Wednesday, April 20, 2011

letters & comments published March 2011- July 2009

Economist 3-17-2011 comment i left online RE: Israel's Jewish identity. The state we're in

Religion should be a personal choice- not a government mandate. As an American, firmly believing that real democracy and true justice and equality depend on firmly respecting universal basic human rights- regardless of race, religion and gender, I am utterly horrified by Israel's bigoted refusal to respect the Palestinian refugees very real right to return to original homes and lands. Let Israel define its own Jewishness however it wants as long as Israel is not harming or harassing non-Jews: Forcing non-Jewish Palestinians into exile and/or poverty is clearly wrong- we should not even need UN Resolutions to point that out.

That said- I also think Palestinians world wide should be investing in the creation of a separate secular Palestinian state to live in peace and security alongside the nation state called Israel. No refugee should be forced to live in new Palestine, but every refugee should be free and empowered to make it their permanent home in hopes of helping to build a beautiful new real Palestine with a healthy economy and a peaceful progressive future for all the people.

Anne Selden Annab

LATimes 1/28/2011 comment i left online

EGYPT: Day of anger suggests a new protest scene driven by youth, free of ideology

[Dear Editor,]

Good to see this informative, accurate & helpful report by Amr Hamzawy of the ... Since the protests started it really has been fascinating to watch the twitter feeds and the actual protests (thanks to the internet).... I very much hope the people putting their lives on the line to protest in Egypt are able to help shape a better country and a better future for themselves and their families.

Anne Selden Annab


My letter PUBLISHED Daily Star RE “Arabs must end the ambiguity and hypocrisy when facing terrorism” 1-24-2011
“Arabs must end the ambiguity and hypocrisy when facing terrorism”
Jan. 14, 2011

Dear Editor

Dr. Ziad Asali and Dr. Hussein Ibish of ATFP (The American Task Force on Palestine) are wise in refusing to buy into the “clash of civilizations” worldview that so many Zionist ideologues and Islamists endorse.

Time and time again I have watched the cycle of incitement and spin sabotage support for Palestine.

Thus I applaud Asali and Ibish for noticing and pointing out that “In the U.S., the most vociferous proponents of the Arab and Muslim victimization narrative, those who blame the West, especially America or the white man for all the ills befalling the Arabs and Muslims, and those who most loudly advocate against the legal and societal harassment of America’s Arabs and Muslims, take full advantage, as they are entitled to, of the American system and find shelter in the comfort and security of its freedoms. The damage they do in being the loudest and most anti-American voices in the vulnerable Arab and Muslim immigrant communities, is to provide ammunition to the demagogues and profiteers of racism and peddlers of hate and fear of Arab and American Muslims, and to encourage the worst racist and chauvinistic tendencies in the U.S.”

It seems to me more people worldwide need to put more energy into remembering the basic Golden Rule and Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Anne Selden Annab
Mechanicsburg, United States


January 7, 2011

Darwish & Dickinson

Mahmoud Darwish
& Emily Dickinson
side by side
on my shelves
aesthetically matched
loner by loner
into a happily ever after of commingling

Poet to poet
meeting in me
Anne Selden Annab

Growing Gardens for Palestine
original poem

LATIMES 11/6/2010 comment i left online

CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT: Analysts welcomed by Babylon & Beyond

Anne Selden Annab
Interesting comments... so far none seem to see that the point of a think tank is to think. Thinking is a process, an ongoing process that yes might go wrong, but given time and positive influences might actually be very helpful. Why swat this away before we even see what it might have to offer? I look forward to seeing what the experts at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace have to say.

Washington Post 10-29-2010 RE The Israeli-Palestinian settlement impasse
annieannab wrote:
Thank you for publishing Saeb Erakat's revealing article "The Israeli-Palestinian settlement impasse".
I very much hope that more people worldwide begin to understand the crucial importance of putting positive energy into ending the Israel/Palestine conflict once and for all- for everyone's sake.

A fully secular two state solution shaped with full respect for international law and full respect for basic human rights really is the best way forward.
10/29/2010 5:40:25 AM

my comment RE Palestine Note's Top News » Heated debate on Israel as 'Jewish state' takes place on Twitter


Posted By Anne Selden Annab - 12 Sep 2010 6:03 AM

I suspect what Hussein actually said has been distorted in this article... but more importantly please note what really matters: "Palestinians have said they have already recognized the state of Israel in past declarations and in interim peace agreements that set the basis for establishing a state of their own in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"This recognition is done," Erekat said.

But explicit recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, Palestinian officials have said, could jeopardize the claims of Palestinian refugees, who fled or were forced to flee Arab-Israeli fighting, to a right of return to homes in what is now Israel."

from the recent news staory "Netanyahu silent on Obama settlement freeze remarks"

RE Palestine Note's Top News » Heated debate on Israel as 'Jewish state' takes place on Twitter

August 26, 2010

My letter PUBLISHED Al-Ahram: Reasonable right

Reasonable right

Sir-- Re 'Disemboweling the right of return' ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 19- 25 August) the right of return is a reasonable right and a universal basic human right clearly affirmed by international law. People worldwide regardless of race, religion, or nationality should simply support this basic human right regardless of race, religion or nationality.

