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

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Obama's visit to Israel and the hope

Friday night special about Obama's trip to Israel.

URL -http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/2013/03/obamas-visit-to-israel-and-hope.html 

Obama's visit to Israel and the hope

New York, March 20, 2013. There will be 20 of Sean Hannity’s guest commentators  at  Fox Studios in New York to night  to talk about President Obama’s trip to Israel, and it will be filmed to be broadcasted on Friday night.   

Courtesy of Telegraph.

I am glad Hannity invited me to be a part of this meeting, as I am deeply committed to finding ways for peace in the Middle East; the mother of all conflicts in the world. I have nothing to gain but see peace.

Security of Israel is tied to justice for the Palestinians, one will not happen without the other. Neither the right wing Israeli hawks can send the Palestinians in to bushes, nor can the Palestinians will drive the Israelis into the sea. Neither will happen but, both will continue to suffer due to their arrogance and inability to see inwards while others are cashing in on those gratuitous statements.   

The leaders in both the states do not represent the common public, they are like Bush, who was opposed by 72% of Americans, yet he caused so much death and destruction of Americans as well as the Iraqis and Afghanis based on blatant lies.  The Israeli and Palestinian leadership is in the same boat and I do hope Pew conducts a survey to determine if the leadership reflects the peace the public wants.  Given the history of people, neither the majority of Israelis nor the Palestinians are the problem, it is the leadership.

The overriding need for security has pushed them in quick sand of injustice, they were a just people and we need to find a way out.  Obama can help it by recognizing the Palestinian statehood, which will benefit Jewish psyche, a sigh of relief – to have acceptance of undisputed home land, a genuine source of security.

Indeed, we the Americans, and the Arabs, have messed up the Israel-Palestine conflict. We chose to die for our allies at all costs, and got them to entrench into hawkish positions. Had we got them to sit down instead, and talk as a condition of our aid and support, then we would have done good for both the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The American Hawks, particularly my fellow Republicans cannot see it, as they had no clue about the elections they just lost; they supported lies in the past and will continue to believe in fabrications.

It is sickening to hear the hawks shouting out loud that we need to protect our allies; they don’t mean it. We need to question their integrity, and if AIPAC does not support them or threaten their elections prospects, would they still be sincere?

Israel does not need duplicity; she needs genuine friends who will bring security now through dialogue, and not lying to them we will support you no matter what. How long the ordinary Israelis will be duped by these rogues? 

I hope Obama appeals to the Israeli and Palestinian public,and pray that Netanyahu, Abu Mashaal and Abbas see the validity of Israel's security and Justice to the Palestinians with long term ideals of normal living.

Here are a few basics.

Jews have a need to be understood and be acknowledged for their eternal security needs, not the military, but mental security where they can put their guards down and live their life in peace.


Palestinians have a need to be understood. They have suffered immeasurably, no human should be stripped of his or her hope and dignity; hope to have a family, work and own a house and call a place their homeland. The world has failed them.


The real threat to the peace process between Israel and Palestine stems from their inability to look at their own policies critically. It is time to quit blaming and start finding solutions. Damn it, the leaders ought to be ashamed of themselves if they cannot look in the eyes of Palestinian and Israeli Children and commit to give them a better life.

The leaders need to learn,  that they cannot have peace and security when they keep threatening others around them, period. Peace is always the responsibility of the mighty.


Our Presidents need to seriously look at what works. They need to have the vision for peace. They must understand that it may be going against the general opinion and must take bold steps and produce peace for the people of Israel and Palestine. It will save lives and brings peace to them and takes a burden off us.

We must protect Israel, our ally; however, if that protection is based on injustice to either Palestinians or compromising long term security of Jews, our integrity becomes questionable. We need to be above reproach and seek justice for one and all.

Mighty empires can crush the weak for a short term; in the long run every one goes down the tube. We cannot rob anyone and live with a good conscience.

The Right wing Jews of Israel and America do not like to hear reasoned voices of Moderate Jews and others including mine, likewise the right wing Muslims do not like to hear reasoned voices including mine. Just to clarify, the right wingers are not a group or set of people, it is the mental attitude  of individuals that gets them to dig in their heels, their solutions to the problem is kill all the Palestinians in the name of Jesus and Moses, and same goes the other way- kill all Jews in the name of Allah.

Mind you, the right wing nuts are few, but they bark louder in unison and we need to outnumber them, not in barking, but to let them know that more people want peace than conflict. That will begin the process of  weakening the bad and strengthening the good, for the common good of all parties.
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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, and interfaith. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. 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 all his work through links.

