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

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blind leading the blind

As a supporter of the security needs of Israel and justice to the Palestinians, it’s painful to see the destructive policies of the right-wingers bent on hurting the dreams of founding fathers of Israel; a place for Jews to live without apprehensions.
 Justice to the Palestinians is the only thing that will bring real security and a life free of apprehension to the Jewish people. There is a Chinese saying if you want to remove the enemies, make friends with them, the enemy is gone for good, otherwise both will leave in the fear of the other, no matter how weak or strong one is.
It really pains me to see the blindness of the Rightwing Jewish-Americans and the right-wing Muslims who want to win the wars for their bloody egos and refuse to see another point of view. The voice of reason is vigorously drowned in both the communities and is labeled as self-hating Jew or self-hating Muslim, unless the majority of Jews and Muslims speak up for the good of all, the right wingers continue to rein, they have a gain in it. I have lost a lot of friends (not really) in both the camps, but I'll continue to speak up, hoping that someone among them can see goodness for all.
You cannot be safe and secure when others around you are not. You cannot fathom peace unless it is in you.
There are many Jewish and Muslim voices that need to be considered, I found my own voice in the following article.  It not just Alon Ben-Mier, but Naom Chomsky, Rabbi Lerner, Uri Avnery and a host of Jewish and Muslim intellectuals who want to bring about the change, but they are disowned.
They need your support.
Mike Ghouse committed to cohesive societies.
# ##
Alon Ben-Mier
March 28, 2011
It is difficult to be an American Jewish organization advocating support for Israel today. On the one hand, there is the staunch belief that Israel must be defended at all costs, and that any division will expose a weakness in the united Jewish front. On the other, American Jews traditionally advocate progressive policies in domestic and global affairs, which seemingly contradict their hard-line stances in support of an Israeli government that is apt to reject such liberalism. At a time when Israel is led by a government that is steering it toward unending conflict, and whose actions are threatening Israel's Jewish and democratic nature, much of the American Jewish community today is merely echoing the Netanyahu government's talking points. While unity has kept the Jewish world strong throughout the Diaspora, if it is perpetuated through blind support of misguided policies, it could severely undermine Israel's national security in the name of misplaced sense of unity.
The instinct to unify is one that is ingrained in Jews the world over. This heritage of unity goes back not only generations, but millennia. Divisions among the early Israelites are cited as key factors leading to the destruction of the First and Second Temples of ancient Jerusalem. The expulsion of the Hebrews from the Holy Land, and their dispersal throughout the Middle East and Europe, provided the impetus for the elevated importance of Jewish community for centuries. Whether by choice or by force, Jewish communities banded together to survive the Spanish Inquisition, the pogroms of Eastern Europe and, of course, the Holocaust and the eventual creation of the Yishuv in what would become the State of Israel. Jewish holidays like Hanukkah and Purim celebrate the success of the Jewish people being saved from the threat of destruction, others like Tisha B'av and Yom Ha'shoah commemorate those periods when Jews failed to do so.
The psyche of a people with a history under almost constant siege has served as the key unifying agent between Israel and the American Jewish community. The narrative of the Jewish people surrounded by hostile enemies, and needing the constant support and vigilance of its brethren to survive, is indeed a powerful one. Today, when faced with the threat of a nuclear Iran, Israeli and American Jewish leaders are often quick to compare the current period to 1939 in an effort to demonstrate the urgent need to safeguard a Jewish people under the threat of annihilation.
Of course, the State of Israel was supposed to change all this. The Zionist ideology was about Jews not cowering in fear of those who would threaten them, but rather about binding together in strength to create a great nation that would proactively serve to protect and defend the Jewish people. And build a great nation they did. Nearly 63 years after the creation of the modern Jewish state, Israel enjoys one of the world's greatest militaries, strong economy despite the worldwide downturn, most advanced technologically and an unprecedented partnership with the global superpower, the United States. In short, today the Jewish people may be more secure, and better off, than ever before.
But the sense of vulnerability within Israel, and among Jews worldwide, has become so deeply engrained that it is hard to recover. Even dissent against Israeli policies which threaten to upend its remarkable accomplishments is intolerable. Those that do so have often been shunted, sidelined and all but discredited completely within their communities. Rather than face such ‘excommunication,' many Jews choose therefore to be silent when it comes to Israel-but their silence is in turn interpreted as acquiescence and even support. This cycle has, at times, become so out-of-hand that Jewish advocates of Israel have surpassed even Israeli hardliners in their defense of the Jewish state and their support for misguided policies. In the past decade, American Jews have contribute over $200 million to West Bank settlements whose more than 500,000 inhabitants-many with American passports-serve as central obstacles to a two-state solution that would secure Israel's democracy as a Jewish state. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is known to have questioned whether he would obtain support from American Jewish leaders in launching the Oslo peace process in 1993. In the midst of pursuing a peace process with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2008, then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was met with a proposition by the World Jewish Congress demanding that any negotiations on Jerusalem be approved by the Diaspora Jewish community. And, while American Jews do have a measure of influence in Congress, advocates of the Jewish state vociferously deny the often-inflated extent of their influence, while at the same time using the specter of such power to advance their agenda.
This strategy is backfiring against Israel and the United States. Take the recent United States veto of the United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity. Israel and the Jewish community have considered the veto a major victory for Israel, and for the U.S.-Israel relationship. But in truth, it is a defeat. Had Prime Minster Netanyahu been truly committed to a two-states solution, he could have used the resolution as cover to press forward a new peace agenda, with the support of the United States. Or, American Jews could have promoted that the United States support the resolution but ensure that it would serve to oversee its implementation as step toward jumpstarting the dormant peace process. Instead, Israel-and the United States-is even more isolated than it was before, and the mediation and influence of the United States, Israel's most critical benefactor and ally, is being questioned as never before. Even more, as a result of the veto, the notions of Jewish power and conspiracy have again reached a fever pitch, providing fuel to anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments.
In truth, the U.S. decided to veto the resolution for its own reasons. The Obama Administration recognizes that an Israel on the defensive is one that is unlikely to take courageous steps toward peace. It is also true that the United States vetoed the resolution with an eye toward domestic politics. However, those who point to a supposedly all-powerful Jewish lobby as the key source of the Administration's concerns are mistaken. In a recent Gallup poll, 63 percent of Americans indicted that they sympathized with Israel more than the Palestinians, the highest ratings of support for Israel since 1991. American Jews makeup only 2.2 percent of the United States-support for Israel is an American interest, certainly not strictly a Jewish one.

