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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, December 9, 2012

Israelis & Palestinians voting for joint Parliament this month

Israelis & Palestinians voting for joint Parliament this month  
 Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/338524#ixzz2Ec05i6O3
 By Aymen Zaben 

On December 12, the Israeli Palestinian Confederation will hold its first election ever, allowing Israelis and Palestinians to vote as equals for President, Vice President and Parliament.
  
On December 12, the Israeli Palestinian Confederation will hold its first election ever, allowing Israelis and Palestinians to vote as equals for President, Vice President and Parliament.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, deeply rooted in religious and territorial disagreements, has been an issue in the Middle East for many years. With staunch views on both sides, conflict has been a given and has erupted into wars over the years with each side vying for control and fighting to prove who rightfully belongs in this small piece of land. In an area so often portrayed negatively in world media with seemingly perpetual conflict that is deeply rooted in religious and territorial disagreements, there is promising news on the horizon. The proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” may turn into a flickering flame that is going to bring about democracy in this ideologically and historically war-torn region. History will be made as this much-anticipated event unfolds.

December 12th, 2012 will be a very historical date on the calendar of Middle East politics. The Israeli Palestinian Confederation (IPC) will hold its first election ever in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, allowing Palestinians and Israelis to vote as equals for a President, Vice president and a joint Parliament. The larger objective of the Israeli Palestinian Confederation is to act as a third government for the people of these warring nations. While the Israeli and Palestinian governments will remain in place and make decisions regarding all important issues, the Confederation will act as a mediator to help resolve issues on which both sides have failed to reach agreement. In addition, the IPC will help address issues that impact day to day life such as water, transportation, education, public safety and security.

The establishment of the Israeli Palestinian Confederation will consist of a President, Vice President and Parliament. The democratically elected president and vice president of the IPC will serve in 4 year terms with a maximum of 8 years in office. One will be from Israel and the other from Palestine. However, to maintain political balance the IPC constitution requires that the president and vice president alternate positions after 2 years. The Parliament, on the other hand, will consist of a combined total of 300 members made up of both Israelis and Palestinians. Each Member of Parliament can serve a maximum of 12 years in office.

To successfully pass legislation for ultimate government approval, a 55% vote is needed from each side. While there haven't been very productive measures taken over the years to resolve the conflict, the creators of the IPC are hoping that great strides will be made on December 12, 2012. The creation of the IPC will help to quell long-held resentment through logic, reason, and diplomacy. Israelis and Palestinians will be able to select those that they see as being best fit to represent them in Parliament on December 12th, 2012, and the eyes of the World will be watching.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/338524#ixzz2Ec05i6O3
 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Israel Palestine 101 - Jewish Voice for Peace

The following video comes from Jewish Voice for Peace, which has a similar call as mine - Security for Jews and Justice for the Palestinians. The site claims, "Watch this short, historically accurate animated introduction to Israel-Palestine 101" - 

I believe Miko Peled's history has a slight variation in its narration of history, the Palestinians did not accept the mandate because a majority of the living population were given a small piece of land, where as the majority of the land was given to the a minority Jews.  However, between Miko Peled's history and this, varies on the Arab invasion. 

Indeed, my understanding of the entire conflict is laid out in my article, http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-to-achieve-security-for-israel-and.html

Here is the version by Jewish voice for peace.



 

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He 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.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Netanyahu’s Brazen And Perilious Defiance

Alon Ben-Meir and I have similar takes on the issues of Israel and Palestine - Mike Ghouse 
Dec 3, 2012
Alon Ben-Meir

One would think that Prime Minister Netanyahu and his cohorts would one day come to their senses and realize that there are limits to which they can defy the international community, including the United States, without serious, if not perilous, repercussions for the state of Israel. As long as he is in power, Netanyahu has no intention, now or ever, to allow for the establishment of a functioning and independent Palestinian state. His talk of a two-state solution is nothing but an empty slogan designed to mislead the international community, and tragically he is leading the Jews’ third commonwealth to a historic disaster akin to the destruction of the Second Temple. Those Israelis from the left and center of the political spectrum must wake up and stop him in his tracks before it’s too late. Otherwise, they will be judged as harshly and mercilessly as history will judge Netanyahu by not preventing the looming disaster from destroying the Jews’ last refuge.

I may sound overly dramatic, but anyone who witnessed last week’s events at the United Nations and condemned the General Assembly’s overwhelming support in granting the Palestinians a non-voting observer state is contributing to the demise of a two-state prospect, which offers the only solution that preserves and safeguards Israel’s very existence. Leading Israeli figures, including former Prime Minister Olmert, applauded the UN resolution not because they care about the Palestinians as much as they are concerned about the future of Israel itself. Israel’s isolation has already reached its zenith as was displayed at the UN vote, and further defiance of the international community will make Israel a pariah state living in darkness and uncertainty, with no friends left to watch its back.

