Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obama and Ghouse

Obama on Al-Arbiyya TV


Obama and Ghouse

First of all, let me give room to the right wingers, who are motivated by fear and everything peaceful or peace building is wrong to them. They do not believe in co-existence and unfortunately US was run by such forces and thank God they are sitting on the side lines now. Indians chased such powers five years ago, and now, Israelis will do the same - bring moderates who represents the views of the majority of the Israelis.

The lobby and their likes will go to work tomorrow and pile up a lot of things and find pleasure in damaging every little thing they can.

Obama's interview is strategic and will bring the desired security to the Israelis, the right way and will become sustainable. And restore what was stolen from the Palestinians - their hopes and aspirations.

I have found myself mirroring Obama's views:

He said some thing like "Looking into eyes of children" and I wrote a couple of weeks ago that the leaders must be put to test to ask them to look into children, regardless of their origins and pledge that they will work on bringing security and hopes for them. If they cannot pledge, public should reject them.

In his inaugural speech he said " you will be judged by what you build and not what you destroy" and I wrote that their performance should be measured in the amount peace,security and hope they bring to the people of Israel and Palestine. Ignoring one or the other, will keep the nation limping.

David Gergens commented about isolating the extremist causing Obama to scramble when Obama said "some members of family are Muslims" and I have been regularly writing to focus on the real people, the moderates who are a majority and quit pandering to the fear mongers.

Obama said "Muslims wants to simply live a good life" and that has been a part of my writing.

Time has come for the good men (and women) to stop the evil men from perpetrating evil.

Friedman on Israel Elections

Tom Friedman on Israel Elections
Mike Ghouse at 5:52pm January 26
Posted on Facebook

Mr. Friedman you may be called names for speaking pragmatism, you may even be called anti-Israeli by the lobby supporters.I was called names for making the call to include Hamas in the negotiations. On November 20, 2008, I wrote "Although we hate Hamas, they need to be in the picture to get decisions implemented. We cannot bring peace unilaterally without the parties to conflict participating in it. http://peaceforisrael.blogspot.com/2007/11/peace-in-israel-palestine.html -

Bibi will be more dangerous to the security of Israel than any one else in Israel's history. He appeases the fear mongers by bully power, but will mess up the long term security needs of Israel - not the military security, but the moral security and sense of security that comes when you can drop all your guards and walk about without fear in a shopping mall, or going to the grocery store or picking children from school.I do hope the moderates win in Israel Elections in February.

Mike Ghouse

This is not a test
Published: January 24, 2009

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. “Guy walks into a bar ...” No, not that one — this one: “This is the most critical year ever for Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy. It is five minutes to midnight. If we don’t get diplomacy back on track soon, it will be the end of the two-state solution.”

We’re getting perilously close to closing the window on a two-state solution, because the two chief window-closers — Hamas in Gaza and the fanatical Jewish settlers in the West Bank — have been in the driver’s seats. Hamas is busy making a two-state solution inconceivable, while the settlers have steadily worked to make it impossible.

If Hamas continues to obtain and use longer- and longer-range rockets, there is no way any Israeli government can or will tolerate independent Palestinian control of the West Bank, because a rocket from there can easily close the Tel Aviv airport and shut down Israel’s economy.

And if the Jewish settlers continue with their “natural growth” to devour the West Bank, it will also be effectively off the table. No Israeli government has mustered the will to take down even the “illegal,” unauthorized settlements, despite promises to the U.S. to do so, so it’s getting hard to see how the “legal” settlements will ever be removed. What is needed from Israel’s Feb. 10 elections is a centrist, national unity government that can resist the blackmail of the settlers, and the rightist parties that protect them, to still implement a two-state solution.

Because without a stable two-state solution, what you will have is an Israel hiding behind a high wall, defending itself from a Hamas-run failed state in Gaza, a Hezbollah-run failed state in south Lebanon and a Fatah-run failed state in Ramallah. Have a nice day.

So if you believe in the necessity of a Palestinian state or you love Israel, you’d better start paying attention. This is not a test. We’re at a hinge of history.

What makes it so challenging for the new Obama team is that Mideast diplomacy has been transformed as a result of the regional disintegration since Oslo — in three key ways.

First, in the old days, Henry Kissinger could fly to three capitals, meet three kings, presidents or prime ministers and strike a deal that could hold. No more. Today a peacemaker has to be both a nation-builder and a negotiator.

The Palestinians are so fragmented politically and geographically that half of U.S. diplomacy is going to be about how to make peace between Palestinians, and build their institutions, so there is a coherent, legitimate decision-making body there — before we can make peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Second, Hamas now has a veto over any Palestinian peace deal. It’s true that Hamas just provoked a reckless war that has devastated the people of Gaza. But Hamas is not going away. It is well armed and, despite its suicidal behavior of late, deeply rooted.

The Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank will not make any compromise deal with Israel as long as it fears that Hamas, from outside the tent, would denounce it as traitorous. Therefore, Job 2 for the U.S., Israel and the Arab states is to find a way to bring Hamas into a Palestinian national unity government.

As the Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen says, “It is not enough for Israel that the world recognize that Hamas criminally mismanaged its responsibility to its people. Israel’s longer-term interest is to be sure that it has a Palestinian partner for negotiations, which will have sufficient legitimacy among its own people to be able to sign agreements and fulfill them. Without Hamas as part of a Palestinian decision, any Israeli-Palestinian peace will be meaningless.”

But bringing Hamas into a Palestinian unity government, without undermining the West Bank moderates now leading the Palestinian Authority, will be tricky. We’ll need Saudi Arabia and Egypt to buy, cajole and pressure Hamas into keeping the cease-fire, supporting peace talks and to give up rockets — while Iran and Syria will be tugging Hamas the other way.

And that leads to the third new factor — Iran as a key player in Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy. The Clinton team tried to woo Syria while isolating Iran. President Bush tried to isolate both Iran and Syria. The Obama team, as Martin Indyk argues in “Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East,” “needs to try both to bring in Syria, which would weaken Hamas and Hezbollah, while also engaging Iran.”

So, just to recap: It’s five to midnight and before the clock strikes 12 all we need to do is rebuild Fatah, merge it with Hamas, elect an Israeli government that can freeze settlements, court Syria and engage Iran — while preventing it from going nuclear — just so we can get the parties to start talking. Whoever lines up all the pieces of this diplomatic Rubik’s Cube deserves two Nobel Prizes.


Original posting at Facebook
Monday, January 19, 2009 at 10:20am Edit Note Delete

When it comes to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, Mona Eltahawy wrote, “our respective sides demand not only absolute lockstep with their ideas but that those on the other side march in step too.” In an article entitled On Self-Hate and Fence Sitting at the face book.

Please know that every one is hunkering for some one to take a neutral stand in finding solutions. I will take that approach in developing an understanding of the problems and finding solutions.

I want to develop a small team of about 10 people, some of whom are passionate and some are not, but both must have the will to sit down and listen and have a genuine dialogue. A dialogue occurs when both sides give full value to the other, if one starts out with an idea that the other is wrong, even before listening to him or her, his efforts will be to assert his position, and obviously the other will dig in his heels. What is the point?

Why is the dialogue necessary? I believe, we have to bring a resolution to the ongoing conflict; neither party can annihilate the other or drive them to the sea, neither one can become God. The Palestinians deserve to have the very basic of life in their lives; hope and the Israelis deserve to live in security; to be able to drop their guards and live in peace.

I am planning on setting up a dialogue on Israel Palestine conflict.

The first phase of the dialogue is to have both sides to share every aspect of the conflict from their point of view, let's put everything on the table.

The next phase is to separate the myths from facts, those myths that would be acknowledged by both sides.

Finally work on finding common grounds that may be acceptable by listening to each other's point of view.

I would like three passionate Jews (Israeli-American, Israeli and American) and three Passionate Palestinians (Palestinian Muslim, Palestinian Christian and Palestinian American) armed with facts and information to be on the panel.

Cambridge defies Gaza Assaults

Originally posted at the face book
Cambridge MA defies American support for Gaza AssaultShare
Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 11:18am Edit Note Delete

Our oligation should be to humanity first, and not to Israel or Palestine. It is not about Israel or about Zionism, nor is it about palestinians and Hamas, it is about human suffering; people being killed for no reason. Those inhuman few need to get off the high horse of arrogance and speak out against this assault. Shame on us if we revel in the deaths of either the Israelis or the Palestinians.

The decision by the city council of Cambridge Massachussetts give hopes to humanity, that there are still people who would say "never again" to every human attrocity. If any one of you is from there, we appreciate you.

# #

Cambridge, MA defies American support for Gaza assault

Date: 14 / 01 / 2009 Time: 20:43

Bethlehem – Ma'an – An American town twinned with the West Bank city
on Bethlehem voted on a resolution to condemn Israel's ongoing
onslaught in Gaza on Monday.

Home to both Harvard University and the Massachusetts School of
Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts' city council voted to become the
first such American town to make official its condemnation of the
Israeli assault on Gaza.

