence on the western shore of the Jordan River, which demarcates the boundary between the West Bank and Jordan.

“It’s absolutely vital that a Palestinian state be demilitarized,” Netanyahu said, “and it’s absolutely vital that Israel maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan River.”

In speeches on Sunday and last week, President Obama also called for a “non-militarized” Palestinian state. But the president said the issue of Palestinian refugees and Jerusalem’s status should be left for future negotiations, and that the Palestinian state should have a border with Jordan – a stance that appears to contradict that of Netanyahu.

Netanyahu received a warm reception from Congress, including more than two dozen standing ovations, and made a forceful case highlighting the commonalities between Israel and America and explaining Israel’s security challenges. He talked about the threat of Iran’s nuclear program and said the Palestinian Authority must end its agreement with Hamas, which he called “the Palestinian version of al-Qaida.”

The Israeli prime minister had an informal delivery, cracking several jokes and twice turning around to address Vice President Joe Biden. When a heckler interrupted Netanyahu at one point, Congress tried to drown her out with a standing ovation, much as the pro-Israel crowd at the annual banquet of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee did for the prime minister the previous evening.

“This is real democracy,” Netanyahu said after the heckler had been removed from the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Netanyahu repeated some lines from the night before, when most of Congress joined the crowd at the AIPAC gala. “Israel is not what is wrong about the Middle East,” Netanyahu said both days. “Israel is what is right about the Middle East.”

On the Palestinian issue, Netanyahu said, “I’m willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historic peace.” He called the West Bank the Palestinians’ homeland, but rejected the notion that it belongs to them alone.
“In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers,” Netanyahu said, referring to the West Bank. “This is the land of our forefathers, the land of Israel to which Abraham brought the idea of one God.”
He laid the blame for the failure of the peace process on the Palestinians’ refusal to accept a Jewish state.
“Our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state,” Netanyahu said. “It’s always been about the existence of a Jewish state. That’s what this conflict is about.”

He said the Palestinians continue to incite against Israelis.

“I stood before my people and said I will accept a Palestinian state,” Netanyahu said. “It’s time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say: I will accept a Jewish state.”
As for the contours of a future Palestinian state, Netanyahu indicated that large settlement blocs would become part of Israel, along with “other areas of critical strategic and national importance,” but that, “in any real peace agreement, in any peace agreement that ends the conflict, some settlements will end up beyond Israel’s borders.”

He said, “We recognize that a Palestinian state must be big enough to be viable, to be independent, to be prosperous.”

The Israeli prime minister cited Obama’s declaration that the borders will not return to those of June 4, 1967, repeating his own reaction to Obama’s May 19 speech: “Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967,” Netanyahu said.

A large part of the speech was devoted to trying to shift the focus back onto Iran’s march toward a nuclear weapon.
“They could put a bomb anywhere. They could put it in a missile,” Netanyahu said. “They could eventually put it in a suitcase or on a subway.”

Netanyahu praised Obama for shepherding sanctions against Iran through the U.N. Security Council and saluted America for not staying silent in the face of calls from Tehran for Israel’s destruction.
Netanyahu added, “The more Iran believes all options are on the table, the less the chance of confrontation.”

Obama will deliver security to Israel and justice to Palestinians

http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/2011/05/obama-will-deliver-security-to-israel.html

We read a whole lot of material from the right wingers, though they have an aggressive presence in the Mediascape, they do not represent the majority. The American Public does not subscribe to the view of Bush, Romney, Palin and their likes and neither the Israeli public subscribes to the views of Netanyahu or the AIPAC.

It’s in our interest to hear the Jewish public and intellectuals to shape or re-form our understanding on the issues. Attacks on Obama are disingenuous, his policy will get the Jews what they have been seeking for eternity; Security.

When Security for Israelis and justice for Palestinians is the goal, it will succeed and becomes sustainable. Obama’s vision is opposed by short term macho minds powered by a false sense of power.  Of all the People on the earth, Jews have been the victims of power, no one will annihilate them or any part of humanity by sheer military might, the Ferdinand’s could not do it, the Romans could not do it and the Arabs will not do it, and likewise, the Israeli military or lobbying power will not bulldoze the aspirations of the people of the Palestine.  

Every article David Horowitz, Robert Spencer or suckers like them write, invariably they ask for money. It is money making racket for them, frighten the Jews and cash it in on their fears. I wonder if they really care for Israel, as none of their suggestions bring peace but aggravate the situation, if we listen to them it will be another 60 years to find solutions.  Peace has no benefit for them.   While the suckers enrich themselves seeking funds the public at large suffers. We need to stop this or at least be aware of the views of the moderate majority of Jews who seek Justice.

