A Humanitarian Forum on Gaza

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I really wish this program was aired on CNN or Fox; it was indeed a well balanced program about Gaza. The bottom line? Unless there is Justice, peace is not possible, unless the United States plays an honest broker, peace is a forlorn hope.

Both the speakers echoed the same thoughts I have been writing on my blog – http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/ that security for Israel and hope for the Palestinians. Inclusion of Hamas is a must in the equation which I had commented in Haartez about the time of Annapolis conference in 2008.

Rami drew some parallels in the development of right wingers around the world, the momentum was simaltanesouly gained in the Middle East, Eurpoe and America, particularly in the last 30 years.

He talked about the Jewish history of persecution; finally when the assimilation in Germany was a pinnacle but they got cheated again. Rami shared the spirit of Jewish people and then compared with the spirt of the Palestinians; Where Jews were in prior to Balfour declarations, Palestinians are on that threshold.

He talked about the culmination of pain – don’t abuse me any more cry in Birmingham and the Clarksville event in South Africa – emboldened the people, you can’t hurt us any more. The Palestinians are at that point now, and they see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Rami talked about the success of peace agreement with Egypt and Jordan is owed to the equality in partnership agreement, what he called simaltaneous execution of rights and obligations, where as with the Palestinians, it was conditional and not based on equality.

Madea talked about the powerful Israel lobby and the misery it is causing for both the people of Israel and Palestine. She told the helplness of the congress in taking a stand, she was told, “I will be out if I speak my conscience.’ Such is the depressing status of these rats in the house and the senate. Who is going to serve the nation?

She was giving a big, strong wake up call to the public to wake up and be the peace makers by speaking up.

Madea started the pinkcode organization and the work they are doing. Rami’s hope is appeal to the people of conscience to speak up, let the American people stand for justice and fairness.

I am pleased I attended the event and I wish I could encapsulate all the powerful things they said that the Government should listen.

If the Nobel prize was right for Obama; she took two in favor and two in the opposite. I spoke about the aspiration, hope and inclusiveneness that he brought, that deserves the award. Where as the two others pointed out his compromises on his own promises about ending the war, bringing peace to the middle east.

Rami talked about recognition of 10 R’s for peace between Israel and Palestine;

1. Resistance – hamas is a resistance movement not a religious one
2. Rights of individuals
3. Reciprocity of rights
4. Respect
5. Rule of Law to apply to one and all
6. Republicanism – justice, representations
7. Refugeehood ending
8. Re_?
9. Reocognition of Israels and Palestninians needs
10. Richard Goldstone report –

Richard Goldstone report. US is one of the 11 nations that voted against it. It kills the hope for the people of Palestinian and peace for the Israeli people. We need to urge Obama to endorse the report and follow it through, unless, we the people of America become a significant voice, Obama cannot do much about it. I hope a petition will come up and then, I would request you to sign it up.

UNHRC endorses Goldstone report, angers Israel

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has adopted a resolution, endorsing the Goldstone report on the Gaza war, despite efforts by Israeli leaders to block the motion. On Friday, 25 member-states of the council voted for the resolution, six voted against and 11 abstained. The “draft resolution … is therefore adopted,” UNHRC President Alex Van Meeuwen said in Geneva.

It was one of the most powerful forums on Gaza, of course the Jewish Neocons* (made up of the AIPAC and others) would not not like this, neither the Palestinian Neocons* would like that. As every one knows it is these extremists that are the reason for not having peace in the middle east. Both of them reiterated with facts and I have been sharing it with my belief that the overwhelming majority of the people want peace and its the Israeli Government and the Hamas that is standing in between.

* Neocons – http://hatesermons.blogspot.com/2008/03/neocons.html

Additional notes:

Medea has just returned from Afghanistan, in a forum on Gaza last night, she said that in the in-depth interviews she had conducted with women in Afghanistan, they were saying that most of the men are their brothers, fathers and uncles turned Talibans. They were pleading with her that the presence of gun touting (American) soldiers in their neighborhoods, attract the Talibans to target our homes… if the Americans leave our neighborhoods, we may not see the cross fires.

Medea has started the Pink code organization to rally support from the grass roots to pull the forces and focus on economic development with half that money. This morning at 9:00 the whole group demonstrated in front of George Bush’s house

Rami Khouri* on the other hand describe the Gaza movement in ten R’s, the first being Resistance. The same R applies to Afghanistan, it is the resistance originally against Russians and lack of clear goals, it got directed towards their own women and men and religiosity is just a cover. It is the humiliation and the spirit to survive that brings the resistance and improperly directed it can unleash against its own people.

Mike Ghouse
Board Member Dallas Peace Center
DPC is one of the sponsors of the program
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A Humanitarian Forum on Gaza
Hughes-Trigg Center SMU
Friday October 16, 2009

On Friday, October 16, two dynamic personalities will come together on the SMU campus to participate in A Humanitarian Forum on Gaza. Both are committed to bringing to the Western world the truth about conditions in the Middle East. One is a veteran organizer, dedicated to direct action in order to impress her message on those in power. The other works through academia and conventional media outlets to help Westerners better understand the Middle East.
Medea Benjamin is co-founder of CODE PINK, and organization of mostly women known for their fearless determination to speak truth to power in Washington D.C. and throughout the world. Benjamin has made several forays to the Middle East, including a trip to Gaza in January. She will be just returning from a trip to Afghanistan.

Rami Khouri is the director of the Issam Fares Institute of the American University of Beirut and internationally syndicated political columnist. He is a frequent guest on Diane Rehm’s Friday roundtable discussion on NPR, and is editor at large of the Daily Star newspaper which publishes out of Beirut. A joint Palestinian-Jordanian and U.S. citizen, Khouri’s family resides in Beirut, Amman and Nazareth.

A Humanitarian Forum will begin with a reception in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center on the SMU campus at 6:30 p.m., with the panel discussion in the Theater at 7:00 p.m. on October 16. The event is sponsored by the SMU Muslim Student Association, KinderUSA and the Dallas Peace Center.
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About Mike Ghouse

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a public speaker and the Executive Director of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeghouse/