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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

Thursday, February 2, 2012

ABOUT ISRAEL-PALESTINE

Author's note: Who am I to worry about Israelis and Palestinians? What inspires me to be involved in the Israel Palestine conflict? The following is the story of my struggle to see a cohesive world, the story will take you through different emotions but at the end, I hope you feel a sense of completeness of the story. Due to its length, it is a three part article.
I believe at the heart of world peace is the Israel Palestine conflict. It is the mother of all conflicts, and if we can find a solution to this, peace is on the horizon, ready to shine on us.
When I was about 10, my Dad made me aware of the conflicts, not just around Bangalore, my home town; but around India, the Subcontinent, Asia and the world. My father is my hero and had opened the doors of wisdom to me. He taught one of the biggest lessons of my life in social cohesiveness and dealing with extremism that I continue to reflect in my speeches, acts and write ups.
During the communal (religious) riots in the early '60s, both Muslims and Hindus were killed in the mayhem. I wish every father in India, America and elsewhere teaches this lesson to his kids. He told us the "individuals" were responsible for the bloodshed and not the religions; he would emphasize that you cannot blame an intangible like religion and expect justice, we must blame the individuals who caused it and punish them accordingly for disturbing the peace and thus bring a resolution to the conflict by serving justice. He was crystal clear: You cannot annihilate, kill, hang or beat the religion, so why bark at it?
Fully cognizant of China's attack on India usurping large swaths of land in Kashmir and on the North Eastern Borders, my little mind recorded another devastating war between India and Pakistan followed by the 1967 war between Israel and Palestine. The Palestinian exodus was painful and I went through anger and then into mental exile trying to understand the inhumanity and the futility of wars. I was thinking about King Ashoka, who became a pacifist after witnessing blood shed on the fields of Kalinga. Who do we blame? How do we find solutions? I was 14.
The exodus of Palestinians remained clear on my mind and I wanted to find solutions.
Fast forwarding to the '80s, the destruction of Beirut was debilitating. The Sabra and Shatila massacres were harrowing, and I was seeing Israel as the Goliath and the Palestinians as the Davids with nothing but rocks to throw at the rolling tanks.
Ted Koppel's broadcasts of Intifada from Jerusalem were censored, particularly when he pitted Hanan Ashrawi against Benjamin Netanyahu. American media was determined to show Palestinians in the poor light and invariably showed and repeated the poor miserable performance of their poster boy Arafat, against the suave Netanyahu. My heart was crying out loud and was hoping the world could see the way I saw things and peace came to both the peoples.
It took me years to truly understand the nature of security that the Jews were craving for over a millennia, it is not the military power but a sense of security that a baby feels in the lap of a mother -- completely free. The Jews felt home in Spain after nearly 2,000 years of wandering, then the damned Ferdinand massacred (along with Muslims) and completely uprooted them in 1492. It took them another 450 years to feel home again in Germany, but the butcher Hitler was bent on annihilating them. Thanks to America for stepping in and preventing a full scale annihilation and Holocaust. Even here in the United States, every now and then a Swastika appears on some one's door. I have been a witness to it and have fought off two such incidents. Now they have a home in Israel sans security and they really need to feel that it is their eternal "home." Once they feel that sense of home in their bones, they will go back to becoming their self again -- a people who have stood up for social justice.
Ironically, the Israelis were busy in defending their right to survive up until 1967 and completely failed to articulate their need to the Palestinians, they should have poured their hearts out to them, who would have understood in an environment of mutual suffering and sharing.
On the other hand, the Palestinians were hurt, uprooted from their own homes, and were completely deprived of their basic need to have a sense of belonging, a sense of community and a sense of identity. Children have witnessed their parents and siblings butchered in front of them, and what do we expect them to do? What is their hope? For nearly three generations they lived in tents and squalor, and had to beg for food, clothing and an identity. It is depressing to see such humiliation in their own land.
We the people of the world were busy in punishing the weak and shamelessly enjoying the emotional and physical beating they were taking. We did not offer them any serious options but to fight for survival. Sadly, like the leaders of Israel had failed, the Palestinian leadership also failed to share their humility and humanness with the Israelis.
And we the people of the world found poor excuses to blame Palestinian and Israeli leadership, instead of taking the lead and guiding them in their most vulnerable moments of history. We succumbed to their plea of the moment and took sides and propped them to fight against each other. We Americans are as guilty as the Arabs in the mindless upmanship, shame on us for dumping our in-capabilities on to the next generation.
We should have gotten the families of Palestinians and Israelis to sit and eat together, talk with each other and let the kids play a game of soccer in their presence and dream about a future for them. We deprived them of their humanness and instead armed them to fight. What have they achieved and what have we achieved?
The hate multiplier has made the leaders on both sides to say shameful things about the other including cooking up things that weren't true. The world community took sides instead of finding the truth and solutions.
I feel the pain and wanted to do my share of work in doing the things I am capable of, and here is a partial accounting of it. It is not easy. You get beat both by the Palestinians and Israelis in the leadership front, and both want to blame the other.
I am deeply committed to the security of Israel and Justice for the Palestinians. A few ugly comments here and there matter to me but don't deter me from my commitment. I have chosen to be neutral for the sake of peace, and invariably about 1 percent of Israelis and 1 percent of Palestinians will never want to see neutrality in others. We cannot forget the desire for peace by the overwhelmingly silent majority. We need to hear them.