This blog is to share another point of view that exists out there, we may disagree, but bulldozing one view is not only undemocratic but most importantly, it’s incomplete and is unable to sustain.

A collection of a few articles in May 2011 at http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/
  • JTA 1967 lines with swaps and should serve as a basis for negotiations
  • The Obama administration's final betrayal of Israel
  • Netanyahu's Bizarre Response to Obama's Palestinians...
  • THE FURY OVER THE 1967 BORDERS IS DISINGENUOUS
  • No, Mr. Netanyahu!
  • Jewish Donors Warn Obama on Israel
  • Text of Obama’s Speech on the Middle East
  • Recognizing a Palestinian State -
    J Street
  • Hamas must be a party to peace talks
Coming up: The wisdom in recognizing Israel, an appeal to Arab Nations.

Mike Ghouse committed to find pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a speaker, writer, thinker and an activist and his work is indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Hamas must be a party to peace talks

Hamas must be factored in peace talks

Talking with Beck, Hannity and OReilly does not produce peace for the people of Israel, it will aggravate it, but ensures them the short sighted audience numbers and enhanced ratings, that is really their bottom line. People of Israel and Palestine want peace, these guys are the hindrance.

The bottom line for the lobbies, and the right wing Christians and Jews is "sucking" money from the frightened ones and NOT the security of Israel, continuance of conflict ensure them their rewards and they have done it for over 50 years and it it in their interest to blame and accuse others instead of finding solutions.

The bull headed rightwingers lack sheer common sense, they expect to have peace in Israel without talking to the parties in conflict. If you want to have peace with the "enemies" then you talk with them.

If the same guys focus on mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill, they can achieve peace, they are passionate people with passion misapplied.

Mike Ghouse committed to building cohesive societies and presents pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him at http://www.mikeghouse.net/
Posted by Mike Ghouse at 10:28 AM

Monday, May 23, 2011

JTA 1967 lines with swaps and should serve as a basis

Obama: 1967 lines with swaps should serve as basis for negotiations

President Obama, shown speaking May 19, 2011 at a Middle East policy speech at the State Department, told the AIPAC policy conference three days later that his call for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations based on the pre-1967 lines did not mean the future state of Palestine would have those exact borders. (Pete Souza / White House)
1 out of 1
President Obama, shown speaking May 19, 2011 at a Middle East policy speech at the State Department, told the AIPAC policy conference three days later that his call for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations based on the pre-1967 lines did not mean the future state of Palestine would have those exact borders. (Pete Souza / White House)
WASHINGTON (JTA) – President Obama said the future state of Palestine should be based on the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps with Israel.
In his address Thursday afternoon on U.S. policy in the Middle East, Obama told an audience at the State Department that the borders of a "sovereign, nonmilitarized" Palestinian state "should be based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps."
Negotiations should focus first on territory and security, and then the difficult issues of the status of Jerusalem and what to do about the rights of Palestinian refugees can be broached, Obama said.
The speech, which focused mostly on the Arab democracy movements in the Arab world, marked the first time a U.S. president formally declared that the pre-Six Day War lines should form the basis of negotiations. In that war, Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai and Golan Heights from surrounding Arab countries. While Israel subsequently withdrew from the Sinai and Gaza, it annexed the Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem and kept the West Bank in limbo.
"Recognizing that negotiations need to begin with the issues of territory and security does not mean that it will be easy to come back to the table," Obama said, noting the new unity deal between Fatah and Hamas, a group foresworn to Israel's destruction.
"How can one negotiate with a party that shows itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist?" Obama said. "In the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question."
The U.S. president did not announce a specific initiative to resume talks between the two sides.
Obama also said that the Palestinians’ plan to declare statehood at the U.N. General Assembly this September will not result in a state.
“For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure,” Obama said. “Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state.”
He suggested both sides bore blame for the ongoing conflict, saying, “My administration has worked with the parties and the international community for over two years to end this conflict, yet expectations have gone unmet. Israeli settlement activity continues. Palestinians have walked away from talks.”
While affirming America’s commitment to Israel’s security and its vision as a Jewish democracy, Obama cautioned, “The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.”
Ultimately, the president said, making peace is up to the parties.
"No peace can be imposed upon them, nor can endless delay make the problem go away," he said. "But what America and the international community can do is state frankly what everyone knows: a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace."

The Obama administration's final betrayal of Israel has begun.