Depicting Israel's refusal to respect this basic human right as a war between "the US and Israel" and Arabs and Muslims -- or however you want to help define the supposed clash of civilisations -- confuses the issue, and very much undermines potential sympathy for the very real plight of the Palestinians.

International cooperation is crucial in order to once and for all end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the very real suffering of countless innocent and increasingly vulnerable people.

Palestinian refugees need as many options as possible. Palestinians should not be forced to remain in impoverished refugee camps. Palestinians need to be free to move on collectively and individually, free to return to what is now Israel to become Israeli if that is what some want, or free to relocate to help build a sovereign Palestinian nation- state living in peace alongside Israel, or free simply to live elsewhere.

Anne Annab

Newsweek 7/24/2010 comment i posted online
RE: Don’t Boycott Israel,The very idea is repellent.

Anne Selden Annab
The article "Don't Boycott Israel, The very idea is repellent" is wrong on so many counts it is hard to figure out which to point out- so I'll go straight to the most important point: For everyone's sake, I would much rather have compassionate strangers channel their energy into boycotting Israel than have more and more people (worldwide) convinced that violence is the only way to goad Israel into respecting international law and the Palestinians' basic human rights.

Washington Post 8-24-2010 RE

How George Will muddled the Mideast picture

Regarding George F. Will's Aug. 19 op-ed column, " Skip the lecture on Israel's 'risks for peace ' ":
annieannab wrote:

Good to see this revealing letter by Amal Jadou regarding Palestine- and how George Will's op-ed got so much so very very wrong.

Hussein Ibish also has an excellent essay on the topic well worth reading :
Why does George Will hate Israelis so much?
8/24/2010 11:35:58 AM

Washinton Post 8/19/2010
RE: Skip the lecture on Israel's 'risks for peace' By George F. Will
comment left online

Dear Editor,

That lecture on "Israel's 'risks for peace' " is a polite way for more enlightened thinkers to say times have changed- get with the program: Israel, came to be at a time when Jim Crow and segregation thrived, but real democracy and equal rights did not.

One state or two or a billion- no modern nation should ever ever ever persecute, impoverish, expel and displace men, women and children in order to create and keep a favored demographic "balance".

One state or two or a billion, reasonable people should not be bullied into betraying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as countless UN Resolutions.

The key to peace- a just and lasting peace- is to start FULLY respecting the Palestinian refugees' inalienable legal and moral right to return to original homes and lands.

True return- not more forced transfer:

Refugees and the Right of Return

"Palestinian refugees must be given the option to exercise their right of return (as well as receive compensation for their losses arising from their dispossession and displacement) though refugees may prefer other options such as: (i) resettlement in third countries, (ii) resettlement in a newly independent Palestine (even though they originate from that part of Palestine which became Israel) or (iii) normalization of their legal status in the host country where they currently reside. What is important is that individual refugees decide for themselves which option they prefer – a decision must not be imposed upon them."

Anne Selden Annab

Economist comment i left online
Jul 8th 2010 8:01 GMT

Time is on HAMAS's side, but is HAMAS really on Palestine's side? If Islamists manage to sabotage the current negotiations sovereign Israel wins more time to take more land and radicals win an avalanche of reasons to become even more radical.... Palestinians in exile will remain in exile, and rather than investing in secular civil institutions and ideas Palestinians remaining in the impoverished fragments of what was once historic Palestine will be forced to fund and empower either Islamic or Jewish efforts to win sympathy and support.

The Guardian online comment RE A peaceful strategy for Palestinian independence by Ziad Asali


19 April 2010 12:20PM

The global information age has helped Palestine be heard, helped document and explain the very real plight and suffering of the children of historic Palestine, but it has also helped extremists, bigots and hate mongers bully people away from supporting reasonable and compassionate efforts to end the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Thus I am VERY glad to see Ziad Asali's wise and well informed "A peaceful strategy for Palestinian independence".

Asali's approach is all about ushering in a Golden Rule Peace for the Holy Land. I very much hope that the people of Palestine and more of their supporters are able to channel their energies and their advocacy into positive projects for Palestine and positive attitudes towards shaping a just and lasting peace... for everyone's sake.

The Guardian 4-17-2010
RE: The Palestinian Authority's skin-deep makeover, The Palestinian government's latest PR drive looks like little more than a tactical attempt to dispel its 'collaborator' image

Dear Sir,

If you want to talk about PR perhaps you need to be noticing that Palestinians are free to be rude to and about America- and Americans are free to walk away in disgust. Yesterday Hamas executed two "collaborators". Palestinians are of course free to elect Hamas and believe that Hamas tactics are their ticket to victory, and "pro-Palestine" activists here and there are free to call anyone and everyone a "collaborator" if they want. Furthermore Israelis and Palestinians and pundits worldwide are totally free to sabotage efforts to build a real Palestinian state, but I for one would rather not.... No matter what happens in the end there are either negotiations- or nothing left to negotiate about.

I think, for everyone's sake, that it is crucially important to support a fully secular, carefully negotiated two state solution to end the Israel/Palestine conflict ASAP. One by one we need to be empowering reasonable arguments and initiatives that help make Palestine a political reality rather than a rally cry for hate mongers, religious idiots, bigots and crooks who thrive on perpetuating the very real plight of the Palestinians.