Even so, American Jews have an important voice, and they are failing to use it effectively. To be sure, while a united Jewish people is important, and even critical for the continued survival and growth of global Jewry and its relationship with Israel, this relationship should be based on a shared vision of the future, not on the vulnerability and fears that have characterized the past. American Jews should use their voice today to communicate a different path for the future of Israel's relations with the United States and the Diaspora-and there is no better time to start than now.
With the Arabs of the Middle East rising up against their corrupt dictators and demanding freedom and opportunity, the Arab world will be increasingly more confident and forward-looking than ever. Israel's neighbors clearly will continue to lag behind the Jewish state for the foreseeable future, but as they regain their footing, they will eventually look again to the continued conflict with Israel. That is why Israel, and its brethren in the Diaspora, should not be caught obsessively preparing for the challenges of the past when it could be grasping the opportunity being presented today by the changes occurring in its neighborhood.
American Jews must open their eyes-and help Israel to do the same-to witness the unpleasant realities of the region and the state, and to recognize that they will not disappear simply because they are wished away. Israel and world Jewry today are acting like a reckless gambler, unnecessarily risking the future even though Israel already has the chips it needs to realize all its dreams-if both sides could only open their eyes and grasp them.
*This piece was originally published in the Jerusalem Post on 3/18/2011, and can be accessed at http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/Article.aspx?id=212614
# # #

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Muslims condemn today’s attack on the Bus in Jerusalem.

March 23, 2011, Dallas, Texas

Muslims condemn today’s attack on the Bus in Jerusalem.

The world Muslim Congress strongly condemns the attack on the bus in Jerusalem as well as the resumption of the rocket attacks on the civilian population. We pray for God’s blessing for the victims and their families.

“It is the responsibility of the Palestinians to speak out and stand up against the few who are tarnishing the peace process” Mike Ghouse, President of the World Muslim Congress and the Foundation for Pluralism adds; “please find the individuals who are responsible for this horrendous crime and bring justice to the victims and their families. They are your real enemies and are bent on destroying the future of your children by their irresponsible malicious acts”.

Killing one human being is like killing the whole humanity, says the Torah and Quraan and its corollary, and saving one life is like saving the whole humanity. And both Muslims and Jews have to listen to God, there is wisdom in it.

I ask the Israelis to arrest the temptation to take revenge, only the one with power can stop the cycle, and let terrorism not force you out the path of peace.”

