Tag Archives: Palestinian

Letter to Schumer re U.S. Involvement In Israel/Palestine

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June 6, 2016

The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3203

Dear Senator Schumer:

On May 26, 2016, we, Marty Rajandran and Barbara Walker, Granny Peace Brigade–Israel-Palestine Conflict Committee, were pleased to meet with Alex Katz, Special Assistant, and (by telephone) Lane Bodian, Legislative Correspondent, of your office, for discussion on involvement and role of the U.S. Government in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people and we again requested arrangements for a brief meeting with you.  It was agreed meanwhile that we would direct to you in writing some of our concerns.

A principal concern is the continuing dichotomy in U.S. policy and practice with respect to the ongoing conflict.  It is evident that our government, which voted for the 1947 UN partition plan that provided for an Arab state and a Jewish state, is strongly supportive of Israeli requirements and requests but is lacking in responsible reaction and in support to Palestinians with regard to the major problem of human rights violation in their occupied homeland — rights which are covered by international law.

1.  Senator Schumer, we understand that you are in agreement that cases of accusation of violation of Palestinian human rights by the military legitimately should be reviewed with respect to the Leahy Law/Amendment.  In this regard we note that Senator Leahy and ten Congressional Representatives have submitted to the Secretary of State a letter (February 17, 2016) concerning application of the Leahy Law in Israel and indicating that “there have been a disturbing number of reports of possible gross violations of human rights by security forces in Israel and incidents that may have involved recipients, or potential recipients, of U.S. military assistance.”  They have asked to be informed of the findings.  We would very much appreciate having this information.  We know it is extremely necessary legislation.  Palestinians have suffered greatly under the military occupation.  Recently the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem indicated it finds that because of lack of results, ‘there is no longer any point’ in filing complaints against soldiers.

2.  Increase in aid to Israel is currently under U.S. Government consideration and, of course, one is very much aware of its use in the Palestinian homeland occupied areas — military control and protection of illegal settlements, including the much publicized action in Hebron, excessive use in Gaza (where there is major Palestinian dissatisfaction exacerbated by blockade and other stringent controls on their lives).  Certainly also of great concern to us and to many Americans is the continued multi-year/billion dollars in military aid to Israel, a country which is wealthy, ranked 19th in the Human Development Index Report and improving while U.S. ranking is declining!  Further, Israel is already a major global exporter of arms, ranked 6th in the world; ranked 11th strongest military power; has over 1,000 arms manufacturers; exports 75% of arms produced; with an estimated 190 countries as recipients of Israeli arms sales, including countries that the U.S. does not sell to, e.g. China.  Some of the recipients of U.S. aid, e.g. Raphael, a privately held for profit Israeli company, received $1.8 billion in U.S. tax-payer funds. (Source:  War Against the People, Jeff Halper, Pluto Press, 2015. Pages referred:  52, 90.)  It appears that U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing a global trade in arms via Israel, in addition to the use of these arms against Palestinians as part of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.  As it seems that Israel can actually take care of its own military needs, since the vast majority is exported, Senator Schumer, we request your proposal for reduction in U.S. military assistance to Israel as well as for continued pressure on Israel to halt new construction of more illegal settlements and infrastructure in the West Bank and that measures be taken to link any further assistance to a dismantling of this illegal occupation.

3.  In connection with the above, we ask, would not the ending of home demolition and the appropriate fixing of borders between rightful Palestinian territories and Israel (reference Fourth Geneva Convention, UN Resolutions 282 and 338) respond to legitimate Palestinian demands, and along with Israeli and Palestinian cooperation to normalize relations lead to decrease in military operations and costs?  Regarding land settlement, the 1999 Clinton/Barak recommendation, the proposal to let Palestinians have only non-contiguous areas of the West Bank was clearly unacceptable to the Palestinian leadership.  Aware of your support of a 2 state solution, we ask your proposals.

4.  U.S. Government lack of adequate level of concern for Palestinian rights is reflected in the information notes (a) and (b) and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative is summarized in note below:

(a)  Letter from President Gerald Ford to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, September 1, 1975 — “Should the U.S. desire in the future to put forward proposals of its own, it will make every effort to coordinate with Israel its proposals with a view to refraining from putting forth proposals that Israel would consider unsatisfactory.”  [Brokers of Deceit, Rashid Khalidi, Beacon Press, 2013. Page 8.]