Monday, March 11, 2013

On Questioning the Jewish State


I was raised in a religious Jewish environment, and though we were not strongly Zionist, I always took it to be self-evident that “Israel has a right to exist.” Now anyone who has debated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will have encountered this phrase often. Defenders of Israeli policies routinely accuse Israel’s critics of denying her right to exist, while the critics (outside of a small group on the left, where I now find myself) bend over backward to insist that, despite their criticisms, of course they affirm it. The general mainstream consensus seems to be that to deny Israel’s right to exist is a clear indication of anti-Semitism (a charge Jews like myself are not immune to), and therefore not an option for people of conscience.

Over the years I came to question this consensus and to see that the general fealty to it has seriously constrained open debate on the issue, one of vital importance not just to the people directly involved — Israelis and Palestinians — but to the conduct of our own foreign policy and, more important, to the safety of the world at large. My view is that one really ought to question Israel’s right to exist and that doing so does not manifest anti-Semitism. The first step in questioning the principle, however, is to figure out what it means.

One problem with talking about this question calmly and rationally is that the phrase “right to exist” sounds awfully close to “right to life,” so denying Israel its right to exist sounds awfully close to permitting the extermination of its people. In light of the history of Jewish persecution, and the fact that Israel was created immediately after and largely as a consequence of the Holocaust, it isn’t surprising that the phrase “Israel’s right to exist” should have this emotional impact. But as even those who insist on the principle will admit, they aren’t claiming merely the impermissibility of exterminating Israelis. So what is this “right” that many uphold as so basic that to question it reflects anti-Semitism and yet is one that I claim ought to be questioned?

The key to the interpretation is found in the crucial four words that are often tacked on to the phrase “Israel’s right to exist” — namely, “… as a Jewish state.” As I understand it, the principle that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state has three parts: first, that Jews, as a collective, constitute a people in the sense that they possess a right to self-determination; second, that a people’s right to self-determination entails the right to erect a state of their own, a state that is their particular people’s state; and finally, that for the Jewish people the geographical area of the former Mandatory Palestine, their ancestral homeland, is the proper place for them to exercise this right to self-determination.

The claim then is that anyone who denies Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is guilty of anti-Semitism because they are refusing to grant Jews the same rights as other peoples possess. If indeed this were true, if Jews were being singled out in the way many allege, I would agree that it manifests anti-Jewish bias. But the charge that denying Jews a right to a Jewish state amounts to treating the Jewish people differently from other peoples cannot be sustained.

To begin, since the principle has three parts, it follows that it can be challenged in (at least) three different ways: either deny that Jews constitute “a people” in the relevant sense, deny that the right to self-determination really involves what advocates of the principle claim it does, or deny that Jews have the requisite claim on the geographical area in question.

In fact, I think there is a basis to challenge all three, but for present purposes I will focus on the question of whether a people’s right to self-determination entails their right to a state of their own, and set aside whether Jews count as a people and whether Jews have a claim on that particular land. I do so partly for reasons of space, but mainly because these questions have largely (though not completely) lost their importance.

The fact is that today millions of Jews live in Israel and, ancestral homeland or not, this is their home now. As for whether Jews constitute a people, this is a vexed question given the lack of consensus in general about what it takes for any particular group of people to count as “a people.” The notion of “a people” can be interpreted in different ways, with different consequences for the rights that they possess. My point is that even if we grant Jews their peoplehood and their right to live in that land, there is still no consequent right to a Jewish state.

However, I do think that it’s worth noting the historical irony in insisting that it is anti-Semitic to deny that Jews constitute a people. The 18th and 19th centuries were the period of Jewish “emancipation” in Western Europe, when the ghetto walls were torn down and Jews were granted the full rights of citizenship in the states within which they resided. The anti-Semitic forces in those days, those opposing emancipation, were associated not with denying Jewish peoplehood but with emphatically insisting on it! The idea was that since Jews constituted a nation of their own, they could not be loyal citizens of any European state. The liberals who strongly opposed anti-Semitism insisted that Jews could both practice their religion and uphold their cultural traditions while maintaining full citizenship in the various nation-states in which they resided.

But, as I said, let’s grant that Jews are a people. Well, if they are, and if with the status of a people comes the right to self-determination, why wouldn’t they have a right to live under a Jewish state in their homeland? The simple answer is because many non-Jews (rightfully) live there too. But this needs unpacking.