Mike Ghouse
World Muslim congress
Foundation for Pluralism
2665 Villa Creek Dr, Suite 206, Dallas, TX 75234
(214) 325-1916

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rabbis against Israel and Zionism?

It's on Fox News!
I am surprised Neal Cavit is still there at Fox

Muslims condemn the Murders of Fogel Family in Israel

In behalf of Muslims and the World Muslim Congress, I condemn the malicious rejoice by some Palestinians over the cold blooded murder of the Fogel family in Israel.

A few exchanges on the net prompted me to add the following;

Bad people are among all of us without exception, acknowledging bad Muslims, bad Indians,  bad Israelis, bad Palestinians, bad Jews or bad Americans is the right thing to do, denying takes away the credibility of information.

The shameless score keeping must be understood to break they cycle of violence.  The shameless rejoice by a few Palestinians is not acceptable, and I sincerely hope, Netanyahu will not bomb the entire Gaza strip to avenge this and then they will fire the rockets... it is to the advantage of the powerful to break the cycle of revenge.   

A friend wrote, "Jewish Israelis do not do that too Muslims" and I wish that were the case. I asked him to look up Jerusalem post, Haaretz and the writings of Jewish humanitarians to find a different story.

I humbly request the right wing Jewish Americans and the right wing Muslim Americans not to start a campaign of hate and counter hate, but instead break this cycle.  Both sides can dig up trash and throw at each other, for what? So they can do more of it?

I ask the shameless Media vultures not to feed on these hateful incidents and talk for a whole week until they find another corpse; their food.  

Mike Ghouse is the founder of America Together foundation and Islam Together Foundation and is committed to building cohesive societies offering pluralistic solution on the issues of the day.  His work is indexed in 4 websites and 21 Blogs at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Jewish editor sacked for publishing article*

Finding the truth is one’s own responsibility. However there are right wingers in every group who simply deny anything contradictory to what has been dished out to them.  A friend said he sent this first article to his Jewish friend in Canada, who wrote response, both are posted here to just take a look at how two Jews see the history in a different way, just as Muslim, Christians, Hindus or others do.  

The question is not what to believe, it what is the truth. We have to dig it in.  Personally in the last two days two Jewish men were telling me that “"Jewish Israelis do not do that too Muslims" what the Palestinians are doing to Israel.  I responded him back  that, I wish that were the case and asked him to look up Jerusalem post, Haaretz and the writings of Jewish humanitarians, you will find a different story.

We have to find peace and I urge you to read my commentary written in the panel of this blog – http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/

Mike Ghouse
 # # #

This article was sent to *Debbie Ducro*, an American-Jewish journalist with the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. She published it, and was fired the next day.

*Quest for justice
By Judith Stone

I am a Jew. I was a participant in the Rally for the Right of Return to
Palestine. It was the right thing to do.

I've heard about the European holocaust against the Jews since I was a small child. I've visited the memorials in Washington, DC and Jerusalem dedicated to Jewish lives lost and I've cried at the recognition to what level of atrocity mankind is capable of sinking.

Where are the Jews of conscience? No righteous malice can be held against
the survivors of Hitler's holocaust. These fragments of humanity were in no position to make choices beyond that of personal survival. We must not
forget that being a survivor or a co-religionist of the victims of the European Holocaust does not grant dispensation from abiding by the rules of humanity.

"Never again" as a motto, rings hollow when it means "never again to us
alone." My generation was raised being led to believe that the biblical land
was a vast desert inhabited by a handful of impoverished Palestinians living with their camels and eking out a living in the sand. The arrival of the Jews was touted as a tremendous benefit to these desert dwellers. Golda Meir even assured us that there "is no Palestinian problem".

We know now this picture wasn't as it was painted. Palestine was a land
filled with people who called it home. There were thriving towns and
villages, schools and hospitals. There were Jews, Christians and Muslims.

In fact, prior to the occupation, Jews represented a mere seven per cent of
the population and owned three per cent of the land.

Taking the blinders off for a moment, I see a second atrocity perpetuated by the very people who should be exquisitely sensitive to the suffering of
others. These people knew what it felt like to be ordered out of your home
at gun point and forced to march into the night to unknown destinations or face execution on the spot. The people who displaced the Palestinians knew first hand what it means to watch your home in flames, to surrender
everything dear to your heart at a moment's notice. Bulldozers levelled
hundreds of villages, along with the remains of the village inhabitants, the
old and the young. This was nothing new to the world.

