WARNING : This site is not for you if you cannot see the otherness of other 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, January 19, 2020

Holocaust and Genocides 2020

15th Annual Holocaust and Genocides


Dr. Mike Ghouse
Center for Pluralism
email: MikeGhouse@gmail.com 
Office: (202) 290-3560
Cell: (214) 325-1916

15th Annual Reflections on the Holocaust and Genocides  

The purpose of this event is education, information, and activism. We hope to learn and acknowledge our failings and make a personal commitment to our share of saying, "Never Again."

15th Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM Sunday, January 26, 2020
Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22201

Tickets are complimentary, but donations are accepted 

We hope you will walk out of the event with a genuine feeling of being a contributor towards building a cohesive world where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. 

The Jewish community has been commemorating the Holocaust event since 1953, known as Yom HaShoah in Synagogues around the world. The general public learns it by visiting the Holocaust Museums and educational institutions.

At the Center for Pluralism, we are committed to spreading knowledge of the Holocaust and Genocide through interfaith and public events, including the Annual reflections. 


Robert F. Teitel - Holocaust Story

Dr. Gregory Stanton - Signs of Genocides

Rushan Abbas & Omer Kanat - Uyghur Updates

Dr. Wakar Uddin - Rohingya Update

Muneer Baig - Kashmir Update

Dr. TO Shanavas - India Update

Dr. Rani Khan - Peace Pledge

Dr. Mike Ghouse - Genesis of this event

Rabia Baig - Mistress of Ceremony


Nausheen Baig

Rabbi Alana Suskin

Jafer Imam

Dr. Zafar Iqbal

Charles Stevenson


Would you like to be a sponsor?

Our budget is $2000, full or any part 


Dr. Rani Khan

Dr. Mike Ghouse

Organized by:

Center for Pluralism

Our format consists of four parts; Interfaith prayers, Holocaust, Genocides, Massacred and the Pledge of Peace. Silently, we will acknowledge all suffering, but physically we are limited to a few Genocides each year. 

 This year, a Holocaust survivor will share his story, followed by updated Uyghur, Rohingya, and the signs of making of Genocide in India. I urge everyone to watch the Schindler's list and Civil War movies to grasp the signs.

I believe, when we acknowledge each other's grief and participate in each other's commemoration, we connect with the humanness within ourselves and seed the relationship of understanding and caring for each other. 

There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own, or amounts to infidelity to our pain, and every community and nation has suffered through this. To all those who have endured the Holocaust, Genocides, Massacres, Ethnic Cleansing, Land Mines, Hunger, Rape, Torture, Occupation, Expulsion, and inhuman brutality, we must say, you are not alone. The least we can do in the process of healing is to acknowledge every one's pain in one voice. 


I cannot be safe if the people around me are not, and I will not have peace if people around me don't. It is in my interest to seek a peaceful world for one and all.

This is a Muslim initiative to assure fellow humans who have endured the Holocaust, Genocide, ethnic cleansing, massacres, rapes, injustice and other atrocities that we are all in this together to create a better world. Tikkun Olam is our sacred duty. 


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List of Supporting Organizations (links embedded)

Published at 148 News Outlets
A few are listed below 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Israel Palestine Mutual Democracy video

Dear Friends at JIDS and JAMAAT, 

I am pleased to share a lengthy but meaningful video by Josef Avatar, President of the non-profit organization "Israel Palestine Confederation" of which I am one of the Board Members. 

The peace process is not an easy one - in the last 25 some years that I have been actively involved in the community building, I have found extremists on both sides of the issue and the moderates among us, not in Israel or Palestine, but right here in America. 

I recall watching a movie made by the Palestinians shown in Dallas by the Jewish community- in the Q&A, I was a singular person who knew anything about the issue and facing finger pointing.  Some of them were screaming at me claiming there is no such thing as Palestine. On the other extreme, I had heard insults from some of the Muslims when I started the annual event Holocaust and Genocides. They said shame on me for not holding the event for the Palestinian massacres.  

If you are a dead person, as most of the living persons seem to be,  who do not take a stand on conflicts and act as deceased persons, no one will point the finger at you. What a wasted life!  
Justice requires seeing the point of view of all the parties to the conflict and finding solutions for all to exist. No one is more privileged than others. If you favor one over the other, then you lack the morality to be just. 

JIDS held a Dialogue on the Israel Palestine Conflict a few months ago, I did not get to write the report on it, but it was an eye-opener. I give full credit to Dan Spiro for setting up an environment for people to express their opinions freely, and being a fair person, he made sure all points of view were given a voice. I hope we have a videotape of that. 

Here is a 1:25 Minutes video by Josef Avasar, he addressed the myths people hold about each other in Israel and Palestine. It is an eye-opener.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeMGUP1kzfg 

Reuven Rivlin, the President of Israel, likes the ides of the Israel Palestine Confederation, and he has talked about it in several of his speeches. 

Watched the video with optimism and hope. You’ve said all the right things fairly and squarely. I will be sharing this with my Jewish & Muslim Group’s as well as JIDS group ( Jewish Islamic Dialogue Society) and JAMAAT Jews, Muslims and Allies Acting together here in DC. 