REFERENCED LINKS IN THE ARTICLE

If the embedded links don't work, here are the links:

Muslim Holocaust commemoration:
http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Images_HolocaustDay/HMD2006_ProgramReport.asp  
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Anti-Circumcision Bill and a Muslim's take
 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/circumcision-satire_b_872270.html 

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Huffington post on Anti-Semitism http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/standing-up-for-jews-gays_b_650167.html 
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Pictures from Fred Phelps Demonstrationhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157624336357507/ 
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Middle East Peace Initiativehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157624709053713/  ....
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President Obama blows the opportunity for Israel and Palestinehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hb0Y-4lRkM
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UN Resolution
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2007/ga10569.doc.htm 
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The necessity for a Dialoug between Jews and Muslimshttp://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Articles/Jewish-Muslim-dialogue-a-necessity.asp
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A tribute to my Mother
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/05/mother-my-story-happy-mothers-day.html

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Additional items not referenced above:

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A tribute to the Jewish Communityhttp://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Honored_JewishCommunity_TG2005.asp. . . . . . . . . .

A tribute to Elliott Dlin, Executive Director of Dallas Holocaust Musuem
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2010/04/tribute-to-eliott-dlin.html

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Yom Hashoah at the Temple Emanu-Elhttp://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/05/yom-hashoah-at-temple-emanu-el.html 

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Stereotyping Muslims and Jews
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2009/09/stereotyping-muslims-and-jews.html . . . . . . . . . .


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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace making, foreign policy, Islam, Israel, India, Pakistan, interfaith, and cohesion at work place or social settings. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national local TV, Radio and Print Media, and is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him. 

20 comments:

  1. Excellent summary: Security for Jews, Justice for Palestinians. Thank you. Both people need a place where they can feel safe and raise their children in an environment without conflict.

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  2. Mike, thank you for this well-written and inspiring article... Though I disagree with some of your statements, I found myself in agreement with its spirit and the message of peace.

    I would like to share with you one of the points that I disagree.

    "I am deeply committed to the SECURITY of Israel and Justice for the Palestinians."

    I think that this is not an accurate depiction of the real condition and experience of parties.

    Palestinians have much greater need for security, since they have been killed and attacked many more times than the Israelis. Just look at the numbers of Palestinians killed by Israel and compare it to the Israelis. Just compare the number of kidnapped (iprisoned!) Pals by Israel and vise versa. Just compare the number of homes destroyed by either party.

