Sunday, December 27, 2009

Principles that should guide Palestinian and Israeli Peace

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These are some principles I have fashioned that I hope will become the basis for establishment of Yalla Peace Parties throughout the world to promote peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

1-We can disagree about the past with passion and emotion and still come together for a great future together. We do not have to deny each other's narratives about the past, or challenge them, on order to agree on a mutual future of peace and compromise. This is the first step. Stop using the past as a bludgeon to attack the other side, while closing a blind eye to similar conduct among our own peoples.
2-We apply one principle of fairness, justice, morality to achieve compromise looking within ourselves to find and correct the fault. Israelis must be able to denounce the killing of Palestinians before they can denounce the killing of Israelis. Palestinians must be able to denounce the killing of Israelis before they can denounce the killings of Palestinians.

3-We resist the temptation to blame people for the actions of individuals, and resist the temptation to respond in anger and in kind. This is not about people but rather about politics and government policies that have gone wrong and feed on the suffering, tragedy and confusion of our peoples.

4-We set aside the old paradym of Israelis versus Palestinians and instead define our movement as moderates versus extremists. We use the M Word proudly and reject those who seek to deny it as a means of distracting eyes from their own extremist ways and views.

5-We embrace two-states, Israel and Palestine, and deal with the issues after we achieve a real peace and two states. We create two states on the basis of the bigger principle and later negotiate the final borders, the sharing of Jerusalem, compensation and resettlement of the Palestinian refugees, the dismantling of which specific settlements, the swap of land, etc. Create two states so that Israel and Palestine become equal partners at the negotiating table rather that seeking to achieve the unachievable through an imbalance with Israel as the subjugator and Palestine as the subjugated.

6-We strive to see the bigger picture and not get drawn in to the battle over the "pebble." We see that peace based on compromise is the answer to past violence and terrorism. We don't allow one disagreement to discourage us from seeking the bigger agreement of peace.

7-We resist the rhetoric of hatred. We stop stereotyping Israelis and Palestinians. We reject hate speech, denial of the suffering of others. Palestinians must stop enabling or advocating Holocaust revisionism or questioning the Holocaust. israelis must stop questioning the existence of Palestinians or the facts that they lost many homes and lands as civilians in the 1947-48 war.

8-We view criminal acts (violence, terrorism, all acts of physical injury) not as the consequences of a people but rather as the result of individual conduct. Terrorism and violence must be treated as criminal acts not an excuse to persecute or demonize any other people.

9-We do not allow violence and terrorism to derail compromise and recognize that the more successful we become in reaching peace based on compromise and two-states, the extremists will push harder until it is too late with more violence, and violence of the most despicable kind including suicide bombings and military massacres.

10-We view violence of the past in its context not as a means of defining the future. The massacres in the Gaza Strip are horrendous but the answer is not to respond with violence, but rather to build peace to prevent future events from re-occurring. The same with violence against Israelis. We treat them as horrific incidents, not blanket condemnation of an entire people.

11-We stop blaming others and begin to address the challenges among ourselves. Palestinians stop blaming Israelis and Israelis stop blaming Palestinians. Instead, Palestinians look into themselves and identify their errors, mistakes, misconduct and change them. Israelis look into themselves and identify their errors, mistakes, misconduct and change them.

12-We accept that Peace is the answer and that both sides have injured each other.

-- Ray Hanania

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Representativ es from 43 Countries to march to Israeli border

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Media Advisory for                                For more information contact:
December 23rd, 2009                              Blair Fitzgibbon 202-503-6141
                                                                          Medea Benjamin (Cairo) 0189561919
                                                                          (Gaza) 0599501519

*Telephone Press Conference Call December 23rd, 11 AM EST USA*

One Year After Invasion Of Gaza 1,300 People to Participate in
March as Part of Global Effort to Lift Devastating Blockade

For TV/WEB Satellite Coordinates of Live Feed, email

Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, former Italian Vice President of European Parliament Luisa Morgantini, French Senator Alima Boumediene–Thiery leading Syrian comedian Duraid Lahham, author and Filipino Parliament member Walden Bello, and 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein

On December 31st, over one thousand representatives from 43 nations around the globe will convene at the Gaza/Egypt border as part of the Gaza Freedom March. The event is in response to a growing global initiative, to lift the crippling blockade on Gaza in order to allow food, medicine and rebuilding supplies to enter the Palestinian territory. 

Amongst the 1,300 international delegates participating in the March are some prominent names, including Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, former Italian Vice President of European Parliament Luisa Morgantini, French Senator Alima Boumediene–Thiery leading Syrian comedian Duraid Lahham, author and Filipino Parliament member Walden Bello, and 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein.

Organizers will hold a telephone news press conference call on December 23rd at 11 AM EST to preview the March.  Satellite coordinates to stream live footage for the media will be provided the night before the crossing.

Call-In Number: 1 + 785-424-1051 – conference ID: “GAZA” – this is a US phone number – reporters can call in internationally.

The international delegates, including international diplomats, doctors, lawyers, students, religious leaders, war veterans, women’s groups, and members of the Jewish community, will enter Gaza via Egypt during the last week of December. In the morning December 31, they will join Palestinians in a non-violent march from Northern Gaza to the Erez/Israeli border. On the Israeli side of the Erez border will be a gathering of Palestinians and Jews who are also calling on the Israeli government to open the border.

The call will be with the following organizers and activists: Gaza Freedom March Lead Organizer – Medea Benjamin, Pulitzer Prize winning author – Alice Walker, Former Vice President of European Parliament – Luisa Morgan Gini.

WHEN: December 23rd at 11 AM Eastern (USA).

For more information please visit


Monday, December 21, 2009

The US Census and American Arabs, a Satirical approach

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The CENSUS: A satirical approach

Have you all filled out your census form yet?

I’m not filling it out. No. I won’t fill out the Census form because I want our name ARAB spelled out in black ink on the Census form … with all the other names … I pay my taxes … I am NOT writing the word ARAB on the form … the US Government should write it on the form for me …

They do that for everyone else.

The Census form has a long list of “recognized” ethnic and racial groups:


They list Hispanics five different ways on the Census form:

HISPANIC, LATINO OR SPANISH ORIGIN … Mexican American … Chicano … What country does Chicano come from?

They list Black people three times on the Census form :


American Indian or Alaskan Native … they even give you a space to write in your “TRIBE”

There are all kinds of ASIANS …

Asian Indian … Japanese … Native Hawaiian … Chinese … Korean … Guamanian or Chamorro … Filipino … Vietnamese … Samoan

OR … “Other Asian” such as Laotian … Thai … Pakistani … and Cambodian.

And they even have

Pacific Islander … Fijian … Tongan.

I know why they don’t have ARAB written on the Census form … They have already printed 28 other ethnic and racial groups … and THERE’S NO MORE ROOM for us anywhere on the form …

-- Ray Hanania