Question:  Does this still apply?

(b)  In a statement Martin Indyk, former U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations said, inter alia, the U.S. is not neutral and doesn’t claim to be neutral in negotiations with Palestinians, that it sometimes acted at times as Israel’s lawyer, that Israel ‘screwed up’ the latest round of talks by building settlements but there were no consequences, that he advocates U.S. abstention in upcoming UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements. [Mondoweiss, March 14, 2016.]

Question:  Is the U.S. an ‘honest broker’ in efforts for conflict resolution; does it intend to reassess its responsibilities to Palestinians whose homeland partition it supported; does it intend to require just resolution and if so, what is envisioned as just resolution?

(c)  The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative (is brought up periodically — Google-Alert-Kerry and Arab Peace Initiative, May 21, 2016) calls for significant concessions on Israel’s part, among them a full withdrawal from the West Bank, the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, and an agreed-upon solution for the Palestinian refugee problem.  In return, numerous Arab states would officially recognize the Jewish state as well as establish normalized ties with it.  [Times of Israel, May 22, 2016.]

Question:  Is this a reasonable solution?

5.  It is our understanding that you do not equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.  On B.D.S., we are, however, disappointed that you are on record linking a global movement to pressure Israel to respect the UN resolutions as “anti-Semitic.”  Individual as well as collective action is among freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution/Bill of Rights.  As constituents we seek your support in opposing any legislation which would restrict these rights.  If we wish individually or collectively to boycott products, services, etc. of any country, in this case Israel, this is our right.  We note that the media coordinator for Jewish Voice for Peace (Brooklyn), has reported that she works daily ‘with a growing number of Jewish students who see the boycott, divestment and sanctions (B.D.S.) movement as the most effective way to shift the conversation from a debate over whether or not Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation is a moral problem to one that centers on Palestinian rights to freedom and equality.’  [New York Times, April 1, 2016.]

Because we are aware of your knowledge about, deep concern with, and considered views on this conflict, which seriously affects so many lives, we are respectfully submitting our concerns on this to you.

Sincerely yours,

– Marty Rajandran and Barbara Walker
for the Granny Peace Brigade

The Irony of Human Rights Day for Palestinian Children

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On this warm, balmy 10 December evening, the Granny Peace Brigade joined together with the Union Square Women in Black Against the Occupation among other groups to commemorate this year’s International Human Rights Day. December 10 is the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights……. ironically, the same year that the state of Israel was created resulting in the continued  denial of basic human rights for Palestinians which we see still happening today, over 60 years later.

We, a group of around 25 women and men, stood for GAZA. We stood for the rights of Palestinians, and in particular Palestinian children, this generation the fourth generation denied basic rights.

The right to life: since the year 2000, around 2000 Palestinian children in Gaza and the occupied territories were killed either through Israeli military action or the actions of the illegal, Zionist settlers.

The right to a home/shelter: Over 20,000 homes of Palestinians have been crushed, demolished by Israeli bulldozers (usually from the US firm Caterpillar) to get rid of unwanted Palestinian households or to punish an entire household for what may be  perceived by Israeli authorities as unlawful acts. Thousands of Palestinian homes were demolished to make room for the illegal settlements in the West Bank and to make room for the abhorrent separation wall. And this policy continues, with homes demolished virtually every day.

The right of education: On the positive side, enrollments and completion rates for Palestinian children are high, demonstrating their desire for a better life, a future. Yet thousands of children suffer from the trauma of war, bombings, loss of family and friends. They suffer from the loss of childhood. We remember those young boys playing on a beach in GAZA, killed by Israeli soldiers.

Globally, this year’s Human Rights Day was devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966.

The two Covenants, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, form the International Bill of Human Rights, setting out the civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights that are the birth right of all human beings. And ironically, these basic rights have been denied to three to four generations of Palestinian children (depends if we count from 1948 or 1966).

We say, it’s about time the US stops its military and other aid to Israel, a country which continues to violate the human rights of Palestinians. We support the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement putting economic pressures on Israel to change its policies. We support the Palestinian people in their continued struggle for their homeland.

– Marty Rajandran
for the Granny Peace Brigade

Breaking News: Grannies meet with Chuck Schumer’s NYC staff on Palestine

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Why is this breaking news: As we told Alex Katz, an aide to the Senator on Monday, June 10, 2015, the Granny Peace Brigade has tried, unsuccessfully for over 5 years to get an appointment with the Senator, OUR Senator!