    The numbers reject your premise:

    http://ifamericansknew.org/

    Israel is one of the world's mightiest military power with tanks, jets, military, nucleer weapons, first class intelligence service that is master in staging covert operations and carrying out assassinations. Israel is also master of propaganda and international lobbying etc.

    So, by deeming Israel needing security, while it is just the opposite, you just fell prey to the propaganda, the pretext for their invasions, land-grab, subjugation, and killing of Palestinians.
    So, I suggest you modify your statement as follows:

    "I understand why Israelis could be paranoid and I understand why Palestinians desperately need security and Justice."

    Peace,

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  3. PART ONE (of two parts)

    Thank you for a very insightful article, Mike! I appreciate your well-written and well-formulated insights into the Middle East conflict; I admire your genuine commitment and dedication to the cause of peace, and I commend your keen and deep understanding of the concerns of both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. These are both long-suffering peoples caught in a conflict with centuries-old roots. To help bring about a long-term solution of mutual understanding, mutual respect, and peace, it is necessary - as you do - to reach into the hearts of both, and feel with sensitivity the fears, hopes, and concerns of both sides.

    (I first wish to point out a factual error: You mention above that Jimmy Carter brought together Menachem Begin and Yassir Arafat. Actually, he brought together Begin and Anwar Sadat. Bill Clinton brought together Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin.)

    It is necessary for both sides to engage in serious dialogue and negotiations, to agree to concessions and compromises, and to reach out with mutual respect and acceptance towards the other. Ideology and rigidity of stance need to bend to a far-reaching vision of harmony and peace.

    To this end new leadership is necessary on both sides, a leadership which understands that: 1) full Israeli peace cannot be achieved until the legitimate national aspirations and needs of Palestinians are accommodated (alongside the Jewish National Homeland); and 2) the full national aspirations and needs of the Palestinians cannot be achieved except through recognition, acceptance, and peaceful negotiation with Israel.

    The United States can provide major assistance in this process by encouraging both sides to make meaningful and substantial peace-motivated offerings to each other, in the direction of mutual respect, harmony, and friendship.

    To achieve a long-term stable peace, it is necessary to simultaneously engage in two approaches - a top-bottom diplomatic approach towards political issues to be resolved, and a bottom-top approach of social interaction among the peoples.
    Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs need to get to know each other as people, to interact socially with one another, to form lasting bonds of friendship, and to learn to accept each other with understanding and love; this process of bottom-to-top peacemaking must begin with early childhood. As these roots of peace are planted, the mutual distrust and disrespect between these peoples will begin to fade away.
    As trust grows between the peoples, and the word "enemies" is replaced by "friends", the difficult political issues will become much easier to resolve in a mutually satisfying way. And vice versa: When the leadership on both sides acts towards each other with peace-promoting gestures, this will help to encourage socially friendly interactions between the peoples. Both the top-bottom and bottom-top approaches would complement and facilitate each other, and help to bring about a long-term warm, stable, and eventually loving, environment for peace.

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  4. PART TWO (of two parts)

    I agree with the large majority of what you have written. But I do also agree with President Obama that the creation of a Palestinian state needs to be achieved within the context of direct peace dialogue and negotiations between the parties. A long-term peaceful solution needs the trust of both sides, and this requires the active participation of both sides in the dialogue that leads to a mutually acceptable solution; this has little chance to succeed in the long term if it is a unilateral action imposed by one side upon the other, bypassing a constructive diplomatic process.

    [I also wish to take strong issue with the commenter above mine who claimed there is no valid Israeli security need. Israelis (like Palestinians) have suffered very greatly in this long-term conflict - many thousands of Israeli civilians (innocent men, women, and children) have been murdered in terror attacks since the nation came into existence, and many thousands of Israelis have been killed by wars launched against the nation by the surrounding countries. To call all this "Israeli paranoia" is an ugly remark that implies that loss of Israeli lives is of no importance.
    No one should belittle the sufferings and legitimate fears of either of these peoples; that one-sided approach does nothing to advance mutual understanding and the cause of peace.]