Poland is a vast graveyard of the Jews of Europe. Israel is the final
resting place of the massacred Palestinian people. A short distance from the memorial to the Jewish children lost to the holocaust in Europe there is a levelled parking lot. Under this parking lot is what's left of a once flourishing village and the bodies of men, women and children whose only crime was taking up needed space and not leaving graciously. This particular burial marker reads: "Public Parking".

I've talked with Palestinians. I have yet to meet a Palestinian who hasn't
lost a member of their family to the Israeli Shoah, nor a Palestinian who
cannot name a relative or friend languishing under inhumane conditions in an Israeli prison. Time and time again, Israel is cited for human rights
violations to no avail. On a recent trip to Israel, I visited the refugee
camps inhabited by a people who have waited 52 years in these 'temporary' camps to go home. Every Palestinian grandparent can tell you the name of their village, their street, and where the olive trees were planted. Their grandchildren may never have been home, but they can tell you where their great-grandfather lies buried and where the village well stood. The press has fostered the portrait of the Palestinian terrorist. But the victims who rose up against human indignity in the Warsaw Ghetto are called heroes. Those who lost their lives are called martyrs. The Palestinian who tosses a rock in desperation is a terrorist.

Two years ago I drove through Palestine and watched intricate sprinkler
systems watering lush green lawns of Zionist settlers in their new
condominium complexes, surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire in the midst of a Palestinian community where there was not adequate water to drink and the surrounding fields were sandy and dry. University professor Moshe Zimmerman reported in the Jerusalem Post (30 April, 1995), "The [Jewish] children of Hebron are just like Hitler's youth."

We Jews are suing for restitution, lost wages, compensation for homes, land, slave labour and back wages in Europe. Am I a traitor of a Jew for
supporting the right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their birthplace and compensation for what was taken that cannot be returned?

The Jewish dead cannot be brought back to life and neither can the
Palestinian massacred be resurrected. David Ben Gurion said, "Let us not
ignore the truth among ourselves...politically, we are the aggressors and
they defend themselves...The country is theirs, because they inhabit it,
whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country...".

Palestine is a land that has been occupied and emptied of its people. Its
cultural and physical landmarks have been obliterated and replaced by tidy Hebrew signs. The history of a people was the first thing eradicated by the occupiers. The history of the indigenous people has been all but eradicated as though they never existed. And all this has been hailed by the world as a miraculous act of God. We must recognise that Israel's existence is not even a question of legality so much as it is an illegal fait accompli realized through the use of force while supported by the Western powers. The UN missions directed at Israel in attempting to correct its violations of have thus far been futile.

In Hertzl's 'The Jewish State' the father of Zionism said: "We must
investigate and take possession of the new Jewish country by means of every modern expedient." I guess I agree with Ehud Barak ( 3 June 1998) when he said, "If I were a Palestinian, I'd also join a terror group." I'd go a step further perhaps. Rather than throwing little stones in desperation, I'd
hurtle a boulder.

Hopefully, somewhere deep inside, every Jew of conscience knows that this was no war; that this was not G-d's restitution of the holy land to it's
rightful owners. We know that a human atrocity was and continues to be
perpetuated against an innocent people who couldn't come up with the arms and money to defend themselves against the western powers bent upon their demise as a people.

We cannot continue to say, "But what were we to do?" Zionism is not
synonymous with Judaism. I wholly support the rally of the right of return
of the Palestinian people.

Contact *Independent Catholic News* tel/fax: +44 (0)20 7267 3616 or email
# # #

Apparently the author of this article swallowed palestinian propaganda whole.

The "right of return" of the palestinians, should it ever become a reality, would mean the end of Israel, precisely because of Israel's democratic system.

During most of the rule by the Ottoman Empire, which had occupied most of the Middle East, including the territory of present day Israel and the surrounding areas, the land was mostly a desolate wasteland extremely sparsely populated by a few Bedouin tribes.

Following the demise of the Ottoman Empire at the end of WW1, the British were given the mandate to govern this territory.

Jews began to move back to the land and created economic opportunities nonexistent before.  Arabs from the surrounding countries of Syria, Iraq, Egypt, etc. followed to take advantage of the opportunities created by the Jews and the British.  They are definitely NOT the ancient inhabitants of that land, save for a very few of them.  There was no Palestinian people then whatsoever.