Anne Selden Annab

USAToday 4/2/2010

Policies create poverty

Anne Selden Annab - Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Good to see DeWayne Wickham's probing but polite commentary on Israel. It really is rather disturbing to find out that "while unemployment in Israel dropped to 7.4% in the last quarter of 2009, joblessness during that period in the U.S. hovered around 10%." In addition, contrast that to unemployment for Palestinians, and the difference is even more jarring. According to the CIA's World Factbook, unemployment in Gaza is 40%, and unemployment in the West bank is 19%.

Israel's Jews-preferred policies in Israel proper as well as the illegally occupied Palestinian territories have been creating poverty and despair for countless native non-Jewish Palestinian families and communities for decades. That alone should be reason enough for America to be firm about supporting a fully secular two-state solution to end the conflict.

Peace and Palestine need to be a priority — for everyone's sake.


original letter

Washington Post
Comment on: Is there safety -- or justice -- in barriers? at 3/27/2010 11:03 AM EDT
Grateful for crumbs, I was very glad to see Linda Gradstein's book review... but I cannot help but wonder how someone else a tad less beguiled by Israel might have reviewed the book 'A Wall in Palestine' by Rene Backmann:

Missing from Gradstein's analysis was reference to highly relevant fact that the wall is illegal according to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).... and missing from her analysis is reference to at least some of all the many ways that sovereign Israel has been been systematically usurping land, rights, freedom, and peace from the native non-Jewish Palestinians- on both sides of that monstrous Israeli made Apartheid wall.

Full disclosure has to be part of the process of heading towards a just and lasting peace for Israel and Palestine- and for everyone's sake we need to be conscientiously and compassionately advocating full respect for international law and basic human rights across the board. That includes doing all we can to support formal diplomatic negotiations and a two state solution to once and for all end the contentious Israel/Palestine conflict.

Anne Selden Annab
The Guardian RE Huseein Ibish's Netanyahu's reluctant gift to Palestine: US pressure on Binyamin Netanyahu has not achieved a settlement freeze, but it has delivered real gains to Palestinians


24 March 2010 1:53PM

Delighted to see ATFP's Hussein Ibish pop up in your pages. I have great admiration for the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) because of their tireless efforts to take Palestine seriously- and their proven ability to think carefully and intelligently about recent events. They address crucial issues and time and time again come to very sound and reasonable conclusions.

Ibish's analysis is correct- and I hope that Palestine and its many supporters do not squander this opportunity to get on with the negotiations necessary to create a real Palestinian state.

Times have changed- in 1991 few Americans knew much at all about Palestine, but we now live in a 24/7 world, with The Global Information Age and the internet enabling us to see and understand the very real plight and suffering of the Palestinians.

Even if our own mainstream newspapers are reluctant to give full coverage to the situation it is easy as can be to read international newspapers and see you-tube videos... and to closely examine testimony given at Senate Hearings such as the recent testimony given by Dr. Ziad Asali of the American Task Force on Palestine regarding “Middle East Peace: Ground Truths, Challenges Ahead” for the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Now is not the time for cynicism- now is the time to start believing in peace- and Palestine... a real Palestine living in peace alongside Israel.

Our own focus should be to do all we can to help empower all who endorse and help make real a secular two state solution in line with the Arab Peace Initiative "Emanating from the conviction of the Arab countries that a military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties..."

A Golden Rule Peace- fully respecting international laws and basic human rights, including but not limited to the Palestinian refugees inalienable legal and natural right to return to original homes and lands: A secular two state solution is the only solution for every one's sake, and negotiations on how best to respect and implement all the many international laws and resolutions already in place need all our support.

Militants, religious zealots, and petty tyrants on both sides want to sabotage peace and undermine the peace talks. It behooves us all to refuse to empower the hate mongers and troublemakers who benefit from the continuation of the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Obama is only one of many Americans, and America is only one of many various nations, who can rise up in dignity for dignity to help create positive momentum for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East... for everyone's sake.
3/9/2010 6:10:29 AM

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My letter PUBLISHED CSM 2-1-2010 Palestinian resistance

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March 1, 2010

Palestinian resistance

I was delighted to see the headline "Peaceful Palestinian resistance is paying off." Peaceful Palestinian resistance is an often-overlooked everyday reality. One could do a whole series on the topic. It is certainly a subject worth pursuing and a positive philosophy worth respecting for Palestine's sake.

Anne Selden Annab
Mechanicsburg, Pa.

LATimes- my comment online regarding Letter on Muslim radical roils GOP Senate race Website posts text contradicting Tom Campbell's claim of writing on behalf of donor Sami Al-Arian before 9/11.

Ten years is a long time ago indeed, a very long time to remember events- or even to have the same perspective on them. Hindsight is after all 20-20. But in any case, regardless of what he heard or thought then Campbell's letter dated Jan. 21, 2002, was clearly written long before Al-Arian admitted guilt in a court of law in 2006....KUDOS to Tom Campbell for wanting to believe the best of Al-Arian in 2002, and KUDOS to Campbell for upholding the idea of 'innocent until proven guilty'.... FYI AL-Arian was not even arrested until 2003.,0,7419294.story

response to "soundthinker"... YES KUDOS TO CAMPBELL for refusing to be a
bigot- for giving Al-Arian the benefit of the doubt at a time when not
all the facts were in and Al-Arian had not been charged with any crime-
there was no warrant out for his arrest. Many hate mongers were bashing
any and all Muslims in response to 9-11. Campbell did the right thing at
the right time, helping to calm down the hate rather than adding to it.