    Mike, I wish you and all of us luck in helping to bring about a mutually acceptable and long-lasting peace between these two peoples, in pursuing the highest visions of a "tikkun olam" of humankind.

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  5. Dear Piano player,

    First of all thanks for the correction on Begin/Sadat and Rabin/Arafat.

    I will fix the blog with that information, and resubmit for publication to major news paper. I owe you the correction.

    You and I have an identical take on the issue - I believe we have to place all cards on the table, and unilateral decisions are doomed to last no more than a year.

    I have communicated with Edip about the real security needs of Israel, most people equate security (as I have written is like being in mothers lap, free from all worries and fears) with Israel's military might. I will do all I can for people to see the apprehensions Jews feel as well as understanding the humility of Palestinians.

    I cannot thank you enough for your note and I really like to urge you to write, and share it here. In the last two days, this blogs has been visited by people from all over the world.

    Thank you so much.

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  6. Dear Piano player,
    you inspired me add one more paragraph...

    All I ask of you is simply this – when you hear voices that talk about revenge, retaliation, annihilation or blame, please appeal to them to join you in mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill to find comfort for all. This attitude has at least a chance of bringing goodness than aggravating the situation and making life difficult for a Palestinian and Israeli child. If we cannot do good for an Israeli and a Palestinian child, let’s not do any harm either.

    Thanks

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  7. Dear Mr. Ghouch, I feel your heart. I too, feel a calling to dedicate my time and effort for this most urgent task of our time, peaceful resolution between Israel-Palestine. My calling is primery religious in nature. God had made sure that I understood the serious issues my own religion,(Islam) first. I spent 3 years in Iran that represented the second largest branch of Islam. After Iran revolution in 1978/9, God took me to Saudi Arabia, represented the Sunni Branch of Islam, for another three years,during the eight year war between Iraq and Iran, where I watched Muslim brothers killing each other by the hundreds of thousand (two millions killed on both sides) in the name of their same God and desecrating their religious historic holy mosques. This had opened my eyes to the extent, it fundemantally altered my views on Islam and religions in general (full story in my biographical account, Honor Thy God, published 2010). I came to realize that Islam as ,it stands,represented by these two conflicting branches can never bring true peace and harmony to the world. Few years later,after I came to the US, and was exposed to the teaching of Christianity and read the Bible and Jesus' words, I find myself disappointed with Christians frame of thinking. Christians, like the Muslims, are so confused and divided with over 250 denominations, each think they have better understang of God and Jesus' words than others. How can these religious fragmented sects be honnest to bring peace and harmony to the world' while they couldn't atcheive peace among themselves! These three great monetheistic, Abrahamic religions were sent to humanity as a blessing and hope for peace, but instead, these relegions have been used by spiritually wiched religious men to fight wars and spill blood! I can't understand, the commonality of these three religions should have promoted love and peace between them, not hate and destruction. Whether we like it or not, the true solution to Israel-Palestinian problem deeply rooted in relegion. These three Abrahamic religions need to understand their true calling and get away from their old blind, stuborn wicked ways and come togather as one for love and peace! In my opinion these three religions as the world three greatest thieves! see www.honorthygod.com

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  8. 1 of 2


    Dear Sister Susan,
    It is always good to share what is in one’s heart and I am glad you did. This is the beginning of a good dialogue and I owe you a full answer and hope you see my point of view. I will respond in SE (Susan El-Zaatari) and MG ( Mike Ghouse) Q & A format in the same sequence you have written.
    SE: you have wrongly assumed that the Israeli government wants peace.

    MG: First of all, I was talking about Israeli majority, secondly, it was the leadership on both sides, who want peace, but on their own terms and ironically every word and action of theirs is opposite of what they want. It is the disconnecting that needs to be addressed. I have not talked about Israeli government wanting peace.
    SE: You have assumed that the 911 Commission has told the truth about 911.
    MG: In the whole article 911 was mentioned in relation to the event we were doing and nothing else. There was no other mention of 911. Are you sure you did not read some other article?