Here is David Horowitz, duping the frightened Jews and Right wing Americans - when I saw the article, I said what does he want? I knew it was money. Sure enough he was asking for money. Every one of them is after money, they really don't care about Israelis or the Palestinians. Why should any one give him the money"? He is not a peace maker, peace will shut his revenues, conflicts keeps it coming.
# #

The Obama administration's final betrayal of Israel has begun.

Despite the usual flowery rhetoric about two peoples living in peace, yesterday morning's presidential address may well go down in history as the beginning of the end of the State of Israel. Never before has an American President so brazenly embraced the "Palestinian" cause; never before has an American President so contemptuously pushed Israel into a corner. To proclaim that the borders of a Palestinian state must be drawn according to the 1967 lines, ignoring all the issues that should be negotiated on the way to two secure states and ignoring that Israel will someday have to defend these borders from Palestinian hatred, tells two lies at once: that the Palestinians have been sincerely searching for peace, and that Israel is the problem.

The Freedom Center has devoted its twenty years of existence to telling the truth about the crisis in the Middle East--the fact that the Palestinians want to destroy the state of Israel far more than they want to create a state for themselves; that they are planning a new holocaust even as they are denying the Holocaust that actually happened. We have identified those who want a new genocide, here and abroad, and also identified the Big Lies that the international left has created to transform Israel from a state threatened with extinction into the Goliath oppressing the Palestinians.

Throughout the years I have called on you to help the Freedom Center fund different initiatives to defend our shared beliefs. But never before has the need been so severe as today. We cannot allow Barack Obama to single-handedly destroy Israel. That's why I'm urgently asking you to make a generous, tax-deductible contribution to the Freedom Center today. Whether you can give $25 or $2,500--your support is invaluable.

The Freedom Center is a plain speaking organization. We have defended Israel and its right to exist with passion and have called out the advocates of a new genocide for whom and what they are. We have named names--in this case the names of the enablers (some of them, unaccountably, Jews themselves) of the new War Against the Jews. We have published over 500,000 copies of pamphlets exposing the lies that have just culminated in the President's shameful and unnecessary speech. We have defended Jewish students at university campuses across the country from the unholy alliance between the pro-jihadists and the radical left that controls campus political life today. I have spoken on hundreds of campuses, produced DVDs, written books, taken out ads in campus papers, Jewish papers and the New York Times about the existential threat facing Israel. In doing so, I have raised the ire of some of my fellow Jews, including many mainstream Jewish organizations, for being to o "confrontational." But listening to Barack Obama yesterday, I fear that I wasn't confrontational enough.

That the President should have delivered such a blow against Israel in the face of the Palestinian Authority's new alliance with Hamas, the terror group that tried to exterminate it, wants to exterminate all Jews, and has vowed never to acknowledge a Jewish State is incomprehensible. That he should have implicitly linked the Palestinians' rejectionism to the revolutionary democratic spirit coursing through the rest of the Middle East in this Arab Spring calls his judgment, as well as his political vision, into question.

Will you show President Obama that he is in the wrong by standing with the Freedom Center and Israel today and making a tax-deductible donation of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more right away?

I have said for years that Israel is the canary in the mine, and as she goes, so goes America and the West. This tiny nation, besieged on all sides since its birth and now subjected to slanders by the international left in league with resurgent anti-Semitism throughout the world, stands at the frontlines of the War on Terror. That war will become all the more dangerous now that the President has put Israel further on the defensive and implicitly supported the aspirations of an organization, Hamas, that past U.S. presidents have condemned as terrorist and refused to countenance.

The Freedom Center will redouble its efforts to defend israel and show all Americans, particularly college students, the true nature of Hamas and its apologists on our campuses in the coming months. Between now and the UN meetings set for this Fall, we are going to publish and mail 250,000 more copies of our pamphlets on Israel. Our "Palestinian Wall of Lies" ad that ran in the New York Times will be submitted to another 100 papers in America and Israel. Our DVD and internet campaigns will be expanded and we will organize teach-ins on more campuses, particularly around the time of the upcoming UN meetings, which will become, as we all know, pep rallies for Palestinians and hatefests directed against the Israelis. Never Again is more than a slogan: it is a commitment and a pledge.

The Freedom Center is willing to go into battle on behalf of Israel and against Obama's careless intention to throw it under the bus of history. But we need you to provide the ammunition for this crucially important war of words. You have supported me and my efforts to call out Israel's enemies for many years. Now that Israel faces its most significant threat since the intifada, when Palestinians suicide bombers were killing its citizens in the streets, I am calling on you to help again. Please join our "Save Israel" Campaign today by making as generous of a donation as possible. There is much to do; the time is short.