I was horrified and sickened by the terror attacks of 9-11- and I remain
horrified and sickened by Al-Quada and Osama bin Laden's demented quest
to wreck havoc and harm innocent people everywhere they can. I have
also noticed that for all the flag burning and anti-America hate
mongering rhetoric Islamist terrorists spew, Muslims in the Middle East
are the main victims of Islamist violence.

Right now there is a huge international push to end to the
Israel/Palestine conflict once and for all with a fair and just
negotiated settlement. Many good and decent people of all religions and
many different nationalities are rising to the challenge of stopping the
hate by supporting fair and just laws and real democracy for both Israel
and Palestine- a secular two state solution... and a lasting peace, a
compassionate peace and a realistic peace that refuses to allow
religious tyranny or terrorism of any type ruin the lives of innocent

Daily Star

Hussein Ibish
“A Palestinian state must be secular”
February 8, 2010

It was excellent to read Hussein Ibish’s commentary. I very much admire
the American Task Force on Palestine as they steadfastly inspire
interest in a real Palestine – a sovereign Palestine, a peaceful
Palestine, a reasonable Palestine where real Palestinians can live and
work free of Israeli occupation.

Anne Selden Annab
Pennsylvania, United States
Washington Post
Comment on: Palestinian premier gives a key address in Israel at 2/3/2010 12:09 PM EST

Excellent to see these efforts at building a real Palestinian state publicized and empowered by people who take Palestine and peace and progress seriously...

In PAVING THE WAY FOR PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD Ziad Asali, president & founder, American Task Force on Palestine wisely states: "I think in general, the Palestinian and Israeli political leadership have to be convinced, regardless of the package that needs to be put together, of this: don’t do anybody any favors, do your own country a favor, it is in your interest to negotiate" ...

The Arab Peace Initiative is an amazing and unprecedented opportunity for all to move forward in a more positive and progressive direction... for everyone's sake...

The children of historic Palestine need freedom- and a future: "Part of a line of generations experiencing the largest and longest-standing case of forced displacement in the world, Palestinian refugee youth play in the leftovers of ineffectual UN Resolutions. Resolution 194 affirms that, “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date.” This was stated in 1948. It’s been 62 years, and the “earliest practicable date” for people to rightfully return to their homes has not been determined" Refugee Youth: Living in Israel’s Punch Line by Hajr Al-Ali for MIFTAH ...

Left unresolved the Israel/Palestine conflict is already on its way to becoming a cruel "religious struggle between bearded fanatics on both sides about the will of God and holy places" Hussein Ibish on the Fantasy World of One-Staters ...

Naysayers, cynics, hate mongers and useful idiots on both sides seek to sabotage the idea of Palestine and peace....

I'd rather notice and celebrate the beautiful voices for Palestine, honest voices and poetic voices- and visionaries & realists who understand the crucial importance of ending the Israel/Palestine conflict.... people with open minds and open hearts and the ability to see the big picture- and the importance of work: "When I came to America, I realized that there was a big picture, and I needed to study it, so I studied journalism and focused on the Middle East. I kept reading until I finally could see things from a much larger perspective. That was so freeing, and suddenly things started to make sense. A more whole and meaningful picture emerged about the situation of the Palestinians and what was happening to us. And then I could see what had happened to the Jews and how that led to the situation in Palestine. " 'Tasting the Sky': An Interview With Ibtisam Barakat ...

"We have suffered a lot and have been forced to leave with no document in hand after living 60 years in Iraq. We just want a place that welcomes us and recognizes us as human beings."" Abu Mohanned, a Palestinian refugee quoted in End of long ordeal for Palestinian refugees as desert camp closes

Anne Selden Annab

The Guardian RE Palestine's impossible dream


3 February 2010 6:04PM

Israel has been freely building settlements all through out the illegally occupied territories for decades & Palestinian American activists heading supposedly pro-Palestine organizations here in America are inspired to diss a Palestinian effort to build a Palestinian community in Palestine for Palestinians?!!!

Knocking support away from Palestine is easy as can be, and apparently many 'academics' find it entertaining to do so... but I find such an approach horrifying because I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the children of Palestine need real hope- and a real Palestine.

LATimes online comment 1/29/2010
RE: ISRAEL: 'Avatar' and the Palestinian blues

"ISRAEL: 'Avatar' and the Palestinian blues"... Good headline! And what a fascinating story. Obviously the Israel/Palestine conflict left unresolved will continue to create its own conflicts within conflicts within conflicts.

Face the facts- Israel, with many loyal citizens, is already on the path towards progress. Palestine needs to be too.... Big picture is there needs to be a Palestinian state, and the Palestinian state that needs to be needs to be its own separate fully functioning, sovereign viable state with its own state building citizens inspired to empower Palestine, progress and peace for Palestine's sake.

In hoping for the best I can not help but visualize the perfect balance of an I-Ching symbol: Within Arab Palestine there will be some Jews, and within Jewish Israel there will be some Arabs. This I-Ching visual is a gentle metaphor, not a call for forced transfer, injustice and even more bigotry: The actual numbers of which are where do not matter- what matters is full respect for the rule of fair and just laws- and full respect for basic human rights, for everyone's sake.

