israel palestine resolution

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Richard Falk has never been one to pull punches. He simply states what everybody involved in the so-called ‘peace process’ has always suspected – that the ‘two-state solution’ has been dead in the water for many years. 

It’s hard to know whether John Kerry really believes his efforts will make a difference. Certainly Mahmoud Abbas must no better. Meanwhile, as they play out their charade, the Palestinian people continue to pay the price.

Father Dave

Ricahrd Falk

Richard Falk

source: www.dailystar.com…

Falk: Two-state solution presently obsolete

BEIRUT: Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine for the U.N. Human Rights Council, Thursday called the two-state solution “presently obsolete.”

Falk, who has drawn controversy in the past for his criticism of Israeli policies, was delivering the annual Constantine Zurayk Lecture at the American University of Beirut, speaking on the topic “Rethinking the Future of Palestine: Beyond the Two State Consensus.”

Falk did not completely rule out the two-state solution, saying, “Perhaps in the future it will again become a plausible political project.”

But for now Falk said U.S. President Barack Obama’s model of a two-state solution “continues the global mirage of a negotiation … is essentially a bridge to nowhere,” adding that “no image of an end-game solution at this time is possible as a viable political project.”

Since 2005, he has been the chair of the Board at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and taught at Princeton University for 40 years.

In the wake of the June 1967 war, Falk said, the situation can be characterized as one in which the Palestinians have lost, and the Israelis have gained.

“And they [the Israelis] have been able to do that behind the mirage that a two-state solution was in the cards.”

Using South Africa as an example, he highlighted the need to satisfy a number of political preconditions before a solution becomes a realistic possibility.

Saying that “conditions for a just peace do not presently exist,” Falk also noted, “I realize it’s discouraging to emphasize the prematurity of proposing a solution after 65 years.”

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It is hard to understand what official justification could be given for shutting down the office of the Palestinian government’s representatives in Washington in the wake of the enhanced UN status of their country. Why must elevated international status for Palestine necessitate diminished status in the US!

Reform Jews at odds with AIPAC over penalizing Palestinians for UN move

AIPAC backed congressional bids to shut PLO office in Washington, while Reforms have urged Obama not to retaliate against the Palestinians.

By Nabil Sha’ath

Two major American Jewish groups are at odds over the prospect of penalties for the Palestinians in the wake of their enhanced United Nations status.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee in recent weeks has backed two congressional bids to at least shut down the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington in the wake of the November 29 United Nations General Assembly’s overwhelming vote that granted Palestinians non-member observer state status.

Conversely, the Reform movement has emphatically urged President Obama not to retaliate against the Palestinians, JTA has learned. The Reform movement also has resolved to oppose the shuttering of the PLO office. 

For the full report: www.haaretz.com……

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More news from Fighting Father Bob – an Australian making a difference in the West Bank.

If you’ve missed Bob’s previous diary entries, they are here and here.

Hi,

Thought I might just share a few photos from Beit Ommar, the village south of Bethlehem where I am now staying.

Beit Ommar

The first  (above) is the Abu Maria family house. We (the internationals) have the ground floor. Above us are the quarters for several generations of the family – including the patriarch, Abu Youssef, who, at 75, has a new(ish) wife and a three year old son, Hamza!

The house sits among orchards and vegetable gardens, right in the middle of the village.  Tractors chug past and share the road with flocks of sheep and goats being driven out to graze. At 4.30 a.m. the call to prayer is broadcast from the village mosque, at volume, and also for the four other obligatory prayers of the day.

We spend the mornings at the village’s Popular Committee centre, writing up reports and hanging out. The second photo shows the view from one of the windows (complete with bullet hole, courtesy of the nice Israeli army).

Beit Ommar

Cheers,

Bob

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Father Roy writes:The mainstream media simply refused to cover the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.  One is tempted to ask who owns the (deleted) mainstream media.  Not to worry, Peers.  Let’s thank God for the Internet.  On the Internet there’s information at our fingertips.  We network and exchange what we know.  Attitudes influenced in Cyberspace create facts on the ground.  The days of “Ignorance is Bliss” are over.  “Let not your hearts be troubled, Peers.”  We’ll figure out ways to right some wrongs.  Cooperative efforts will be required, of course.  But when we really and truly think about it, all we need to do … one individual at a time … is focus collectively and simultaneously on the issues that matter most to us and reach consensus.  That’s all we need to do.   Peace, Roy 

Russell Tribunal on Palestine offers alternative perspective

Posted on October 9, 2012

In an effort to publicize Israeli violations of international law against the Palestinian people, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine held its fourth session this past weekend.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine, an independent human rights organization founded in 2009, has convened in Barcelona in 2010, London in 2010 and Cape Town in 2011 to present different aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The New York City session focused on denouncing the United States and the United Nations for their complicity in the actions of Israel and failure to bring justice to the region.