    SE: You have assumed that six millions Jews died in the Holocaust.
    MG: First of all, do you have a different number? Secondly, even if it were I million, is that justifiable?

    SE: You have assumed that by being neutral, peace can be achieved. and you have given enormous sympathy to a group of Zionists who like nothing better than to find someone like yourself to go around and speak about peace and brotherhood while they continue to drop bombs in Gaza on a defenseless people.

    MG: Don’t Muslims around the world cry out loud that US policy towards the issue must be neutral, and US must be an honest broker of peace? What’s wrong if I chose to be neutral? Does neutral mean being on your side? I am sorry to laugh at your innocence or ignorance to have assumed that a group of Zionists like nothing better than me? You should be embarrassed for not reading my piece – I have clearly said that the right wing Zionists Jews and Right wing Muslims don’t like me at all? They have attacked me and even I gave the example of the man who did not want to talk with me or goading me to get angry so they can nail me… also told how the Zionist called me an Islamist and right wing Muslims called me a Zionist.

    What did you read to have made a comment like that? I don’t believe in looking for an apology, if you don’t see it yourselves, there is nothing any one can do but earnestly point out your error. I hope you see your flaw in “assuming” and labeling me or any one without even thinking. I am not offended at all. Prophet Muhammad, Jesus, Gandhi and MLK are my role models, the world did not spare them either, and I am miniscule speck and I should get my proportional share of it as well. Thanks for giving it to me.

    SE: You said what every Zionist demands - that the borders of Israel must be secure.
    MG: Did I say that? Help me find where I said that.

    SE: Have you ever seen the continued fear on the faces of Palestinians who run in fear of the bombs that are dropped on Gaza, almost on a daily basis?

    MG: Yes I do. I wrote about clear images of Palestinian exodus, kids have no option but to throw rocks at the rolling tanks, when their families are butchered… no hopes for them… please read it, it is there. It is painful and I wrote it, and your pain tells you to deny my pain? You need to do better than that sister.

    SE: You said that when Israel became a state, we missed an opportunity to have Israelis and Palestinians get together - eat a meal together, play soccer, talk, etc. Should this have been done before or after Nakba Day?

    MG: The reference was clearly about 1967, a milestone in Israeli and Palestinian history. Both sides failed to share their pain with the other, Israel was defending for survival and Palestinians were living in hopelessness, it was at that time, we the people of the world should have got them together and have them see and meet on human level. Nakba, a painful genocidal event happened almost 20 years earlier

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  9. 2 of 2


    SE: You asked for suggestions - Maybe we should start with enforcing the U.N. Security Resolutions that Israel has been in violation of since its creation, especially the return to the 1967 borders. Maybe the USS Liberty should have the investigation by Congress that it has deserved since 1967.

    MG: We the Americans and Arabs are at fault in messing up the Palestinians and Israelis relations by failing to get them to find solutions, instead of propping and arming them against each other. USS Liberty should be investigated as well. At this juncture, blaming is not we want to do first, solutions is what we need to find, going forward. Do you see the stalemate because of the attitudes of blame?

    SE: In other words, maybe Israel should be exposed as the Criminal state that it is. How can you be supportive of a country that has infiltrated our Congress at the demise of the United States?

    MG: The Israelis got the US to declare Hamas as a terrorist organization; did that help find the solution? Calling Israel a Criminal state will be compounding the problem. Neither side should be called Criminal or terrorist, which amounts to giving them an immovable status of criminals and terrorist, and increasing the chasm and killing the possibilities of peace. The hate multiplier has not given them a break to think straight, it is us, you, me and others who can step back and see the issues and find solutions for them, their peace is our peace.

    SE: Maybe if you want peace, you should be giving speeches to stop our government from sending money and arms to Israel.