The Guardian RE The separation wall


23 December 2009 10:47AM

Austen Ivereigh did an excellent job explaining how exactly Israel's monstrous wall strangles Bethlehem.... thank you for publishing his essay.

Foreign Policy comment I left online regarding "Good Riddance, Abbas" by Saree Makdisi

Good Riddance, Abbas by Saree Makdisi

I find it mind boggling that right now, with a huge international push to take negotiations for a two state solution seriously - including "Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194." The Arab Peace Initiative that pro-Palestinian academics here in America opt to bash Abbas and swat away support for a two state solution.

Yes Israel continues to expropriate Palestinian land, bulldoze Palestinian homes, and build exclusively Jewish settlements in violation of international law... so how exactly is a one state solution which erases the illegal occupation aspect of Israel's Jews-preferred settlement projects and investments going to play out ?

Will a one state solution dominated by Zionists who know how to empower their leadership and how to play every story to get international support for their Jews-preferred plans really welcome home the Palestinians refugees? According to reports I've read many elderly Holocaust survivors in Israel live in dire poverty- and yet magical thinking convinces us that Palestinian refugees returning to what is now Israel will be better off?

Yes, I really do believe with every fiber of my being that the Palestinian refugees right of return to original homes and lands is an inalienable legal, moral and natural right- but I also believe in the importance of supporting an option called Palestine with all the positive energy and support we can muster: Not all Palestinian refugees will want to live as second class citizens in Israel and it simply is not fair to force them to become Israelis.

Washington Post

Comment on: Ramallah's road map to statehood at 11/19/2009 8:26 AM EST

I was startled to see the online headline "In Palestine, a ray of light A state-building plan that deserves the endorsement of the U.S" Kudos to Ignatius for noticing Palestine in such a positive way.

I first heard of the Fayad plan from the ATFP- The American Task Force on Palestine. ( ATFP is dedicated to advocating that it is in the American national interest to promote an end to the conflict in the Middle East through a negotiated agreement that provides for two states - Israel and Palestine - living side by side in peace and security. The Task Force was established in 2003 to provide an independent voice for Palestinian-Americans and their supporters and to promote peace. AFTP’s Board of Directors is made up of a large group of noted Palestinian-Americans who agree with these principles. )

"This is a very powerful way of effectively resisting the occupation without doing anything violent. Israelis may fool themselves into thinking that this is just economic peace, but it's not; it's Palestinians preparing for independence." Hussein Ibish

Citizenship is a right- and a responsibility: I very much like the idea of putting energy into positive efforts to support a real Palestine- a firm facts on the ground Palestine where Palestinians (and their supporters) can focus in on what needs to be done in a day to day way to help Palestinians stay on their land right now- and to help establish an independent, sovereign, and viable Palestinian state as soon as possible... for everyone's sake.

Anne Selden Annab
The Guardian RE Abbas's mixed messages 09 November 09 11:36


9 November 2009 11:36AM

Thank you for publishing Hussein Ibish's thoughtful and sensible "Abbas's mixed messages."

Kudos to Abbas and Palestine- and even Ibish, for persisting despite the many obstacles, frustrations, misinformation campaigns, and insults that arise from the Israel/Palestine conflict.

my comment left online 11-7-9 Boston Globe RE Jeff Jacoby's At Brandeis, Israel's guilt and innocence on display
RE: At Brandeis, Israel's guilt and innocence on display

Dear Editor,

Jeff Jacoby wants America to believe that Israel is a law-abiding country. America needs to know that Israel stands in long term and flagrant violation of international law on multiple counts. The recent Gaza War is only a small part of a much larger scheme to harass, displace, and impoverish Palestinian men, women and children:

Look at Jerusalem: ""The Israeli government is depriving Palestinians of the right to live in their own homes, in neighborhoods where many have lived for generations," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Basing this cruel destruction of people's homes on unfairly applied building regulations is a thinly veiled legal façade to force them to move out."" Israel: Stop East Jerusalem home demolitions

Look at religious tolerance: "Israel issued regulations for the identification, preservation and guarding of Jewish sites only. Many Christian and Muslim sites are said to be neglected, inaccessible or at risk of exploitation by real estate entrepreneurs and local authorities.

The report makes it clear that practices that have become routine in Israel are considered unacceptable in enlightened countries and should be corrected." U.S. State Department: Israel is not a tolerant society

Look at that monstrous Apartheid "security" wall: ""On 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall came crumbling down in two days that inspired hope for a world in which walls could no longer keep people apart," a statement from the Popular Committee in Bil'in read. "Today, a wall twice as high and five times as long is being built by Israel in the West Bank, in blunt contempt of international law, to separate Palestinians from their lands."" Bil'in protesters mark anniversary of Berlin wall fall

Look at the longest running refugee crisis in the world today- and the very real plight of the Palestinians as Israel continues to violate their basic human rights, including but not limited to the refugees inalienable, legal, moral, and natural right to return to original homes and lands as clearly affirmed by international law since 1948.

We need to be looking for non-violent viable and just solutions to the multiple crises created by Israel. Ignoring or whitewashing Israel's sovereign crimes only makes matters worse as extremists, bigotry, contempt and terrorism world wide are all empowered by the current status quo.

