In 1947, with the termination of the British Mandate and rising violence and terrorism between Jews and Palestinians, the UN called for a Jewish-Arab partition of Palestine. Neither side liked the deal, but the secular Zionists jumped at the chance while the Palestinians and Arabs opposed it, citing the injustice of demanding Palestinians pay for Hitler's atrocities.
Israel proclaimed it's independence in May 1948 by affirming:
"One the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations."
Britain withdrew from the land and war erupted. The well equipped Israeli forces created a triumph for the Jews and birthed the ongoing disaster for Palestinians and the world. Over 750,000 Palestinians became refugees and the roots of 21st century terrorism were birthed.
The Holy Land is one piece of property that two peoples who have been victimized, terrorized and oppressed are fighting over and neither side will ever give up.
There can be no remedy, no winning any war on terrorism without going to the root: the history and suffering of both people must be addressed and only with an honest third party seeking justice will there ever be security and peace in the world.
World leaders have failed at the task of securing security and peace in the Holy Land and Israelis and Palestinians distrust the other. But, repeated polls in Israel and Palestine prove the people are way ahead of their leaders. Majorities on both sides want a negotiated peace and a viable two state solution which would require a great compromise.
The bad news is that many Israelis and Palestinians lack HOPE that peace is possible. Peace requires justice and that demands dialogue not unilateral action. Peace and Justice require open hearts to feel the pain of the other and see all peoples as equals, as sisters and brothers.
It is because of my Christian faith that I have HOPE that all things are possible and on November 18, 2006, I will be speaking in Washington DC to a small group of committed progressive young Christians and agitators about my first book, KEEP HOPE ALIVE, the Christian Exodus in the Holy Land and Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech trial in the democracy of Israel.
"Never doubt that a few, thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."- Margaret Mead
Everything is connected and the law of karma is what ever we send out will return to us. USA and Israel are best friends, and the rise of fundamentalism in all faiths, the increasing anti-Semitism and fear of Islam throughout the world are WAKE UP calls for those of good will to break their silence and DO SOMETHING.
Six decades ago six million innocent Jews were cold bloodedly murdered because good people did nothing. What will it take to WAKE UP good people to DO SOMETHING now about the innocents caught in the crossfire of violence in the land we claim is Holy?
What will it take for USA leadership to WAKE UP and be an honest broker for justice and peace; to support Israel's dream of security and Palestinian's hope for justice?
"We have it in our power to begin the world again" [Tom Paine] and with a newly elected Congress America's dream and commitment to justice, human rights and freedom is within our grasp, if we the people rise up and demand they do the right thing.
"The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people."-Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
The "fierce urgency of now" [Rev. MLK, Jr] should compel we the people of the United States to rise up and demand the 110th Congress hold President Bush to the promise he made in his Second Inaugural Address:
"In the long run, there is no justice without FREEDOM. There can be no human rights without LIBERTY. All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for liberty, we stand with you."
The "war on terror" must be fought at the root and all roads lead to Jerusalem.
"Soon after I had published the pamphlet "Common Sense" [on Feb. 14, 1776] in America, I saw the exceeding probability that a revolution in the system of government would be followed by a revolution in the system of religion... The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."-Tom Paine
Common sense understands democracy cannot be achieved through the barrel of a gun. Justice and equal human rights for all people is the only way to security and peace. May we all do something and demand the 110th Congress and this Administration to uphold the promise of President Bush's Second Inaugural Address.
Now is the time to bring into reality Tom Paine's vision of what America was originally based upon.
"You must give birth to your images: They are the future waiting to be born."-Rilke
Only in solidarity do we have it in our power to begin the world again.