    MG: If there is peace between the two nations, all others things fall in place. The most effective things first must be addressed.

    SE: I could go on and on. Obviously, we are on different pages. However, in saying this, I still do not doubt your quest for peace. May Allah bless you.

    MG: I am not asking you to believe in me, no one should believe any one, unless they have a reason to. Just look at the choices we have. The right wing Zionists attitudes and right wing Hamas attitudes have done nothing but aggravation, and they are merely filling in the spot that peace makers have given up.

    MG: Isn’t it better to mitigate the conflict than aggravate it? Isn’t it better work than to cause the parties to dig in their heels?

    MG: Susan, I have nothing to gain but spend my time and energy, that I could be spending making a living. I am doing this because, if I were to die in an accident tomorrow, I know I have done my share of making the world a better place, and go in peace as a receiver and giver. Thank you.

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  10. Sharon Barbosa CrainFebruary 9, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    There is much fault in the history of the relationships in the Middle East but what is clear today is that we can not resolve our current problems through a focus on these failures but only will we succeed if we use them as instruction for better decisions. A major problem we face today is the fear and fanaticism on all sides which drive much of our discourse. We have a President who is attempting to move beyond that. He can not abandon the protection of our country nor the well being of other area of our world because we are interconnected today in ways more extensive than in previous eras . But we can encourage a rational approach recognizing all self interests and move from that point

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  11. I like your approach, would you be interested in writing your wisdom on the topic... we need more good solutions out there. Thanks

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  12. For Susan El-ZatariFebruary 9, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Salam Brother Mike - In response to Brother Mohamed Ameen, you said, - "We need to focus on having a conversation back." I really don't think that this is the answer. The Israelis and and the Palestinians have been talking for 64 years and the only thing happening is more land is being stolen, more houses are being demolished, more innocent people are being killed - especially Palestinians, children are being jailed, Gaza is being denied medical and building supplies, bombs are still raining down on Gaza, the wall that divides neighborhoods and people from their land continues to be built, more arms and money flow into Israel from the US, more settlements, etc. etc. etc. Maybe the answer isn't in more talk, but in enforcing the U.N. Security Council Resolutions by Israel - mainly returning to the 1967 borders, stopping the flow of arms and American tax payer dollars, inspecting Israel's nuclear arsenal, stopping the settlements, and creating a "no fly zone" over Gaza. Talk is cheap and so far hasn't accomplished anything, unless you can give me examples of when it did. Let's begin by enforcing what has been discussed and put into resolutions. This would be fair.

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  13. For Susan El-ZatariFebruary 9, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    My dear brother Mike, there is no doubt that your heart is in the right place. If everyone was on the same page as you, maybe things could change, but unfortunately this is not where we are at. You said that, "We should have gotten the families of Palestinians and Israelis to sit and eat together, talk with each other and let the kids play a game of soccer in their presence and dream about a future for them. We deprived them of their humanness and instead armed them to fight. What have they achieved and what have we achieved?" Whether you meant 1967 or 1948, it is really irrelevant because the result was the same. Israel stole even more land that did not belong to them as they continue to do today with their illegal settlements and bulldozing of countless Palestinian homes. Maybe I put words in your mouth when I said that you want the borders of Israel to be secure. Your exact words were "I am deeply committed to the security of Israel and Justice for the Palestinians." How can you be committed to the security of Israel and still give the Palestinians justice? It's absolutely impossible. Do you think that by being "neutral" you are going to change anything? Israel and the Palestinians have been talking to each other off and on for decades - the only result is the continued massacre and stealing of resources by Israel from the Palestinians. You have completely forgotten the essence of Zionism - and that is to have an Israel whose borders extend to the Biblical borders that existed 4000 years ago. We have already destroyed Iraq and killed over a million Iraqis in the process to enable Israel to achieve it's goal. There were no weapons of mass destruction; and even if you believe in the lie of 911, as I recall, there were no Iraqis on the planes. My point is that we have done enough talking. It is time to enforce UN Resolutions that have been discussed and implement them. Put a "no fly" zone over Gaza. This would be "fair". I'm sick of talk, and "neutrality" is not the same as "justice". If I die in a car crash tomorrow, I too believe that I have fought the good fight in standing for justice, not just for the Palestinians, but for good people everywhere. I write letters, I protest in Washington D.C.,I sign petitions, and I try to educate people. I am not against you, rather I wish you success.