Anne Selden Annab

New York Times blogs 11/6/2009
my comment posted online RE Daoud Kuttab's Room for Debate blog "Abbas Has Not Resigned"

Dear Editor,

I very much appreciated Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab's Room for Debate blog "Abbas Has Not Resigned". Keeping his eye on the ball, Kuttab adeptly brings up many relevant points and explains crucially important factors, such as the fact that "Mr. Abbas laid out his own red lines: an independent state on the 67 borders including East Jerusalem and a fair solution to the refugee problem."

Kuttab also states that "The Palestinian leader has also been kicked around by radical Palestinians and the Islamic Hamas movement for his unwavering faith in a peace process that seems to be politics as usual in yet another spineless U.S. administration." I know that radicals do tend to perceive the U.S. as spineless, but I think they are very wrong. I also think they are wrong to ridicule and reject the current push to settle the Palestine/Israel conflict with negotiations now, based on the Arab Peace Initiative's clear and very easy to understand goals.

Keeping things in perspective, we need to be noticing that, as Dr. Hussein Ibish summed up so succinctly in The Atlantic's recent Jeffrey Goldberg Interview: Hussein Ibish on the Fantasy World of One-Staters): "Twenty-one years ago, there was no contact ever between the U.S. and the PLO. No contact, zero, and no Palestinian statehood is the consensus American foreign policy and it is a national security priority under Obama. People in the House, key positions like the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Howard Berman, chair of the Subcommittee on the Middle East, Gary Ackerman, Nita Lowey on Appropriations - all of them Jewish American members of Congress, stalwart supporters of Israel, and all of them committed to peace based on two states."

I'd say a Harvest moon is glowing- and it is time to glean.

Anne Selden Annab

The Guardian RE
If you build it, the state will come 05 September 09 07:19


5 September 2009 7:19PM

I do very much hope this "If you build it, the state will come" idea catches on to help infuse Palestine with the positive energy and attention it needs in order to survive- and thrive.

Boston Globe 11-1-09 comment i posted online RE
Clinton hints at shift toward Israeli stance, Calls concessions on settlements ‘unprecedented’; Abbas rejects bid

Dear Editor,

Nudging a just and lasting peace into place is not easy, but it is a necessary step for all involved. Keep your eye on the ball: The Arab Peace Initiative

1. Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well.

2. Further calls upon Israel to affirm:

I- Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.

II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194.

III- The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following:

I- Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region.

II- Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.

Forever more all the world will know how reasonable and right the Arab Peace Initiative has been- let us hope that Israel embraces this golden opportunity to do the right thing... for everyone's sake

Anne Selden Annab

comment i left online RE Washington Post 10-24-09
RE: 'Institution building' in Palestine,'The state will happen' Lally Weymouth's exclusive interview with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Dear Editor,

Palestinians are wise to simply begin the process of making Palestine a reality rather than waiting for justice, peace and Palestine to magically appear... and thank you for publishing this interview focused in on non-violent Palestinian response to the past 61 years of Israel/Palestine conflict.

Anne Selden Annab

Washington Post
Comment on: Talking It Out in the Middle East at 9/24/2009 8:25 AM EDT

"It’s become more clear than ever that President Obama is not going to drop this issue or back down in the face of Israeli stonewalling on settlements. He’s not going to be dragged into an endless series of dead ends either." Hussein Ibish : Obama's UN speech greatly strengthens the Palestinian position in negotiations

I very much hope that the positive momentum for creating a just and lasting peace continues. Yes there are many naysayers and cynics eager to sabotage progress- but heavens, in stark contrast to them Obama's speech yesterday was TOTALLY inspiring and invigorating: "Nothing is easier than blaming others for our troubles, and absolving ourselves of responsibility for our choices and our actions. Anybody can do that. Responsibility and leadership in the 21st century demand more."

Accountably: We the people really can help keep the conversation on track- knowing that it is good to see this very reasonable letter "Talking It Out in the Middle East".

Anne Selden Annab

comment I left online RE Washington Post 9-20-2009 Settling for Failure in the Middle East by Stephen M. Walt

Dear Editor,

Many seek to sabotage and undermine peace and progress in the Middle East. I'd rather not. I'd rather err on the side of hope- and a realistic call to end the religious extremism and terrorism created in and by the Arab/Israel conflict.

Stephen M. Walt did all involved a huge favor with his revealing book "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy". It is good of him to step up now too, with a plea to get people to pressure Israel to stop oppressing and displacing Palestinians.

Walt points out
that there is "a new pro-Israel organization, J Street, which is committed to the two-state solution and firmly behind Obama." To be fair, I wish he had also pointed out that there is a serious and very professional pro-Palestine organization which is very much committed to the two-state solution and firmly behind Obama: The American Task for for Palestine, founded in 2003 to provide "an independent voice for Palestinian-Americans and their supporters and to promote peace."

According to their very informative website the "ATFP is strictly opposed to all acts of violence against civilians no matter the cause and no matter who the victims or perpetrators may be. The Task Force advocates the development of a Palestinian state that is democratic, pluralistic, non-militarized and neutral in armed conflicts.

ATFP's founder, Ziad Asali, a Palestinian who was born in Jerusalem recently said : "The developing American and international consensus regarding the two-state solution has fundamentally transformed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from a zero-sum equation to what can and should be a win-win dynamic."