Josef responds;

Hello Mike, thank you so much for the kind words. I am now in the airport traveling to New York City to meet With Senator George Mitchell to get him to endorse an Israeli Palestinian Confederation. In November I will be in Israel Palestine to meet with many people who are interested in mutual democracy. The movie Surviving Peace is being translated into Arabic and Hebrew. It will be available soon on the web. If you know any Arabic speaking people who could check the translation that would be good.Love.Josef.
Israel Palestine Confederation - http://www.ipconfederation.org/

Dr. Mike Ghouse is the Executive Director of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.  More about him and his profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeghouse/
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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Folk rock album on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

courtesy JTA 

This Seattle singer wrote an entire folk rock album on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Ben Fisher
Ben Fisher’s album “Does the Land Remember Me?” explores the history of Israel from Israeli and Palestinian viewpoints. (Kendall Rock)
(JTA) — In 2014, early on in a three-year stint spent living in Israel, songwriter Ben Fisher took a vacation to Japan. Sitting in a hotel room in Tokyo, he spontaneously wrote a song about the founding of Tel Aviv — in about 15 minutes.
The story goes that the first Tel Aviv homesteaders chose their plots of land at random by picking seashells from the Mediterranean shoreline with numbers written in them. Fisher named the song “The Shell Lottery.”
Earlier that year, the Seattle-based songwriter had quietly released an album of country-tinged folk rock called “Charleston.” But Fisher, a self-described “huge musical nerd,” had long wanted to write a more ambitious concept album in the vein of Sufjan Stevens’ cult classic “Illinois” and “Michigan” records. “The Shell Lottery” was the moment he had been waiting for.
“I realized that it could serve as the start of something bigger, something more cohesive,” he said.
Over the course of the next year, while living in an apartment across from the Old City in Jerusalem, he went on to write most of the songs that wound up on his folky, heartfelt 17-track opus “Does the Land Remember Me?”
On the album, which comes out Sept. 7, Fisher inhabits a range of characters, from early Israelis nervous about their new country to Palestinians forced to leave their homes to a settler imagining his eventual expulsion from the West Bank. There are history lessons on Masada, terrorist attacks and Israeli figures such as singer Meir Ariel and astronaut Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli to make it into space (he was killed in the fatal Columbia mission in 2003).
Some songs also capture the 26-year-old Fisher’s contemporary perspective on the city and country he grew to love, from his apartment on what he calls “the seam” between Jewish western Jerusalem and Arab eastern Jerusalem. Each song has an explanatory liner note giving the listener context and, in some cases, a mini history lesson.
“You hear gunshots from terrorist attacks, you see dead terrorists in the public park adjacent to the walls of the Old City,” reads the liner note for “Horses and Helpers,” one of the tracks sung from Fisher’s contemporary perspective. “You are late to work because a car has plowed into your light rail station, aiming to run down people going about their daily business. You’re not allowed to leave the Damascus Gate of the Old City after getting coffee with friends because there has been a stabbing attack and they’re still searching for the perpetrator.”
The goal of the project, Fisher says, is to challenge those with deeply held ideologies on Israel from all sides of the spectrum. He wants listeners to realize that there is always “another perspective” and “another story” to hear about Israel, no matter what preconceptions one might have.
“My intent from the beginning was to write songs that a certain group of Israeli or Jewish-American society would agree with, and then have the next song be something totally out of left field, from a perspective that they had never considered from somebody they considered to be the enemy,” he said. “And all within the course of three minutes.”
Fisher’s fascination with Israel started after college when he realized he had a “black hole” in his knowledge about the Jewish state. His parents, whom he describes as “bacon-eating” Reform Jews, actually talked more about Egypt, where they lived for a time in the 1980s, than they talked about Israel. He majored in Middle Eastern studies and Arabic at the University of Washington.
But after graduating, Fisher set out to educate himself on Israel and its history. He read books on the country by Martin Gilbert, Daniel Gordis and Yossi Klein Halevi, and Israeli newspapers like Haaretz. He listened to Israeli music. He says he became a little “obsessed,” telling his parents he wanted to move to Israel with the idea of writing songs inspired by the country.
Ben Fisher
Fisher lived for three years across from Jerusalem’s Old City, or what he calls the “seam” between Arab eastern Jerusalem and Jewish western Jerusalem. (Kendall Rock)
Staying with the history theme, Fisher chose to live in Jerusalem over Tel Aviv for its rich past. He worked as a bartender, then as an editor and writer for The Jerusalem Post.
“There are parts of Tel Aviv where you walk around and you could be anywhere on the Mediterranean, or even anywhere in Southern California or Florida,” Fisher said. “I like a lot of things about Tel Aviv, but Jerusalem has a history that fascinates me.”
Some time after he finished writing the album’s songs, the well-known indie songwriter Damien Jurado flew in to play a show in Tel Aviv. Jurado, one of Fisher’s idols — they had crossed paths in Seattle’s folk scene — reached out to Fisher when he arrived, saying that the airline had broken his guitar. Fisher lent Jurado his guitar.
Months later, he figured he could call on Jurado for a favor in return. To Fisher’s surprise, Jurado agreed to produce his Israel album, and the whole thing came together over six days at the beginning of this year in Seattle’s Studio Litho (it’s owned by Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard).
Fisher worries how people on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian debate might respond to the record, but he’s also excited about its potential. He cited Lin-Manuel Miranda’s wildly popular musical “Hamilton” in talking about how art can dramatically increase people’s interest in a historical topic.
“Last time I was in New York, I saw a bunch of middle school girls at the grave of Alexander Hamilton in Trinity Church, and that was something that you know a high school teacher or a middle school teacher would never achieve in an American history class,” he said.
“It takes a work of art for people to get really interested in things. People are never going to read a book about Israel. They might watch a movie, but I think an easily digested three-minute folk song is a way to get them involved.”