What did we learn that was new/news:

What did we hear:
Alex Katz, an aide to Senator Schumer for many years, often accompanying him on his travels in the USA, was very courteous to our group comprising Carol Husten, Barbara Walker, Jenny Heinz, Marty Rajandran. He listened to each of our comments on Palestine/Israel and made a few comments which are summarized as:
-On the illegal occupation of Israel of Palestinian land and the construction of settlements: He noted that the Senator is not in favor of any new settlements. However, he seemed to waffle a bit on the status of the existing ones and the Senator’s taking a stand on any restrictions on our relationship with Israel because of these illegal settlements.
-On Chuck Schumer’s views on the current Israeli Government: He felt that the current Israeli government does not represent the will of Israelis and that it is delaying efforts towards a two-state solution. He however continues to be considered “a hawk” for Israel.
-On Chuck Schumers role vis a vis US policy: Alex indicated that Chuck Schumer does have a positive working relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu and is able to facilitate communication between him and President Obama.
-On a deal with Iran, he noted that the Senator supports a deal that will keep “our allies” safe.

We asked him to:
–arrange a meeting between us and the Senator this summer. He agreed.
–request the Senator to make a public statement that said “Speaking out on Israel does not make one an anti-semite.” He agreed.
–propose to the Senator to reduce our funding for Israel, esp as Israel is one of the most developed countries in the world, 19th as per the Human Development Report and to increase funding for Palestinians. No specific comment on this. (Actually, we also mentioned that we would like to stop all US military assistance to Israel, as well as Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc.)
–urge the Senator to consider proposing that the International Court of Justice be involved in the peace process, as a non-violent, legal approach towards a just solution to the rights of the Palestinian people. (no comment on this)
–encourage the Senator to use his good auspices to pressure Israel to abide by International Law, UN 242, among others. (no comment)
–discourage the Senator from making statements that he speaks for New Yorkers. He does not speak for Palestinians, many Jews, and others throughout the state on his position of virtual unconditional support for the illegal actions of Israel.
–encourage the Senator to take a lead in recognizing Hamas as the elected government of the Palestinians in Gaza. There are other governments we consider close allies that do NOT recognize Israel, e.g. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, 19 others.
–refrain from making further statements such as one made on Gaza: “…to squeeze them (Gaza) until they do what Israel wants”. The Israel blockade is harmful to the people of Gaza. And we would expect the Senator not to like the growing success of the BDS movement against Israel. This movement is gaining more support as people and countries are fed up with Israel’s denial of the rights of the Palestinian people.
–understand that in view of the human rights abuses done by the Israeli military as viewed globally through social media, at some point, there may be pressure to apply the Leahy Amendment which prohibits US funding through the State Dept or Defense to countries charged with human rights abuses. (He commented that he was unaware of this law)

Short summary of specific points made by Grannies in the discussion:
Carol was stunned by the sights and her experiences during a visit to the West Bank several years ago. She stated, among other views, the advisability of the U.S. decreasing its financial contributions to Israel — Israel being economically advantaged — and increasing its aid to Palestine. Mentioned was the annual military assistance financial aid grant of $3 billion. Noted also was that a RAND Corporation report which put American aid to Israel at $118 billion since World War II — not including classified programs, and that a RAND Corporation economist put American aid to Palestinians at less that $10 billion

Barbara said she visited East Jerusalem and the West Bank in January 1967, prior to the Six Day War, and that she was posted in Jerusalem with the UN for one year, 1990-1991. She noted that in 1948 Israeli authorities-to-be acceded to the UN resolution authorizing partition of Palestine but that the Government of Israel has not acceded to UN resolutions calling for withdrawal from Occupied Territories. She asked how could the Government of Israel claim continuing control of the west side of the Jordan River Valley — West Bank land/West Bank shore? How can the U.S. accept this? We do have a responsibility to the Palestinians. In this connection, how is Eretz Israel/Land of Israel being defined — is it being defined as the whole of British Mandate Palestine? If so, are the Palestinians invisible as a people? This is their ancestral home — what was authorized by the UN was partition. She expressed the hope that Senator Schumer would encourage our Government to view positively the French initiative (resolution) which is currently under refinement. The resolution, according to a draft published in ‘Le Figaro,’ will set out an 18 month time-table for ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza [see: ‘Le Figaro Premium,’ “Paris fait une nouvelle offre aux Israeliens et Palestiniens,” by Cyrille Louis, May 19, 2015].