I like that.. and I hope my elected leaders are listening.

Anne Selden Annab

Al-Ahram published letter 9-17-2009

One state deplored

Sir-- Khaled Amayreh is way off base with his op-ed 'Mocking Obama' ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 10-16 September). While the world thought Obama would champion justice, Israel has proven that his words are meaningless. It's a shame to see such a talented and dynamic Palestinian writer dedicate so much energy towards undermining Obama and the huge international push for a two-state solution. Former US president Jimmy Carter did not endorse the one-state agenda at all. In fact, he pointed out that it was a "deplorable" alternative. Carter wisely pointed out that the one-state agenda "is obviously the goal of Israeli leaders who insist on colonising the West Bank and East Jerusalem."

Anne Selden Annab

PUBLISHED letter the NY Daily News 9-11-2009

Somebody has to do it

Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Re "At the UN's new site, a worldwide web of anti-Israel bias" (, Sept. 7): If America's Fourth Estate had more fully covered the plight of Palestinians, the UN would not need to dedicate so much of its Web site to cataloguing Israel's continued cruelty toward its non-Jewish population.

Anne Selden Annab

Read more:

online comment- Seattle Times 9-13-9
RE: Many American Jews support President Obama's proposed settlement freeze

Dear Editor,

Good to hear that Many American Jews support President Obama's proposed settlement freeze !

All Americans really should be concerned about the situation in the Middle East- and what tomorrow might bring: "In the four decades after 1948, when 70,000 Palestinian Arabs were forced to flee Jaffa and not allowed to return, the once grand town became a backwater." Mark Levine

"The 1967 Palestinian exodus refers to the flight of around 280,000 to 325,000 Palestinians out of the territories occupied by Israel during and in the aftermath of the Six-Day War including the demolition of the Palestinian villages of Imwas, Yalo, and Beit Nuba, Surit, Beit Awwa, Beit Mirsem, Shuyukh, Jiftlik, Agarith and Huseirat and the "emptying" of the refugee camps of ʿAqabat Jabr and ʿEin Sulṭān."

The Israel/Palestine conflict can easily and quickly become much more monstrous... Already a huge amount of damage has been done, with the children of Palestine bearing the brunt of the pain. Full respect for basic human rights as well as international law will help empower serious negotiations and genuine diplomacy whereby the foundations for a just and lasting peace and progress can emerge for all the people of that very troubled region.

Dr. Hussein Ibish in his newly published book What's Wrong with the One-State Agenda? (available for sale- or free online download ) explains in compelling detail why ending the occupation and peace with Israel, while difficult to achieve and thus far elusive, really is the best way forward.

Anne Selden Annab

LATimes 9/10/2009,0,1408613.graffitiboard

Discuss Daoud Kuttab's Sept. 10 Op-Ed

Proactive and positive is definitely the best direction for anyone who is serious about achieving an actual goal: I very much hope the people of Palestine put their collective energy into creating the affirmative attitude, the institutions and the good will that they need in order to survive.
Anne Selden Annab @ 6:27 AM PDT, Sep 10, 2009

The Guardian 9/7/2009 comment i left online RE If you build it, the state will come | Ziad Asali | Comment is free |

05 Sep 09, 7:19pm
  • I do very much hope this "If you build it, the state will come" idea catches on to help infuse Palestine with the positive energy and attention it needs in order to survive- and thrive.

Washington Post my online comment published 9-5-2009

RE: Jimmy Carter's The Elders' View Of the Middle East

Dear Editor,

>From afar, it is easy to be convinced that a one state solution will inevitably bring justice and peace and all the many the benefits of real democracy to the oppressed and displaced people of historic Palestine.

But will it?

It is hard to imagine that things could become worse- but they can.

Carter, stepping up to bring attention to the importance of supporting a two state solution is wise to point out "A more likely alternative to the present debacle is one state, which is obviously the goal of Israeli leaders who insist on colonizing the West Bank and East Jerusalem."

Already the Palestinian refugee crisis is the largest, longest running refugee crisis in the world today. How many more Palestinians will Israel impoverish and displace because as things are today it is easily able to do exactly that?

Hussein Ibish recently explained on his Ibishblog why he wrote his newest book What's Wrong with the One-State Agenda?
"I am not an optimist who thinks it will be easy or inevitable to end the occupation and secure peace between Israel and Palestine, and I have no illusions about the difficulties and the considerable prospects for failure. However, I also have no illusions about the alternative, which is not a single, democratic state for all the Arabs and Jews between the river and the sea, or, for that matter, a nonviolent, Gandhian campaign of civil disobedience. The practical alternative is continued conflict, violence and occupation in an increasingly religious context that intensifies the process of turning a conflict that is difficult to resolve into one that is completely impervious to any solution. Neither Palestinians nor Israelis, nor their friends in the United States and around the world, can afford to believe that the other side is going to be vanquished, capitulate or simply abandon its national agenda and interests."

Anne Selden Annab

Wash Post- comment i posted online RE: No Incremental Steps To Peace, Saudi Says, Foreign Minister Puts Onus on Israel

annieannab wrote:
The first photos and films depicting the very real plight of the Palestinian refugees were black and white. The global information age now provides everyone who bothers to look with full color real time proof as well as a plethora of compelling stories depicting the Palestinian suffering... Palestinians today continue to be cruelly oppressed by Israel- and pushed out into forced exile.

