With so much hatred and anger swirling on both sides, Israeli and Palestinian,
it is encouraging to see so many people who are still determined to look past
While so many are trying to keep Palestinians and Israelis
apart with hate rhetoric, columns and speeches, Doron Tzur, Kamal Nawash and Joe
Avesar are trying hard to bring Palestinians and Israelis together.
events will take place in Jerusalem in the next few weeks. The first is a
conference on November 28 at the Ambassador Hotel in east Jerusalem entitled,
“The Best Plans,” which brings together new ideas for peace.
initiated the conference, writes, “I believe that once it becomes evident that
there are such plans – or if it becomes evident that there are not – life is
going to become better for all people here.
If there are such plans, as I
tend to believe, the task will be to choose among good alternatives. If there
aren’t, it will become clear that the conflict has to be managed until the
people ‘ripen,’ and that currently settlements will have to depend on external
forces or they would break, potentially leading to very bad
Tzur has partnered with Nawash, a Palestinian lawyer in
Washington, DC, who heads the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism, a group
that has come under attack from extremist religious and even jealous secular
American Arab groups that don’t like his focus on opposing “terrorism.” Nawash
is from Ein Kerem but lived in Ramallah before coming to the US.
Nawash has made progress in a way that most of the American Arab organizations
have not. While those groups hold conferences to raise money, they do little
except promote their dictator-for-life presidents.
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actually is rolling up its sleeves to do something, including this conference to
bring peace activists together.
Nawash says that for two decades, the
“two-state solution” has been widely accepted as “the only solution” to the
Palestinian/Israeli conflict, yet no specific plan based on this principle has
ever been accepted by the majority of Palestinians and Israelis. So, in
partnership with Doron Tzur, he has set out to find a plan that can be accepted
by the majority of Israelis and Palestinians.
AVESAR IS a Jewish lawyer
from Encino, California, and the author of a recent book called Peace: A Case
for Israeli Palestinian Confederation.
When I interviewed Avesar recently
on my Dearborn, Michigan, morning radio show (Radio Baladi), Avesar explained
that “confederation” might be a way to bring both sides together in a way that
reinforces Israel’s existence while creating Palestinian nationhood.
Israeli-Palestinian Confederation would make the most sense to create peace;
creating a third government that brings the Israeli and Palestinian people
together as one government,” Avesar explained.
While Tzur and Nawash are
looking at peace plans, Avesar’s movement is pushing to actually elect
representatives to the Confederation at elections in east Jerusalem and
Bethlehem – many Palestinians are prohibited from entering Jerusalem so they
have to have a second location, like Bethlehem. The elections, he explained,
will take place on December 12 at the Ambassador Hotel in east Jerusalem and at
Talitha Kumi in Bethlehem the following day.
This convention will take
place exactly one year before the general election the group would like to hold
on December 12, 2012.
Avesar said he hopes the Confederation will elect
delegates and a “president” – either Israeli or Palestinian – who will represent
There are many out there who will scoff at Tzur, Nawash
and Avesar for their efforts, saying they will do not good, but I disagree. The
fact is that while the critics complain a lot, they do very little to create or
build. They can only tear things down. I call them “arsonists.”
Nawash and Avesar are offering the kind of leadership that even the prime
minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Palestinian Authority president,
Mahmoud Abbas, fail to demonstrate.
There is a lot of worthless
name-calling, and the only winner in the blame game is failure.
some links you can check out if you want to turn away from the hatred that feeds
the violence, uncertainty and tragedy and put your efforts in to something
positive: For the Tzur/Nawash-led event, go to TheBest- Plans.org.
Avesar’s Confederation event, go to ipconfederation.org For the
interview with Avesar, go to RadioBaladi.com People who brush aside hope and
fail to dream are destined to live a life of conflict. But those who dream about
peace and work to make those dreams a reality are the ones that will one day
lead Israelis and Palestinians to the promised land.Ray Hanania is an
award winning Palestinian American columnist.
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