Marty noted her activism against the Occupation began 50 years ago as a university student. She mentioned several visits to Israel and neighboring countries on work duty and personal visits. She asked the question of Israel’s needing so much of our tax dollars when it ranks 19th among developed countries – hardly a struggling nation. And in response to Katz’s comments about Hamas not recognizing Israel, she asked about Saudi Arabia and Bahrain that don’t recognize Israel either and yet are U.S. allies. She mentioned the violation of the Leahy amendment re banning aid to countries with human/child rights violations but regrettably, Ban Ki-Moon, U.N. Secretary General, just took Israel off the list.

Jenny spoke very forcefully, expressing personal outrage as a Jew that Schumer claims to speak on behalf of Jews and New Yorkers. She touched on the glaring issues facing Palestinans: seizure of land and destruction of homes, murder of children and civilians, torture and harsh imprisonment of dissent, however she felt that a back and forth on these points was not useful in today’s meeting. She emphasised that Mr Schumer’s hawkish position on Israel encourages their continued violation of international law. She requested Alex to request the Senator to make a public statement: “Speaking out against Israel does not make one an anti-Semite.”

– Barbara Walker, Carol Husten, Jenny Heinz, Marty Rajandran
for the Granny Peace Brigade

Tell New York City Council: Don’t Tour Apartheid Israel!

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Monday, January 12 — Press conference on the steps of City Hall regarding the planned trip of 14 New York City Council members to Israel next month.

Perhaps due to the heavy rain, the turnout of supporters (maybe 30) and media (maybe 5) was limited, but an excellent group of speakers clearly indicated the reasons why the coalition opposes the visit. The progress in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement was highlighted.

Messages to the participants for the planned trip, especially Melissa Mark – Viverito need to continue. City Council members participating in the delegation to Israel are Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Mark Treyger, Brad Lander, Antonio Reynoso, David Greenfield, Rafael Espinal, Darlene Mealy, Mark Levine, Helen Rosenthal, Corey Johnson, Ritchie Torres, Andrew Cohen, Donovan Richards, Eric Ulrich, and James Van Bramer. To contact a City Council Member go to: http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.shtml

Grannies at the press conference included Phyllis, Eva-Lee, Ann, Jenny, Barbara W, and myself.

– Marty Rajandran
for the Granny Peace Brigade

Letter to Senator Schumer Regarding the Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Issue

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November 17, 2014

The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
780 Third Avenue, Suite 2301
New York, NY 10017

Dear Senator Schumer:

We, members of the Granny Peace Brigade, have been continually concerned with the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.   Thank you for your response of March 11, 2014, to the individual letter on Israel-Palestine from one of our members.  Our desire, of course, is to prepare useful activities for encouraging public interest in U.S. Government action aimed at conflict resolution.  Knowing of your concern, we have been in communication with helpful staff of your office since June requesting an appointment to meet with you for direct clarification of our point of view.  We were informed that no meeting could be considered before next Spring.

The 47 year conflict between the Government of Israel as Occupying Power of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, and  Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is truly tragic.  This is not a dispute between political equals.  Israelis and Palestinians have suffered in their homeland — Palestinians inordinately.

Having supported the 1947 United Nations partition of Palestine and recognized the State of Israel in 1948, does not the U.S. have a responsibility to promote the viability of the Palestinians as a people in their homeland?  It is of interest that they are Semites, are ‘children of Abraham,’ most are adherents of one of the three major Abrahamic religions, the whole land of ‘Palestine,’ once shared, was their home.  Of course, factors of cause and effect and action/reaction operate in perpetuation of the conflict. Continue reading Letter to Senator Schumer Regarding the Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Issue

HEY SENATORS: TALK TO YOUR CONSTITUENTS ABOUT PALESTINIANS AND ISRAEL!

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A short note to share this day of action organized by JEWS SAY NO and JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE outside the offices of our Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, condemning their support for the Israeli government’s systematic violations of the Palestinian people’s basic human rights AND their refusal to meet with constituents who do not support Israel’s policies.