61 long painful years of watching Israel use both war and peace to usurp Palestinian land, rights, life and peace- is it any wonder that incrementalism and the step-by-step approach is correctly perceived as counterproductive!

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

A comprehensive resolution (including full respect for basic human rights- including but not limited to the Palestinian refugees inalienable legal, natural and sacred right to return as clearly affirmed by UN Resolution 194 in 1948) is the only way to create a stable and lasting peace with security for all the men, women and children in that very troubled region... and I am very much hoping that part of that comprehensive resolution is the clear message that bigotry and religious extremism- and terror (both institutional as well as individual) totally undermine freedom, justice and peace for everyone everywhere.
8/1/2009 8:58:41 AM

Philadelphia Inquirer 7/29/2009 my online comment RE: Trudy Rubin's Worldview: Shoring up faith in peace, Obama needs both Israel and the Palestinians to believe it is possible.

Rubin approaches the Palestine/Israel conflict as if all things are equal between two sovereign states, rather than realizing that Zionist Israel's extensive investments in institutionalized bigotry (and religious extremism) have very much shaped the situation that we have today:

"According to statistics gathered by B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organisation, over 8,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites have lost their residency. In 2006 alone, 1,360 Palestinians from Jerusalem had their residency ID cards revoked." Daoud Kuttab: Deflating Netanyahu's Jerusalem Claims

"I lost everything when they demolished my house. If I had equal rights, I wouldn't be in this mess. Jewish communities get building permits easily. They have electricity, water, sewage, street lights and parks. How come they live like that and we don't?" Palestinian Sami Salameh quoted in the BBC News article Israeli Arabs struggle for land

61 years and counting as Palestinians are besieged- oppressed- and displaced. "Peace" projects that sustain this Apartheid status quo only give Israel more time to impoverish and displace more Palestinians.... that's the real core of the conflict. Jews worldwide can opt in and become Israeli with Jewish "religious scholars" and many a propaganda campaign generously subsidized by the state, while Palestinians are pushed out- and vilified because they dare object.

Anne Selden Annab

My letter (Online comment) regarding Wash Post 7-26-09 U.S. Envoy Visits Israel After Talks in Damascus

Dear Editor,

In order to be stable and sustainable, a comprehensive peace in the Middle East must include three main points:

Israel as a sovereign power must comply with the precepts of international law and Universal Principles of Human Rights by

A. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

B. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

C. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

"Statistics released by UN agencies on the occasion of the 2009 World Refugee Day testify to the fact that Palestinian refugees are the largest and longest standing refugee population world wide. They lack access to just solutions and reparations, including return, because Israel and western governments continue to deny or belittle the scope of the problem and make no effort to respect and implement relevant international law and best practice. " Palestinian Refugees: A Wound to the Conscience of Humanity that Gets Deeper With Every Year

Anne Selden Annab

online comment published Boston Globe 7/22/2009
RE: A shared Jerusalem By James Carroll

Dear Editor,

If only respect for international law, basic human rights and true equality were as sacred as Jerusalem... if only fair and just laws ruled rather than rampant institutionalized bigotry and injustice- and rising religion extremism empowered in part by tax payers money as well as a huge amount of misguided charity.

"60% of Haredi men do not have regular jobs and prefer religious study. More than 50% live below the poverty line and receive state benefits compared with 15% of the rest of the population. A separate education system is heavily subsidised." Meanwhile, a former senior CIA official points out that: "Israel's support for Hamas "was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,"

Yes "the demolition of Palestinian houses must be halted, especially in Jerusalem"... and so must the daft notion that Jews worldwide should be subsidized to go live in the "Holy Land" while the native non-Jewish population (both Christian and Muslim) are so cruelly oppressed, impoverished and displaced. Israel as a sovereign power must comply with the precepts of international law by

A. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

B. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

C. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

Anne Selden Annab

online comment published Boston Globe 7/22/2009

Jerusalem - one city, undivided
User Image
anneselden wrote:
"the idea that all Jews and Israelis would have to leave a future Palestinian state is not a demand made by the Palestinian Authority or its supporters. To the contrary, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said at the Aspen Institute recently that, "Jews, to the extent they choose to stay and live in the state of Palestine, will enjoy those rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the state of Israel." Numerous other Palestinian officials have made similar comments in the past" The future of Jews in a Palestinian state

online comment section Washington Post 7/10/2009
RE Black Children Kicked Out of Pool

The actual question was "If you were the parent of one of these children, how would you address the situation? "

This situation is now much more than what ever happened at the pool. It is also the local and now national media coverage and attention. I would very much admire the camp director's eloquent oratory skills- but I would also seriously question the wisdom of stirring up such a public storm with my young child at the center of it.

When my three children were younger and they came home from school or camp or simply a playmate with complaints about rude comments or hurt feelings or whatever, I would listen, I would sympathize and then I would try to teach them not to hate. Live by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.... and give others the benefit of the doubt.

Annie Selden Annab

Annie's New Letters (& notes)

Growing Gardens for Palestine


Dr. Michael D. Evans said...

I hope all of these will be read and our sentiments be heard.

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