Thank you again for all your support.
Sincerely,
David Horowitz
President & Founder


P.S. Yesterday President Obama proclaimed that a Palestinian state should be drawn in accordance with 1967 borders. Never before has an American President so blatantly endorsed Palestine's plan to destroy Israel. So we must fight back. Over the years I know I've asked a lot of you, but never has the situation been so dire. Will you please make a generous contribution right away to help the Freedom Center defend Israel? Thank you in advance for your support.

Netanyahu's Bizarre Response to Obama's Palestinian Proposal

by Peter Beinart Info
Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast, is associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. His new book, The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris, is now available from HarperCollins. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

President Obama’s parameters for a new round of Mideast peace talks were designed to head off U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state based strictly on 1967 borders—which would be catastrophic for Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu’s immediate rejection of the plan suggests he has no grasp of the real world. Plus, Andrew Sullivan on Bibi and Barack's dangerous chess game.

A sailor throws a drowning man a life preserver. How dare you, screams the man. Because of you, people are going to think I can’t swim.

That about sums up the relationship between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu. In a few months, the U.N. General Assembly will vote, probably overwhelmingly, to recognize a Palestinian state along Israel’s 1967 borders. No one knows exactly what will happen after that, but from the Israeli government’s point of view, it won’t be good. According to international law, Israel will be occupying a sovereign nation. The result will likely be a bonanza of lawsuits, divestment campaigns and cancelled business deals. Israelis will feel more and more besieged. More and more of the country’s educated, tech-savvy young will realize you can get pretty good falafel in Menlo Park.
  
Last week, Obama threw Netanyahu a lifeline. He outlined the parameters that should guide Israeli-Palestinian negotiations: the 1967 border, plus land swaps. Obama’s strategy was clear: He promised to veto the Palestinians’ bid for statehood at the U.N. Security Council, but also hoped that by getting the Israeli government to endorse a contiguous Palestinian state in almost all of the West Bank, he could persuade the Palestinians to abandon their United Nations strategy in favor of a return to negotiations. And even if the Palestinians wouldn’t budge, Israel’s acceptance of Obama’s guidelines would make it easier to persuade European governments to oppose the Palestinians at the U.N.

Netanyahu’s response was, on its face, bizarre. The 1967 borders, he shot back, were “indefensible.” But Obama had not demanded a return to 1967 borders; he had very explicitly endorsed the 1967 borders with land swaps, which is essentially what Bill Clinton endorsed in late 2000 and Ehud Olmert endorsed in 2008. (In fact, Clinton and Olmert went further than Obama: Both endorsed a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and in different ways, signaled an openness to the return of small numbers of Palestinian refugees to Israel).
• Leslie H. Gelb: Obama’s Historic Mideast GambleBut that was only the beginning of the weirdness of Netanyahu’s response, because if Israel’s 1967 border is indefensible against conventional attack, land swaps of the sort that Clinton and Olmert envisaged actually make the problem worse. The settlement of Ariel, which Olmert hoped to swap for land inside Israel, juts like a bony finger 13 miles into the northern West Bank. According to the 2003 Geneva Initiative, keeping Maale Adumim, another large settlement for which Israel might swap land, requires a thin land bridge across a Palestinian state to Jerusalem.
Netanyahu talks a lot about Palestinian violence, but he seems utterly flummoxed by Palestinian nonviolence.
 Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

How on earth would keeping these islands of Jewish settlement make Israel’s borders more defensible? To the contrary, if Israel ever did suffer a conventional attack from the West Bank, one of the first things it would do is evacuate places like Ariel and Maale Adumim, precisely because their location makes them, well, indefensible.

• Leslie H. Gelb: Obama’s Historic Mideast GambleOver the course of his career, Benjamin Netanyahu has written a lot about what he considers “defensible borders” for Israel, and his definition has always included far more than just a few land swaps. Again and again, he has demanded an Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley, Israeli control of the hills overlooking key Palestinian cities and Israeli access to the major thoroughfares of the West Bank.

In other words, Netanyahu’s long career offers no indication that he would support a sovereign, contiguous Palestinian state along 1967 lines even with land swaps. What’s more, he has ruled out negotiating with any Palestinian government that includes Hamas, ruled out the return of even one Palestinian refugee, and demanded that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” something Ehud Barak never demanded in 2000. The result is that he has made it easy for the Palestinians to eschew negotiations and stick with their U.N. strategy. Obama threw him a lifeline and he has defiantly tossed it back.