Due to the converging political events and circumstances in Israel and in the region, I for one feel, like millions around the world and in Israel, that the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) successful UN bid offers a momentous opportunity to resume in earnest the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Israel and the United States for that matter, who claim that the PA’s unilateral action only undermines the peace negotiations, have yet to produce a shred of evidence that supports their contention. In fact, Israel has been taking unilateral measures in the occupied territories, including expropriating Palestinian land with impunity, to which the whole world is opposed.

There are several central reasons why I feel that further delay in resuming the negotiations for tactical or strategic reasons by either side will erode the last vestiges of a mutually accepted agreement with dire consequences for both.

First, as the peace negotiations have been frozen for the past three years, I believe that the PA’s elevated status could change the dynamic of the conflict in an unprecedented manner, compelling the Israelis to face a new reality. For many years now, as long as there was no spike in violence or threat of imminent danger emanating from the West Bank, the Israelis became increasingly complacent, preferring the status of “no peace, no war.” This condition allowed Netanyahu to have it both ways, which is precisely what he wished to accomplish as he continued unabatedly with the expansion of settlements. President Abbas’ effort at the UN has now shaken that status quo. Mr. Olmert expressed his support, stating that the move is in “line with the strategy of a two state solution,” and any attempts to stifle this momentum will herald a return to the status quo ante, which will severely cripple the viability of the two-state solution and acutely harm Israel’s national interests.

Second, although the Obama administration voted against the UN resolution, the timing of the PA move is particularly important as President Obama prepares for his second term where he must now deal with the ever-changing conditions in the Middle East. Recent events in Gaza have added further urgency for direct U.S. involvement in solving the Israel-Palestine conflict. The Obama administration has largely neglected the conflict after attempts were made in 2010, but the latest flare-up of violence between Israel and Hamas provided a “rude awakening”- that the U.S. cannot ignore the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without consequences to America’s strategic interests. The fact that the U.S. has backed Israel at the UN does not suggest that President Obama supports Netanyahu’s ever obstructionist policy toward the Palestinians.

The Netanyahu government’s announcement, the day after the PA’s successful bid, that it was moving ahead with plans to build a new city in the contentious area known as E1 between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem making the contiguous Palestinian state virtually impossible, was nothing short of a slap in the face to President Obama. Defying Israel’s sole ally is not only short-sighted but extremely damaging to Israel as the US is becoming increasingly frustrated with a prime minister who has lost his bearings and his mind. Regardless of Netanyahu’s loathsome behavior, however, the PA move should prompt the US to interject itself directly, actively and consistently, as it must, to push for an accord while making it abundantly clear to the Netanyahu government that it can no longer take U.S. blanket support for granted.

Third, regardless of who wins the January 2013 elections in Israel, the next prime minister will have to face the Palestinian problem in one way or another. Playing for time, as Netanyahu has done over the past four years, will no longer work. The election in January can be fateful only if the center and left political parties come to grips with the danger that Israel will face should Netanyahu be given another chance to form a new government. These are no ordinary times; the splintered political groups in Israel must either rise to the occasion and literally save the country from sliding toward the abyss, or allow their personal interests and inflated egos to stand in the way of fighting for their country. I know this is a tall order, but if they do not match their criticism of Netanyahu with action, they will have sacrificed the future of the nation on the altar of their blind self-indulgence. Then again, should Netanyahu form a new government, he will have to face, or must be made to face by the US, the changing dynamics. The Palestinians now have other tools by which to constantly refocus the attention of the international community on their plight by going, for example, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and exercising their newly gained leverage. Israel should look at the changing conditions constructively. Instead of opting to punish the Palestinians, the next government must respond to the majority’s demands that Israel exorcize the evil of occupation and restore dignity to both Israelis and Palestinians alike.

Fourth, the overwhelming support from the international community has sent a loud and clear message to the current and future Israeli governments that Israel has no friends left. The biggest blow to Netanyahu’s policy came from the European countries that either chose to support the resolution (like France) or abstain (like the United Kingdom and Germany). Denying Netanyahu even a minimal face-saving outlet represented nothing short of exposing his unseemly bankrupt policy. The disproportionate vote at the UN (138-9, with 41 abstentions) provided a glaring testimony to Israel’s near complete isolation, which necessitates that something must now be done to face the conflict squarely. No new Israeli government, even if led by Netanyahu, can afford to ignore the consensus of the international community, provided that the leading European nations, especially, Britain, Germany, and France under the leadership of the US, are determined to use whatever diplomatic tools and leverage they can muster to resolve the conflict. In that sense, what happened in the UN provided a new momentum because the stakes for all countries concerned are extremely high.

Finally, the Palestinians are not likely to remain idle in the wake of the Arab Spring when young men and women have and continue to die for their freedom and dignity in places such as Libya, Egypt, and Syria. It would be only a question of when, not if, they will rise against the humiliating occupation. The PA’s success is likely to forestall the potential uprising in the territories and give more time for negotiations. Moreover, the successful UN bid strengthens the PA’s position as well as that of other moderate voices over Hamas, whose political standing along with other extremist groups was boosted in the wake of the latest Israel-Hamas flare-up. This development offers the US in particular a new opportunity to re-engage Israel and the Palestinians in a productive dialogue.