The action started in the morning, with the Granny Peace Brigade joining in the afternoon, with the representations of the Palestinian children who were killed just a few months ago in Gaza. The Grannies,together with others, read out the name and age of the child and then placed his/her representation in a mock burial plot. The mood was somber. It was sad. What happened is a crime against humanity and our own laws: the federal “Leahy Law” which requires US funding to be cut off to units of a country’s armed forces that have committed a “gross violation of human rights.”

It’s about time we respect and implement our own laws…….but the reality, the US  implements most vigorously those laws which suit the corporate-government-military complex, EG PROFITS. We stand as a silent reminder that there are things more important that profits.

a representation of a Palestinian child

Our bottom line is peace, justice, and a respect for the humanity of all children, including Palestinian children and their families.

– Marty Rajandran
for the Granny Peace Brigade

Remembering Gaza’s Youngest Victims

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With so much attention on the Climate March, I don’t want to forget our action at City Hall, on 10 Sept, the first fall session of the City Council. Why City Council? Well you will recall, Mayor DiBlasio has stated that his job includes “defending Israel.” Many members of the City Council likewise supported Israel’s actions during the recent massive bombings in Gaza. And neither the Mayor nor Council Members have said or done anything to recognize the rights of Palestinians, the illegal occupation of Israel in the West Bank and the disastrous consequences of the Gaza blockage by Israel on the population.

There was a good Granny turnout; an excellent flyer done by Ann; and the “Representations” of the 577+ children who died in Gaza during this latest Israeli siege. Not to be forgotten are the 3000+ children wounded and the over 1400 orphaned. And the women and other civilians who died were wounded, lost loved ones or made homeless.

There were many good, positive, and supportive individual discussions. It seemed that many of those who stopped to chat were concerned and upset about the terrible loss of life during this conflict, especially innocent civilians and children. That Palestinians have rights, not respected and no real solution in sight was likewise expressed. Palestinians are no longer “invisible” to the public.  Several of those we spoke with thought our representations of the young victims made a creative action and thanked us. Others voiced surprise and concern about the continued US funding for Israel ($3.1 billion in Military funding for just 2014, and $100’s of billions over the years.)

US Taxpayers give Israel $9.9 million a day for WEAPONRY, much of it used during this fifty day attack as well as to maintain the occupation — this was a shocking statistic to many.   As expected, there were several vocal objections to what we were doing; but fewer than in previous actions.  Overall, this was a good action.

A word about the “Representations” of the children:  Making these “Representations” was itself a process: reviewing the lists of dead to select those below age 18. Going through the names was heartbreaking to see whole families gone…..and the names of 3, 4, even 5 or 6 or more children with the same last name. Entire families! To ensure we correctly identified boys and girls, checks of names were done via internet.  While we did it as a group, these were solemn sessions.

We will continue to say “End the Occupation/End the Gaza Blockade.” It is time we move our Government to recognize its duty to ensure that the rights of Palestinians are as respected and implemented as those of others.

– Marty Rajandran, text and photos
For the Granny Peace Brigade

More photos by Bud Korotzer: The Little Dolls of Gaza’s Dead Children

The United States-Israel-Palestine — some thoughts

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On August 1st a reporter on Aljazeera America News describing the carnage in Rafah said  “today I saw several children…I have to say…I have never seen children look so shell shocked.”  On the internet there is a picture of a very young child sitting on stones next to dead parents.

Has our Government no memory, no mercy, no shame, or is it that our holders of office fear loss of support if compliance with and assistance to the Government of Israel is not accepted as a ‘given’ duty?

Continue reading The United States-Israel-Palestine — some thoughts

Needed: An Honest Broker

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Reuters / Nayef Haslamoun
Reuters / Nayef Haslamoun

(Click on photos for larger images.)

In connection with the ongoing Kerry-Israel/Palestine Peace Talks the GPB decided we should seek advice on practical action we might take to encourage the U.S. Government to act as a truly honest broker in this so vital process.  Accordingly, I addressed a letter, below, to each of the following five whose concern with U.S. Middle East involvement has been evident, individual openings as indicated:

  • President Bill Clinton, William J. Clinton Foundation – referred to his statement “America Cannot Let Israel-Palestine Conflict Fester.”
  • Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) – referred to his concern with cause and effect in the Israel/Palestine conflict and to his discussions on high level on Middle East peace process.
  • Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) – referred to his discussion on the U.S. as broker in the Israel/Palestine peace process.
  • Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) – referred to his support of the petition “Tell Congress:  Don’t Attack Syria.”
  • Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA) – referred to his visit to Israel, West Bank, and Gaza, and to is views on efforts to move forward the peace process.