“Several participants would like to press for changes in the [United Nations], such as ending the veto power of the richest and most powerful nations, which allows for the U.S. to single-handedly obstruct justice,” said Sherry Wolf, media coordinator for the tribunal.

The tribunal said the United States and the United Nations have supported Israel with economic and military aid. According to its findings, Israel receives 60 percent of U.S. Foreign Military Financing and has been the largest beneficiary of U.S. foreign aid since 1976.

This session featured notable speakers such as Ilan Pappé and Noam Chomsky and jurors including Alice Walker and Angela Davis, in hopes of garnering media attention.

However, Wolf said this has proven to be extremely difficult, particularly in the United States.

“There is an enforced blackout of Palestinian voices and points of view in the U.S.,” Wolf said. Mainstream media were well-informed about our tribunal with some of the most prominent names in civil rights, scholarly, cultural and legal circles and simply refused to cover it.

Ilan Pappé, the opening speaker at the tribunal and a renowned Israeli historian, said the mainstream media must use a historical perspective to fully understand the issue.

“I think that hearing a different narrative, a different version of these events … eventually makes way on how politicians, journalists and the common public relate to the issue of Palestine,” Pappé said.

Emah Rajeh, a CAS junior and member of NYU Students for Justice in Palestine,

“It is without a doubt a historic step in the right direction,” Rajeh said. “For years, dissent or criticism of Israel has been seen as taboo, but with this tribunal, we hope it will encourage understanding the conflict as not a relationship between equal parties, but as one that consists of an oppressor and an oppressed.”

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine plans to hold its final session in February 2013 to present the cumulative conclusions of all the hearings. The location of this session has not yet been announced.

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Once again, a powerful and succinct analysis from Uri Avnery – founder of the Israeli Peace Bloc , Gush Shalom

His estimate of Romney’s Foreign Affairs knowledge is undoubtedly correct. Romney offers a no-state and no-hope solution.

I always appreciate Avnery’s optimism with regards to the ongoing possibility of a ‘two-state solution’. What I am less convinced by is his pessimism regarding the so-called ‘one-state solution’.

Avnery says, “The possibility that these two peoples could live peacefully in one state, serving in the same army and police, paying the same taxes and abiding by the same laws enacted by the same common parliament, is nil.” I would have thought that both South Africa and Northern Ireland, while being far from perfect situations, suggest that such a state of peace might be achievable?

Either way, one thing seems clear – that peace in any such form become even less likely should Romney be elected President in the USA!

Father Dave

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

September 22, 2012

A Message from Romnyahu

ONCE UPON a time, President Richard Nixon wanted to appoint a certain lawyer to the US Supreme Court.

“But the man is a complete moron!” one senator exclaimed.

“So what,” answered another, “There are a great many morons in the US, and they have a right to be represented in the court as much as any other sector of society.”

Perhaps the United Morons of America have a right to elect Mitt Romney president. But for the sake of the US and Israel, I hope that this will not happen.

Some people say that Israel is the 51st state of the Union. Some say that it is the first among the 51. Whatever, our lives – and perhaps our deaths – depend to a great extent on the man in the White House.

So, with all my misgivings (and I have a lot) about Barack Obama, I very much hope that he will be re-elected.

IN HIS latest seizure of wisdom, Romney did not only disclose that 47% of Americans are parasites, but also that “the Palestinians” want to destroy Israel. According to him, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has no solution, it will go on forever.

I wonder where he got this last piece from.

In Nazi Germany there was a certain Herr Doktor Otto Dietrich, a functionary of the Ministry for Propaganda.  Every day, he would gather the editors of the important newspapers in Berlin and tell them what their headline and editorial were going to be the next day.

That was before the Internet and fax. Nowadays, the Prime Minister’s office faxes a daily ‘page of messages” to Netanyahu’s ministers and other stooges, telling them what messages they are to spread.

I strongly suspect that Romney read this page of messages just before he met his audience, composed of billionaires (or mere millionaires). After all, he couldn’t have invented these astounding pieces of insight all by himself, could he?

“THE PALESTINIANS” means “all Palestinians”. All  nine million of them in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Israel, not to forget the refugees around the world.

Well, I suppose that if by divine intervention Israel were to disappear from the globe, very few Palestinians would shed a tear. Neither would many Israelis shed a tear if, again by divine intervention, all the Palestinians disappeared. Quite a few Israelis would even volunteer to help God Almighty in this task. Who knows, if Romney’s evangelical friends pray enough, their God may dematerialize all those Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, Iranians and assorted other miscreants.