It makes you wonder whether Netanyahu has any grasp of the world in which he is living.
Does he seriously believe that the Obama administration, having ignominiously failed to get Israel to accept negotiations based upon the 1967 lines, can strong-arm the Europeans into opposing a Palestinian state at the U.N.? Does he have any strategy for the “diplomatic tsunami”—in Ehud Barak’s words—that is about to hit? He talks a lot about Palestinian violence, but he seems utterly flummoxed by Palestinian nonviolence. Yes, the Palestinians still produce rockets and suicide bombers. But in the Netanyahu era, their focus has moved decisively toward peaceful marches, boycotts and appeals to international law. They are playing on the world’s sympathy and the world’s impatience, and in that effort, this Israeli prime minister is the best friend they could have.

Over the last few days, Netanyahu has defied the president of the United States and forced him, once again, to retreat. He has won Washington. If only he realized that Washington is no longer the world.
Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast, is associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation.

THE FURY OVER THE 1967 BORDERS IS DISINGENUOUS

I have written  in similar language in bits and peices. I find in full agreement with Alon Ben-Meir, justice is the only thing that can deliver security to Israelis and hopes to palestinians. More of my writitgs on this blog http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/
THE FURY OVER THE 1967 BORDERS IS DISINGENUOUS
Professor Alon Ben-Meir


May 23, 2011
Although President Obama stated nothing new during his speech last Thursday about the 1967 borders with "mutually agreed land swaps" as a basis for a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian agreement, he put it in a manner that should give the Palestinians pause before they go to the United Nations General Assembly to seek statehood recognition. Moreover, in doing so he has marginalized the settlements problem, which has been a major stumbling block to resume the negotiations, while encouraging some key member states of the European Union to rethink their endorsement of a Palestinian state come September. The fury of Israeli and Jewish leaders over what the president said is entirely misguided, misplaced and disingenuous.
Every American administration since President Carter has supported the idea that the 1967 borders provide the baseline for negotiations. Furthermore, in every negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians since the Oslo Accords in 1993, both sides have agreed on the same principle: a land swap to accommodate the Palestinians for the land on which Israel's three major settlement blocs are situated. Indeed, every Israeli government, regardless of its political leanings has - and will continue - to insist on incorporating these blocs of settlements into Israel proper under any peace agreement. For most Palestinians and Israelis, this formulation has become a given. There will be other territorial disputes in connection with Ariel, for example, which is located deep in the West Bank, and Silwan near Jerusalem. But both sides know that any agreement would entail a land swap, albeit they will argue about the quality, contiguity and equivalence of the land to be swapped. That said, there is no question that these and many other even more intractable issues can be resolved if both parties are genuinely committed to peace.
However modified the borders will be to accommodate both sides, the contour of the final borders will not substantially enhance or severely undermine Israel's national security. Prime Minister Netanyahu is being fundamentally disingenuous when he proclaims that the 1967 borders leave Israel "indefensible." The annexation of more land two or three kilometers deep into the West Bank will make little difference from a security perspective. A mutually acceptable land swap, required because of demographic necessity, where more than 70 percent of the settlers reside along the 1967 borders is one thing, to go beyond that is a simple land grab in the guise of national security. What Netanyahu and his hardline coalition partners have in mind is to surround the Palestinians from the east, west, north and south which theoretically enhances Israel's security while isolating the Palestinians completely, and denying them contiguity. This will not only be rejected off-hand by the Palestinians, but will also deny Israel even a semblance of real peace with security.
Israel's ultimate national security requirements rest on five pillars agreed upon by every politically non-biased Israeli defense and security expert. The Obama administration should begin to articulate these requirements to demonstrate that Israel's genuine national security cannot be met by mere annexation of more swaths of land in the West Bank but must rest, first and foremost, with peace augmented by other measures to alleviate Israel's long-term security concerns.
First, all efforts must focus on achieving a peace agreement negotiated to accommodate Israel's legitimate national security and demographic requirements while providing the Palestinians the right and the space in a contiguous land mass to live freely in their own independent state, alongside Israel with dignity. In the final analysis, only a genuine peace that meets the aspirations of both peoples and the acceptance of one another as partners and neighbors will endure and offer Israel the real security it seeks.
Second, since there is - and will continue to be - a lingering distrust between the two sides, Israel must maintain a credible military deterrence that will make it abundantly clear to all those who now or in the future harbor ill intent against Israel that they will suffer an utter devastation should they threaten Israel's security. In this regard, Israel and the United States can make sure, as they have in the past that no single country or a combination of states can overwhelm Israel militarily, along with America's continued guarantee for Israel's national security.
Third, the alleviation of Israel's concerns over the smuggling of weapons and the infiltration of terrorists from the Jordan Valley cannot be achieved by maintaining Israeli residual forces along the Jordan River, which for many Palestinians will be tantamount to continued occupation. Instead, an international peacekeeping force (perhaps with some Israeli and Palestinian participation) will have to be stationed along the Jordan River. The force should be assembled from specific countries that have a vested interest in maintaining peace, including Arab states such as Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, EU nations like Britain, France and Germany, all under the command of the United States. Such a robust force should be empowered by the United Nations Security Council to act as it sees fit to maintain calm, to foster close relations with all neighboring states and not be removed without an explicit UNSC resolution where the US enjoys a veto power.
Fourth, the newly established Palestinian state must be demilitarized, with its security assured by the same peacekeeping forces. The Palestinians should accept the fact that they will never be in a position to challenge Israel militarily. Moreover, no country, including Israel, will ever threaten a Palestinian state that lives in peace and harmony with its neighbors. Instead of wasting money on military hardware, presumably to boost its national pride, future Palestinian governments should respond to the yearning of the people by investing in economic developments, education, health care, infrastructure and democratic institutions that will enable them to take pride in their achievements. This is what the Arab youth demands from their governments throughout the Arab world and the Palestinian people are no exception.
Fifth, once a peace agreement is achieved, the United States could offer a security umbrella, along the lines of what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposed more than a year ago, to which all nations in the region at peace with Israel and with each other can belong. Such a regional security umbrella could also serve as a major deterrence against Iran to prevent it from intimidating or threatening any state in the area.
Finally, national security for Israel is a state of mind; no one should fault Israelis for their preoccupation with national security. Indeed, the Jewish historical experience speaks for itself. But national security in the current technological environment - with the sustained exponential growth in social and economic connectedness on the world stage - make it imperative for Israel to recalibrate its national security strategy. Instead of reaching out and demonstrating its willingness to achieve an equitable peace, Israel is becoming a garrison state, building fences and walls, isolating itself not only from its neighbors but also from the international community. Surely there will always be risks involved in making concessions but as long as such risks are calculated and can be mitigated should they come to pass, seeking absolute security becomes a liability as it offer no room for concessions necessary to make peace.
The President's speech was one of the most pro-Israel speeches ever delivered by any sitting US president. Netanyahu's reaction to it was both divisive and counterproductive. It is time for the Israeli public to rise against such hypocrisy and disdain to demand accountability from a government that has led the country astray from Day One. Thanks to Netanyahu's government, no one can say that Israel is better off today than it was two years ago. It is time to put an end to the illusion that Israel will be more secure by further territorial entrenchment in the West Bank.