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  14. Why Oslo failed

    Arafat was ambushed by Clinton and Barak, when both presented him a deal that was much more favorable to Israel than to Palestine.

    In a nutshell, Arafat was presented with "a take it or leave it deal" either Palestinians had to give up their claims to most of East Jerusalem and forfeit their Right of Return,

    and in return Palestinians would "gain" a non-contiguous state on parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, or the whole Clinton-Barak offer had to be rejected outright; which he did.

    According to Barak's offer, the proposed Palestinian areas would have been cut from East to West and from North to South, so that the Palestinian state would have consisted of a group of islands, each surrounded by Israeli settlers and soldiers.

    No sovereign nation would accept such an arrangement-that could hinder its strategic national security and interests, click here for a map illustration.

    The occupied West Bank and Gaza strip have more Israeli Jewish colonies and bypass roads than ever,

    The Oslo Agreement's fundamental flaw was that it had attempted to scratch the surface of the core issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and not to necessarily solve them.

    Any agreement, similar to the Oslo Agreement, is destined for failure if it won't address the core issues of the conflict, such as the Palestinian Right of Return, the status of Jerusalem, water allocations, and the borders of the emerging states.

    http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine-Remembered/Story416.html

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  15. Nothing is easy, that is given. Six decades have gone by in attempting to lock in horns with each other – fully agree the evilness of war, that we as Americans allowed on Iraqis and Afghans, instead of the criminals we destroyed nations, that is wrong. The Eretz Israel ambition is wrong, but that is really not the needs of either people. Palestinians need justice and Israelis need that sense of security.

    It is really their choice, all we can do is be a sounding board to hear them and facilitate a dialogue. They have to finally agree to live with each other or continue the status quo… the past ideas have not worked… at least we can help them connect on human level.. a few mothers with children on both sides can get together and really think through the future looking into the eyes of the children, which men are incapable of.

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  16. Your statement, “The so called neutrality that Br Ghouse is talking about is a political and ineffective statement, it is not going to work with the Zionists. “ Is a wall. There is unwillingness on your part and when you are unwilling why the other should side be willing, they are probably saying the same. It is better to fail again and again but not give up hope. Peace and Justice is worth pursuing. Neutrality of people other than Israelis and Palestinians is a must if we need to advance.

    Discussions like this will ready us to fully understand the complexity, but that should not deter from finding a solution. It takes a lot of patience and Alhamdu Lillah, God has blessed me with it.

    Do you remember Suleh Hudaibiya? Muslims were not happy with Prophet’s decision, but for the sake of a ten year peace treaty, he agreed to the un-agreeable terms, didn’t he?

    ReplyDelete
  17. For Susan El-ZatariFebruary 9, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Mike - you have not responded to the fact that Israel which was founded on Zionism wants to expand it's borders to the Biblical Israel of 4000 years ago. They have no interest in peace. Until you understand this and address it, all the talk is for nothing. What can the Palestinians do at this point in time? Israel has taken almost everything. Why don't you insist on the U.N. Resolutions being enforced??? This would be a beginning of some sort of justice.

    ReplyDelete
  18. 1. I did mention and actually used the phrase Eretz Israel
    2. Things are indeed complicated, and let each one work his way.
    3. My focus is appealing to the humanness in us.
    4. When people develop empathy, they will take it from there.

    I have chosen the path of mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill.

    I urge you and friends to put together a proposal that has a chance of working, there is no single approach to it.

    ReplyDelete
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