First, it’s important to note, as mentioned above, that the term “a people” can be used in different ways, and sometimes they get confused. In particular, there is a distinction to be made between a people in the ethnic sense and a people in the civic sense. Though there is no general consensus on this, a group counts as a people in the ethnic sense by virtue of common language, common culture, common history and attachment to a common territory. One can easily see why Jews, scattered across the globe, speaking many different languages and defined largely by religion, present a difficult case. But, as I said above, for my purposes it doesn’t really matter, and I will just assume the Jewish people qualify.

The other sense is the civic one, which applies to a people by virtue of their common citizenship in a nation-state or, alternatively, by virtue of their common residence within relatively defined geographic borders. So whereas there is both an ethnic and a civic sense to be made of the term “French people,” the term “Jewish people” has only an ethnic sense. This can easily be seen by noting that the Jewish people is not the same group as the Israeli people. About 20 percent of Israeli citizens are non-Jewish Palestinians, while the vast majority of the Jewish people are not citizens of Israel and do not live within any particular geographic area. “Israeli people,” on the other hand, has only a civic sense. (Of course often the term “Israelis” is used as if it applies only to Jewish Israelis, but this is part of the problem. More on this below.)

So, when we consider whether or not a people has a right to a state of their own, are we speaking of a people in the ethnic sense or the civic one? I contend that insofar as the principle that all peoples have the right to self-determination entails the right to a state of their own, it can apply to peoples only in the civic sense.

After all, what is it for a people to have a state “of their own”? Here’s a rough characterization: the formal institutions and legal framework of the state serves to express, encourage and favor that people’s identity. The distinctive position of that people would be manifested in a number of ways, from the largely symbolic to the more substantive: for example, it would be reflected in the name of the state, the nature of its flag and other symbols, its national holidays, its education system, its immigration rules, the extent to which membership in the people in question is a factor in official planning, how resources are distributed, etc. If the people being favored in this way are just the state’s citizens, it is not a problem. (Of course those who are supercosmopolitan, denying any legitimacy to the borders of nation-states, will disagree. But they aren’t a party to this debate.)

But if the people who “own” the state in question are an ethnic sub-group of the citizenry, even if the vast majority, it constitutes a serious problem indeed, and this is precisely the situation of Israel as the Jewish state. Far from being a natural expression of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, it is in fact a violation of the right to self-determination of its non-Jewish (mainly Palestinian) citizens. It is a violation of a people’s right to self-determination to exclude them — whether by virtue of their ethnic membership, or for any other reason — from full political participation in the state under whose sovereignty they fall. Of course Jews have a right to self-determination in this sense as well — this is what emancipation was all about. But so do non-Jewish peoples living in the same state.

Any state that “belongs” to one ethnic group within it violates the core democratic principle of equality, and the self-determination rights of the non-members of that group.

If the institutions of a state favor one ethnic group among its citizenry in this way, then only the members of that group will feel themselves fully a part of the life of the state. True equality, therefore, is only realizable in a state that is based on civic peoplehood. As formulated by both Jewish- and Palestinian-Israeli activists on this issue, a truly democratic state that fully respects the self-determination rights of everyone under its sovereignty must be a “state of all its citizens.”

This fundamental point exposes the fallacy behind the common analogy, drawn by defenders of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, between Israel’s right to be Jewish and France’s right to be French. The appropriate analogy would instead be between France’s right to be French (in the civic sense) and Israel’s right to be Israeli.

I conclude, then, that the very idea of a Jewish state is undemocratic, a violation of the self-determination rights of its non-Jewish citizens, and therefore morally problematic. But the harm doesn’t stop with the inherently undemocratic character of the state. For if an ethnic national state is established in a territory that contains a significant number of non-members of that ethnic group, it will inevitably face resistance from the land’s other inhabitants. This will force the ethnic nation controlling the state to resort to further undemocratic means to maintain their hegemony.

Three strategies to deal with resistance are common: expulsion, occupation and institutional marginalization. Interestingly, all three strategies have been employed by the Zionist movement: expulsion in 1948 (and, to a lesser extent, in 1967), occupation of the territories conquered in 1967 and institution of a complex web of laws that prevent Israel’s Palestinian citizens from mounting an internal challenge to the Jewish character of the state. (The recent outrage in Israel over a proposed exclusion of ultra-Orthodox parties from the governing coalition, for example, failed to note that no Arab political party has ever been invited to join the government.) In other words, the wrong of ethnic hegemony within the state leads to the further wrong of repression against the Other within its midst.