No, Mr. Netanyahu!

Dear Mike,
 
Please tell the media: “No,  Mr. Netanyahu! Americans Don’t Support Your Intransigence and Rejection of a Plausible Path to Peace. We stand with President Obama on Peace Negotiations.”

Below, I’ll give you some of the relevant addresses and some sample letters you might send (though your own words would be even better). Please let me know to whom you’ve written and their response if any (but even when they don’t respond, there is an impact in hearing a voice other than that of the political Right).  We at Tikkun/Network of Spiritual Progressives are the pro-Israel & pro-Palestine voice of those seeking peace and justice for both sides, and a world of generosity, kindness and love for everyone, seeing everyone on the planet as equally valuable!!! Sound utopian? Less so than the strategies currently being pursued by Israel, Palestine and the U.S.
 
Here's the immediate situation and why YOU should take action now:
 
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come to the U.S. to speak over the head of President Obama to strengthen the voice of the most reactionary pro-Israel forces in the U.S. His basic message is that Israel will never accept a viable Palestinian state, and prefers occupation and expansion of its borders to peace with the Palestinian people. One need only read some of the articles from the Israeli press which we’ve assembled at www.tikkun.org in the section of our online magazine called “Recommended from the web” to see how Israeli progressives realize that Netanyahu’s position is a disaster for Israel.  If you feel like you need more information, you’ll find it there!(Incidentally, we hope you’ll read that Recommended From the Web section everyday—because we give you the voices on American politics, culture, the Mideast conflict, and much else that are essential, and save you the time of surfing the web). 
 

Actually, what Netanyahu is doing is precisely what Obama should be doing in reverse--he should go to Israel and Palestine and present to the Israeli population and to the Palestinian people a worked out peace agreement that will require sacrifice from both sides but which will be just to both sides and provide security to both sides. The Tikkun Peace Plan is on our website www.tikkun.org !
 