I write here expressing my own views and as a member of a peace-focused group, the Granny Peace Brigade.  I am seeking your suggestions/recommendations for any practical action you think we might pursue in urging our government to work as a true third party broker in the Kerry Israel-Palestine peace talks (not as a broker favoring the basic aims of one party).

UNRWA  -  A boy hangs on to what is left of his house after the 2008-09 Israeli military incursion into Gaza.
UNRWA – A boy hangs on to what is left of his house after the 2008-09 Israeli military incursion into Gaza.

How best to further the U.S. playing an impartial role (notwithstanding the 1975 letter from President Gerald Ford to Prime Minister Ytzhak Rabin which in effect made American diplomatic initiatives in future Middle East peace negotiations conditional on prior approval by Israel — reference, Rashid Khalidi, “Brokers of Deceit,” page 8) in the cause of fair negotiation and establishment of peace?

I should mention that the Granny Peace Brigade works independently and with other groups undertaking activities such as visiting members of Congress to lobby for the lessening of our military action and for increase in our use of diplomacy for conflict resolution, focusing public awareness on the need to channel government funds for development of our human resources and national infrastructure, organizing teach-ins on current matters.

UNWRA - An estimated 350 children were killed and thousands were injured during the 2008-09 Israeli military operation in Gaza.
UNWRA – An estimated 350 children were killed and thousands were injured during the 2008-09 Israeli military operation in Gaza.

A retired United Nations staff member, I worked in Africa and the Middle East for 18 years.  If I express here concern about matters that affect Palestinians negatively, it is because many know of the situation and events in Israel/Palestine principally from an Israeli point of view and many do not realize that it is ancestral home also to Palestinians.  Therefore, as I see it, settlements, including, of course, Hebron; East Jerusalem; the West Bank portion of the Jordan River Valley (and in this connection the recent reports of President Mahmoud Abbas’s indication that it is reasonable to allow Israelis to withdraw gradually from the Jordan Valley is noted); the wall built into portions of West Bank land all should be dealt with, real consideration being given to Palestinian needs and rights.  AN ETHNOCENTRIC APPROACH ON OUR PART MUST BE AVOIDED.  We (our government) must make a continuing conscientious effort in this regard.

UNWRA - Two children fill up bottles of water to take home.
UNWRA – Two children fill up bottles of water to take home.

A just resolution of the conflict for the people of Israel/Palestine is so long overdue.  I do thank you for any advice you may have.  It will be very much appreciated.

Very truly yours,
 – Barbara Walker

Palestinian Homeland, 65 Years, 1947-2012

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Some Significant Events:

  1. For millennia Palestine has been home to Palestinians and their forebears.
  2. On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted to divide Palestine into two states, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs; Jerusalem was to remain under international control.  [‘One Palestine Complete — Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate,’ Tom Segev (New York:  Henry Holt and Company — Metropolitan Books, 1999) p. 496.]
  3. On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence.
  4. From 1948 until the June War of 1967, the Gaza Strip was controlled by Egypt;  the West Bank and East Jerusalem were governed by Jordan. [‘Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict – A Primer,’ Phyllis Bennis (Massachusetts:  Olive Branch Press — Interlink Publishing Group, Inc., 2009) p. 14.]
  5. The West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza were captured by Israel in the Six Day War (June 5 – 10, 1967).
  6. United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (SI/RES/242) was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six Day War.  It called for “the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:  (i) WITHDRAWAL OF ISRAELI ARMED FORCES FROM TERRITORIES  OCCUPIED IN THE RECENT CONFLICT; (ii) TERMINATION OF ALL CLAIMS OR STATES OF BELLIGERENCY ….” [‘United Nations Security Council Resolution 242’ (Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia)].
  7. The Government of Israel has built and moved Israelis into settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories captured in the 1967 war.  This is in contravention of the 1949 Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention on Rules of War which states that “THE OCCUPYING POWER SHALL NOT DEPORT OR TRANSFER PART OF ITS OWN CIVILIAN POPULATION INTO A TERRITORY IT OCCUPIES.”
  8. “More than 130 countries voted on Thursday” (November 29, 2012) “to upgrade Palestine to a nonmember observer state of the United Nations…”[New York Times, November 30, 2012.]

– Barbara Walker
for the Granny Peace Brigade