Alas, such fantasies belong to the realms of dreams and nightmares. In the real world, peoples do not disappear even after gruesome genocides, nor can states which possess nuclear bombs be eradicated by foreign enemies.

I know quite a number of Palestinians, and not one of them believes that Israel can be annihilated. Since Yasser Arafat decided in late 1973 that he must come to terms with Israel, the great majority of Palestinians want a deal that will enable them to set up a state of their own in a part of historical Palestine. This is called the “two-state solution”.

The present government of Israel does not want this, because they are not ready to give up the 22% of historical Palestine which would become the State of Palestine. Since they have no viable alternative, the government’s spokespeople assert that “this conflict has no solution”.

One of the fathers of this slogan is Ehud Barak. After the failed 2000 Camp David meeting, Barak, then Prime Minister, famously declared that “we have no partner for peace”. Since Barak was the main cause for the meeting’s failure, I dubbed him “peace criminal”.

Netanyahu gratefully picked up Barak’s cry, and now the great majority in Israel believes this message implicitly. (Recently I was interviewed by a Danish journalist. I told her: When we finish, stop the first taxi. Ask the driver about peace. He will tell you “Peace would be wonderful. I am ready to give back all the territories for peace. But unfortunately the Arabs will never make peace with us,” An hour later the journalist excitedly called me: “I did as you told me, and the driver repeated your words one by one.”)

“No solution” gives an impression of “everything will remain as it is”. That is a mistake. Nothing remains as it is. Things move all the time, settlements expand, Palestinians will rise up, the world is in flux, the Arab world changes, some day an American president will put the interests of the US ahead of those of Israel. Where will we be then?

THE GIST of Romney’s message is that the two-state solution is dead. This reminds me of Mark Twain’s famous: “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

It is now in fashion to say so. Quite a trend. However, different people have different reasons for believing that the two-state solution is dead.

Parents, teachers, paedophiles and cannibals all say they love children. But their motives are not the same. This is also true for the would-be undertakers of the two-state solution. They include:

One: Idealists, who wish for people of different nations to live together in harmony and equality in one state. (I would like them to study the history of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Sudan, and the present situation of the French in Canada, Scots in Britain, Flemish in Belgium and Basques and Catalans in Spain.)

Two: Arabs, who really believe that this is a peaceful way to get rid of Israel.

Three: Settlers, who want to turn the whole of historical Palestine into their dominion and, if possible, “cleanse” the country of non-Jews.

Four: Israelis, who believe that the settlements have created a situation that is “irreversible”. (Meron Benvenisti, a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, coined this phrase already in the early 1980s, when there were less than 100 thousand settlers. I told him then that nothing was irreversible except death. Situations created by human beings can be changed by human beings.)

Five: Anti-Zionists, including Jewish anti-Zionists, who hate Zionism indiscriminately, with all its good and bad aspects, and for whom the very existence of a “Jewish” state is an abomination.

Six: Muslim fanatics, who believe that Palestine is a Muslim waqf (religious grant), so that allowing any part of it to non-Muslims is a deadly sin.

Seven: Jewish fanatics, who believe that all of Eretz-Israel, from the Nile to the Euphrates, has been promised to the Jews by God, so that conceding any part of it to non-Jews is a deadly sin.

Eight: Christian fanatics, who believe that the second coming of Jesus Christ will be possible only after the ingathering of all the Jews in this country (with no place in it for anyone else.)

Sorry if I have forgotten someone.

SOME OF these people have invented something called the “one-state solution”. That is an oxymoron. There is a one-state problem, there is no one-state solution.

From time to time it is worthwhile to come back to the basic facts of our life:

There are two peoples living in this country.

Neither of the two will go away. They are here to stay.

While the Arab Palestinians living in the country are still a minority, they will constitute the majority quite soon.

Both peoples are intensely nationalistic.

The two peoples have different cultures, languages, religions, historic narratives, social structures, standards of living. At present, after some 130 years of continuous conflict, there is intense hatred between them.

The possibility that these two peoples could live peacefully in one state, serving in the same army and police, paying the same taxes and abiding by the same laws enacted by the same common parliament, is nil.

The possibility that these two peoples could live peacefully side-by-side in two states, each with its own flag and its own elected government (and its own soccer team), does exist.

Such co-existence can take different forms: from a loose confederation with open borders and free movement to closer forms of evolving structures, like the European Union.

I hope that this is not too complicated for Mitt Romney to understand. But this may become irrelevant if – as I fervently hope – he is not elected.

I would hate for an ignoramus to be given the opportunity to learn world affairs on our backs.