To fully benefit from these developments, the Palestinians would be wise to use their elevated position in a constructive way. Instead of threatening to go to the ICC, they should focus intently on the resumption of negotiations unconditionally and leave it to the US to establish the rules of engagement. In so doing, they will deprive Netanyahu from playing for time particularly because it was he who insisted on resuming the negotiations unconditionally. Israel, for its part, would be wise to refrain from taking even symbolic punitive actions against the PA, which will not only worsen the situation but weaken Israel’s hand as it would be acting against its own interest while further alienating the entire international community. The recent decision by Netanyahu’s government to build 3000 units in East Jerusalem and West Bank settlements is exactly the wrong prescription for the immediate resumption of negotiations, but since this project is still at the planning stages, the US can play a direct role in diffusing this conflicting issue.

The Obama administration has an equally important task in pushing to resolve the conflict by demonstrating that it can be an honest and impartial mediator. The US should retract its own threat of taking action against the PA. President Obama can make a convincing argument to Congress that taking punitive action would further undermine US influence in the region and that withholding aid from the PA will only strengthen the extremists among the Palestinians.

It should be made clear, though, that none of the above exempts the Palestinians from responsibility. They have all along abstracted the peace process and resorted to violence, especially the second Intifada, which was a turning point for Israel providing justification for its concerns, suspicions, and complete lack of trust. In that regard, while the Palestinians “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” Israel cannot afford to miss this opportunity and bring an end to seven decades-old debilitating conflict with dignity.

Fundamentally, the dwindling prospect of achieving a two-state solution demands a creative and principled approach by the United States and Israel. The latest move by the PA may well provide the impetus to seek a solution, however elusive it may seem.


Click here to read this article and more on AlonBen-Meir.com.




Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gaza - where is our humanity?

Every now and then, I pull Facebook conversation as a reference, and it saddens me.
We have indeed condemned Hamas for shelling rockets and harassing the civilian Israeli population. We need to condemn Israeli pounding of Gaza as well. 

We are (Americans) manipulated into hating the Palestinian from our stinky attitudes of superiority (statements made by a few Israeli leaders and Romney), and that has lead us to justify bombing the Palestinians in revenge. How can we support annihilation of a people? It saddens me to see the bloodthirtyness on both sides.

Aren't we stripping our own humanity by dehumanizing them, of not being just to them,  justifying bombing them as revenge. Obama is damned wrong on it, so are the others.  Jews don't need fake support from us Americans, that is insincere and full of duplicity, they need genuine security, the path chosen is not the way to go about it.

We cannot justify either, nor should we goad them in their actions. If we do, we need to ponder about our own humanity.


The least we can do is pause and think about it. We said never again after the holocaust, but genocides have continued non-stop, and we are currently witnessing the annihilation of the Palestinians people by the Israelis and we cannot justify it -we need to resist the blood thirstyness in us. This will prolong the dream of Jews for security and hope of Palestinians for justice, and we will carry a moral burden on us, we may deny it, but need to consider its impact on our own balance and a sense of morality.

References:

Here is a conversation on the facebook, that prompted me to write the above.

In Gaza, surge of support for Hamas starts to fade. The nervous ecstasy of conflict gives way to a grim status quo, as Gazans wonder what was accomplished. 


  • Rahel Limor Keep praying!
  • Paul ClarkWe can only hope. (And support the PA.)
  • Xavier Romero-Frias Because those supporters had been fed mainly propaganda
  • Mike Ghouse NO matter what any one does on either side, we should not slip from finding security for Israel and Justice for the Palestinians...10 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Grant Gochin Palestine is now a legal State. The very first missile that comes over from Palestine (Gaza) is a legal act of war by one State on another. Therefore, missile #1 from Gaza is a legal basis for a full and complete clean up. That is the legal effect of the UN Vote.8 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Mike Ghouse Grant, why are we blood thirsty? Why do we rejoice cleaning up the other? You and I are bloody safe in our homes in the United States, not those living in Gaza and Israel... we don't need more revenging, we need more understanding... of each other.8 hours ago · Like · 2
  •  Grant Gochin Do you see any understanding coming from Gaza? No, neither do I. If there is a war declaration from Gaza, they are a legal state. Very simple. The UN just protected Israel. Don't you see that?  8 hours ago · Edited · Like
  •  Mike Ghouse Grant, indeed a recognition is the right thing to do, how stupid them the Arabs and we the Americans, refusing to acknowledge each other while we exist. This recognition is relief for the Jewish people to focus back on social justice rather than not being their own selves. Take a look, the dialogue is in between...

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNYmI6MlhZw&feature=related