Once the United Nations declared the creation of the State of Israel, and even during the years leading up to this momentous events, the Jewish leadership assured the arab population that they wished to live in peace with them and there was no need to evacuate or flee the newly created country.  The arab leadership exhorted all the arabs to leave, assuring them it will be only for a short time, until the Jews were pushed into the sea.  Most of the arabs fled and some stayed.  Those who stayed have full and equal rights and citizenship, which is more than arabs can claim in the rest of the arab countries.

However, it didn't work out that way.  Israel prevailed and flourished despite repeated aggression from the arabs.  The vastly larger and richer arab countries refused to resettle the refugees they created in order to hold them against Israel forever.

There were many millions of refugees all over the world following WWII.  They were all resettled, and their subsequent offspring became full and productive citizens of their adopted countries.  It is only the so-called palestinians who are stuck forever for generations to come in refugee camps upheld and condoned by the UN and most of the world.  WHY?

There were roughly 700,000 arabs who fled Israel upon her creation.  About the same number of Jews expelled from arab countries with only the shirts on their backs were absorbed by a fledgling Israel totally poor and devoid of resources.  Do you think they will ever be compensated?

You will find below a brief and concise essay describing the nature of things concerning this issue.  Perhaps you have seen it before, perhaps not.  If yes, it bears repeating.

The British Mandate in Palestine was established temporarily in 1919 after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire following its defeat in WWI.  In 1935 the Peel Commission, investigating riots that were to plague the region between the years 1936-39, were calling for an end to the Mandate and to partition the land into an Arab and a Jewish state. While the Jews had accepted this partition, the Arabs rejected it, refusing to accept it as a solution. The plan was later abandoned and the arab leader Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi told the commission "There is no such country as 'Palestine'; 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented! Palestine is alien to us".

In 1947 the United Nations voted 33 to 13 (10 absentees) passing Resolution 181 proposing a Jewish and an Arab State.  (By the way, this makes Israel THE MOST LEGITIMATE country in the world—NO OTHER COUNTRY was established by the UN but rather by conquest and occupation, including yours, the USA.)  This was accepted with jubilance by the then Jewish Population of Palestine. The Arabs refused. The delegates from the six Arab nations stormed out of the session, threatening not only war, but the annihilation of the Jewish state.  They vowed to resist the partition, demanding the entire country for themselves.  Haj Amin Al Husseini – Mufti of Jerusalem said

“I declare a holy war; my Moslem brothers, murder them all!"
The 14th of May, 1948, the State of Israel was finally born and President, Harry S. Truman signed the following memo; “This government has been informed that a Jewish State has been proclaimed in Palestine and recognition has been requested by the provisional Government thereof.  The United States recognizes the provisional Government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel.” The fledgling state was attacked by its Arab neighbours’ within hours of its independence, and Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the League said: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades”

However, tiny Israel fought against the six arab countries attacking and prevailed against all odds.

In 1967 Israel was again fighting for its survival. On May 15th Egypt moved troops into the Sinai, and by May 25th, urged by Egypt, the armies of Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia moved their troops to Israel's borders.  Egyptian president Nasser didn’t mince his words when he said "Our basic goal is the destruction of Israel". Far from being destroyed, Israel emerged victorious capturing the Sinai, Gaza, The West Bank, parts of the Golan Heights and Jerusalem. Israel offered immediately to negotiate the return of the occupied territory.  The Arab conference summit held in Khartoum in September of that year issued the following statement:  "No Recognition of Israel, No Peace with Israel, No Negotiations with Israel."

In the meantime, PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein, in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw on March 31, 1977, declared:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism.

"For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa. While as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan." 
In 1976 Jimmy Carter won 19 out of 31 primaries, defeating Gerald Ford to become The United States 33rd President. In 1979 he would preside over the Egypt-Israel Peace accord which was signed at Camp David. Part of the negotiations involved the Palestinians and the future of the West Bank and Gaza." A five-year period of "transitional autonomy" was proposed. The Palestinians were offered this autonomy by Israel in exchange for peace. This would have eventually led to full statehood.  However, the Palestinians were not willing to recognize Israel and Yasser Arafat said “Let them sign what they like. False peace will not last."

The 1993 Oslo accords, Camp David under Clinton in 2000, Ehud Barak’s magnanimous offer in 2001, in which he offered 95% of the so-called West Bank and Gaza to the arabs -- all these negotiations had one purpose: to give the Palestinians a state.  And guess what happened?  Yep, they refused.

In view of all this, it is pretty hypocritical to constantly blame Israel for everything, though sadly, that will not be a deterrent.

I hope this makes things a bit clearer.