There is an unavoidable conflict between being a Jewish state and a democratic state. I want to emphasize that there’s nothing anti-Semitic in pointing this out, and it’s time the question was discussed openly on its merits, without the charge of anti-Semitism hovering in the background.

Joseph Levine is a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he teaches and writes on philosophy of mind, metaphysics and political philosophy. He is the author of “Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness.”

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Jew calls for 850 Million Hindus to assert themselves

I am baffled by the audio tape link listed below. Normally, I ignore the guys who thrive on pitiching one Indian against the other. However,  since it came from an active Indian leader and has come many times in the last few days in the email.  I decided to listen and did not hear any facts to back up the rants of the speaker.

Throughout our history, there have been men who have made their good by keeping other people in conflict. If you listen – he would want India to remain in a non-stop civil war. The man has nothing to lose but gain.

The right wing Hindus would love this kind of rhetoric, facts don't matter to the them, and the same goes with right wing Muslims who love similar rhetoric, and Christians and Jews are no different either.  

If we listen to this guy, the gullible among us would buy his hate pitch, and instantly start hating fellow Indians, and for some, their blood boils with a desire to kill every Muslim in India, particularly the Indians living in the United States. Please remember the extremists are no more than 1/10th of 1% of any group, be it Hindus or Muslims.

Imagine a scenario – where people would listen to this man, and go on a killing spree, but how many can you kill? Then Muslims will kill Hindus… is there an end to this Sunghursh (endless fight)? The Norway killer, the Wisconsin Killer had something in common, they cited reading Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer's hateful pieces about Muslims. Pamela's inciting posters may have been the reason for the death of a Hindu man in New York subway. I had warned about it on Fox News twice. As Indians we have a responsibility to nail every one who instigates disturbance and disturbs the peace.

If you and I are willing to give up everything and go on the street with swords– and ready to kill each other, then we are something. Otherwise we are disgusting humans who want the ordinary Hindu cocks to fight with the ordinaryMuslim cocks to bleed themselves to death.
 It is a game to some of us, other people's lives don’t mean a thing to us. But if this man expects you and me to fight, either he is delusional or we are stupid.

This guy is a disgrace to Judaism, Israel and America. He is justifying in his own sick mind what the Israeli settlers are doing to the Palestinians; he thinks a majority should bulldoze the minorities. Does't this hypocrite expect the United States to treat him as an equal, and yet he advocates otherwise, it is this kind of ugly men that contribute to Antisemitism.  Are my fellow Indians dumb enough to believe that they as a Minority in the United States should be treated in the same fashion as they want the Muslim minority in India be treated? 

All of us have worked hard against anti-Semitism, racism, anti-GLBT, Islamophobia, anti-immigrations, women's rights, discrimination,  and we must continue to work hard against these individuals. 

I appeal to the Jewish communities to denounce this man and keep their records clear,  that they do not approve of this. Why should  a Muslim man on the street not Hate Jews, if this Jew is inciting Hindus to hate Muslims? The guy is not an idiot, he just does not have morals or care for the future of Jews in the world, Mr. Madoff is for himself.  

I am sure some of the right wing Hindus are eager to write a big check to their savior, who laughs his ass off after collecting the monies. I urge you to spend your money in building relationships and causing lasting peace with your money, so all of us can live in peace. Please don't treat ordinary Hindus and Muslims as cocks who can kill each other. Let us not be his pawns.

As Indians we need to grow up, and not fall to those who want us to fight – they succeeded in splitting our nation, and keep us busy hating each other, they have done that in other parts of the world as well. Do we want to be screwed more?

Most of the Indian Hindus, Muslims, Sikh, Christians, Jain, Buddhs or others care less, but a few have made their business to spread hate. Don't brush this off, it is the build ups like these that explode into riots. 
Ask yourselves, what is your contribution towards making India, a better India to live? A better India is not seeing luxury cars on the roads, call centers or big homes, or industrial growth, a better India is where no Indian is afraid of the others, and if we have bad guys, we need to lock them up, with a clear understanding that their parents, siblings, kids, spouse or religion or not responsible for his actions.

I urge you to read Hyderabad blasts to appear in Huffington post this week at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse 
Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies where all of us can learn to live with each other without fear of the other.
Hindus  wake up and figght for your rights. This  is now or never.



Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, IslamIsrael,Indiainterfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive Americaand offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest onSean 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 atHuffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal sitewww.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.