 
 
At this moment, it makes sense for YOU, Mike, to write a letter to the media and to your elected Congressperson and Senators and to the President, letting them know that YOU don’t agree with Netanyahu. The media has been giving him a free ride, in part because they are subservient to the most reactionary pro-Israel forces in the U.S. (not only AIPAC and the Christian Zionists, but their stooges in both Republican and Democratic parties, from Eric Cantor, the Republican majority leaders in the House of Representatives to Steny Hoyer who held the same position last session when the Dems were the majority). The love-fest we are about to see between Congress and Netanyahu is meant to snuff out the last bit of hope that the Obama Administration will use any power to push Israel toward a serious attempt at negotiations. Already, Obama has been wrongly warning the Palestinians not to seek U.N. recognition this coming September for a Palestinian state, and assuring Netanyahu that the U.S. is not going to lessen in any ways its military blank check to Israel and its subservience to Israel at the U.N.
 
 
 
Mike, please don’t be a passive witness to all this. At the very least, and without even leaving your home, you can challenge all this. Take the time each day to write one letter to the media and one letter to your elected representatives to let them know that you are not part of the Netanyahu cheerleading squad and you don’t want them to be, either, and that you’d like them to at least represent the voice of groups like Tikkun, the Network of Spiritual Progressives, Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel, Gush Shalom in Israel, J Street, Jewish Voices for Peace, the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodists of America, Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Catholic Church in Israel, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Shalom Center, Peace Now in Israel, and other groups that seek peace and reconciliation rather than endless occupation by Israel of the Palestinian people.
 
 
 
The most effective way to do this is to write a handwritten or computer typed letter and send it as hard copy in snail mail. Second best is to call their office. Third best is through an email letter.  Below, I’ll give you some of the relevant addresses, but for others you may have to do an online search. And to make this easier for you,  I’m including some sample letters you might send.  It would also be helpful if you could send a tax-deductible contribution to Tikkun/NSP to help us in this campaign:  www.tikkun.org/donate or Tikkun, 2342 Shattuck Ave, #1200, Berkeley, Ca. 94704.
 
Any amount would be helpful!!!
 
 
 
Warm regards, blessings, and thanks for taking a public stand for Israel/Palestine peace.
 
 
 
Michael
 
Rabbi Michael Lerner
 
  RabbiLerner.tikkun@gmail.com.   Tikkun office: 510 644 1200
 
 
 
Sample Media Letters: (AND ADDRESSES BELOW)-- (but even better if you write your own)
 
 
 
Dear X,
 
            Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has lots of chutzpah to come to our country and treat our president disrespectfully—which is precisely what he did when he rejected President Obama’s suggested idea last Thursday that negotiations between Israel and Palestine should begin (not end) from the point of the 1967 borders which Israel trampled when it captured and then retained the West Bank for  the last 44 years. He didn’t even bother to listen to Obama with whom he was meeting the next day (last Friday). I want the Jewish people to be secure, and I want a strong Israel. But I know that can only be achieved when Israel is perceived by the world and by the Palestinians as seeking a peaceful solution that is based on justice for the Palestinian people and security for both sides. That will never come if Israel insists on holding on to the occupied territories and placing troops in the tiny Palestinian state it envisions, nor will it come as long as the Palestinian people are treated disrespectfully and oppressively. Somebody has got to talk sense into the heads of the leaders of Israel, else I fear that the anger its current policies are engendering will explode once again and cause both sides yet even more suffering. So please support President Obama’s measure, weak  as they may be.  Personally, I wish he’d make American military cooperation dependent on Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, or at least promise to support Palestinian statehood at the UN unless Netanyahu unconditionally stops building settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem and starts negotiations aimed at creating an economically and politically viable Palestinian state in all of the West Bank and Gaza (except, as President Obama said, for some land where Israeli settlements exist traded for some land of equal quality that is now part of Israel).
 
            Sincerely,           
 
            (your name, address, phone and email)
 
 
 
Dear X,
 
            Although the media gives the impression that the American people are supportive of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his stance against President Obama’s contention that an Israeli/Palestinian peace agreement has to start from the 1967 borders and then make swaps in territory which allow Israel to keep some of the settlements in exchange for equal amount of Israeli land being given to Palestinians, I and many of the people I know support President Obama’s stance. I’m writing to ask you to please represent the perspective of those Jews and Christians who recognize that Israel’s security will best be achieved not through endless occupation but rather through a strategy of generosity and caring for the Palestinian people.
 
 
 
 This perspective is presented by the largest circulation progressive Jewish magazine, Tikkun, and its Network of Spiritual Progressives, so I hope that as you cover this issue this week and in the coming years you will contact Tikkun editor Rabbi Michael Lerner at 5l0 644 1200  RabbiLerner.tikkun@gmail.com. Other organizations that share this perspective whom you might also consider quoting:  Rabbi Arthur Waskow at the Shalom Center 215 844 8494 awaskow@aol.com, and leaders of such groups as , Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel (Rabbi Arik Aschermann ravarik.ascherman@rhr.israel.net), Gush Shalom in Israel (Uri Avnery at avnery@actcom.co.il) and Washington based groups like J Street, Jewish Voices for Peace, the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodists of America, Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Catholic Church in Israel, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC),  Peace Now in Israel, and other groups that seek peace and reconciliation rather than endless occupation by Israel of the Palestinian people.
 
 
 
Please give the voices of peace equal time to the voices of rejection of a plausible path to peace.
 
Sincerely,
 
X
 
(your phone number and your email and your address).
 
 
 
ANOTHER MEDIA LETTER:
 
Dear X,
 
            I’m a member of the interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP, www.spiritualprogressives.org) and an advocate for Middle East peace. I’m greatly disturbed by the way that the media tends to ignore the many Americans who know that peace between Israel and Palestine is a vital American interest and therefore that the US must press Israel to end the Occupation of the West Bank and provide terms for an end to the conflict along lines that most of the peace movement has been suggesting for many years.  I urge you to read editor of Tikkun magazine Rabbi Lerner and his response to President Obama’s recent talks on this topic at:
 
http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2011/05/19/rabbi-lerners-response-to-president-obamas-middle-east-address/  and to cover his perspective and that of many other Americans who understand that it is generosity, not domination and occupation, that will provide a path to peace. Would you please look at our proposed Global Marshall Plan to give you a vision of what it might look like to shift America toward a more rational foreign policy? It’s at www.spiritualprogressives/GMP. And please start representing in the media our voices, and not just the voices of those Americans who continue to give Israel a blank check without realizing that in so doing they are actually empowering the right wing forces in Israel most likely to lead Israel toward its self-destruction in the long run, and to a rise in global anti-Israel feelings.
 
             Thank you.
 
            Sincerely
 
            (your name, address, email and phone number)
 
Sample Letter to your Congressional Rep and Senators:
 
 
 
Dear Senator (or Congressperson) X,
 

            Although the media gives the impression that the American people are supportive of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his stance against President Obama’s contention that an Israeli/Palestinian peace agreement has to start from the 1967 borders and then make swaps in territory which allow Israel to keep some of the settlements in exchange for equal amount of Israeli land being given to Palestinians, I and many of the people I know support President Obama’s stance. I’m writing to ask you to please represent the perspective of those Jews and Christians who recognize that Israel’s security will best be achieved not through endless occupation but rather through a strategy of generosity and caring for the Palestinian people.
 
 
 
I need you to represent me and your many other constituents whom I know [including my neighbors, friends, and members  of my (fill in here your community organization, political party, social change organization, synagogue, church, mosque or ashram, college or university)] who share my view.
 
 
 
It is also a view shared by the largest circulation progressive Jewish magazine, Tikkun, and its Network of Spiritual Progressives, and I hope you might either call me to discuss this issue or meet with Tikkun editor Rabbi Michael Lerner at 5l0 644 1200  RabbiLerner.tikkun@gmail.com. You need to know that there is a growing silent majority of Americans who are fed up with the Israeli government’s obstruction of peace, even while we continue to support a strong and safe Israel. Other organizations that share this perspective whom you might also consider meeting with include:  Rabbi Arthur Waskow at the Shalom Center 215 844 8494 awaskow@aol.com, and leaders of such groups as , Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel (Rabbi Arik Aschermann ravarik.ascherman@rhr.israel.net), Gush Shalom in Israel (Uri Avnery at avnery@actcom.co.il) and Washington based groups like J Street, Jewish Voices for Peace, the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodists of America, Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Catholic Church in Israel, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC),  Peace Now in Israel, and other groups that seek peace and reconciliation rather than endless occupation by Israel of the Palestinian people.
 
 
 
Please give the voices of peace equal attention to the voices of rejection of a plausible path to peace. And please don’t sign on to AIPAC-sponsored resolutions that give the impression that the American people support Israel’s refusal to end the Occupation of the West Bank. Such resolutions only strengthen the hands of those in the Israeli government least interested in working out a two state solution that provides justice and security to both Israel and Palestine.
 
 
 
Sincerely, your constituent,
 

X
 
Home address
 
Email and Phone
 
 
 
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONSTRUCT YOUR OWN LETTER AND USE ANY ELEMENTS IN THESE THAT ARE HELPFUL TO YOU.