Lawyer Shawqy Al-Ayaseh, the two cities' twinning representative, said
the council made its decision after a long meeting in the presence of
citizens, where negotiations lasted some three hours.

In addition to condemning violence against civilians on both sides of
the conflict, the city council insisted Israel end the blockade of the
Gaza Strip.

"How could I not do something?" City Councillor Marjorie C. Decker,
who authored the resolution with Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons,
was quoted as saying in Harvard's student newspaper.

"To not say something feels very complicit," she added.

Hope for Peace in ME

I posted this on Jan 12, 2009 at the Face book and titled it
"Hopes for peace in the Middle East - Pin it for January 22"

Obama did appointed George Mitchell on January 12 and hope they will do the right thing; bring justice to the people; hopes to the Palestinians and security to the Israelis

The following article gives a lot of hope.

The Neocons, (the word to denote extremists from among Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Hindu communities) are not for peace and goodness of the socieities, them boys are for enriching themselves by frightening the crap out of constipated men. Fear is the only thing they sell and have duped the world for far long, it is time for them to join and enjoy peace, think peace and act peace.

They believed that if there is a problem, squash it. Their bent was to annihilate the people who opposed them assuming that problem will be gone, but no one can annihilate a people, and problems will not be gone unless we develop the ability to sit down and dialogue; accept the otherness of other, understand each others point of view to find solutions. Justice is the only thing that will bring peace and the time has come for the the Neocons to take a back seat and consider Justice as the driver for peace. Obama's presence is catalyitic and hope it will propel us in to the new era of peace and prosperity for one and all.

I believe the era of extremism is dwindling and will slow down, the silent majority is willing to speak and have started talking and organizing themselves for peace. Bush is gone, Indians dumped the government of extremists some five years ago, and it is time for Israelis and the Palestinians to dump their leaders; Al-Qaida will find it self with fewer and fewer supporters, Hamas ideology will lose support from among its base, Hisballah will lose it too when their cause to fight is resolved.

The world would be a much better place when it focuses on justice; political, economic and social. What is good for one has to be good for all to sustain it. Without exception, every religion has taught us to share the mother earth, there is meaning in it, we need to understand the meaning of sharing and make it a part of our daily life.

# # #

Obama Won't Have to Kiss AIPAC's Ring -- Progressive Alternative to Hawkish Mideast Policies Emerges

By Alexander Zaitchik, AlterNet. Posted January 12, 2009.

A new wave of progressive Jewish activists are challenging the dominance of AIPAC and other hawkish groups on Gaza, Israeli settlers and even Iran.

Israel's ongoing assault on Gaza has pushed to the fore with ferocity one of the great campaign debates of 2008: How will Barack Obama approach the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? The president-elect has stated repeatedly that achieving a final settlement will be an administration priority, but beyond that oft-expressed campaign commitment swirls a constellation of increasingly urgent unkowns. Will he choose a Mideast envoy with at least a shred of credibility on both sides? Will he negotiate with Hamas? Will he spend the needed political capital to revive the rotting corpse of the peace process? Is resuscitation even possible?

Normally, a very constricted beltway political wisdom on Israel, as embodied by AIPAC, would set and guard the parameters of the debate over these questions. But the landscape of organized Jewish political power in America is changing. Even as John Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt were coming under heavy fire for their 2006 analysis of the traditional American Israel Lobby, a liberal pro-Israel countermovement was forming in utero. Today, that movement is not only walking and talking, it is mounting a vigorous challenge to the dominance of traditional groups like AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League. Together with a growing number of voices within the foreign policy community, it is pushing Obama to initiate a strong and fresh approach to the region during his busy first 100 days.

As we wait to see how this debate shapes up, it's worth revisiting what we know about Barack Obama. In his personal life, he has exposed himself to both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide like few other incoming presidents. At the University of Chicago, he cultivated a friendship with the Palestinian-American scholar Rashid Khalidi, through whom he also came to know the late Edward Said. He visited the slums of Ramallah in the West Bank on his own initiative, after which he told an audience in Muscatine, Iowa, “Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people.” During the primaries and presidential campaign, these facts fueled the hopes of Palestinians and Americans hungry for a more balanced approach to the region. It also became grist for Republican (and Likud) fear and smear campaigns that warned Obama was an Israel-hating stalking horse for Hamas and a kissing cousin of Louis Farrakhan.

Obama neutralized these smear campaigns all too effectively. Terrified that the attacks would go viral faster than his dismissals, Obama famously tracked hard right upon clinching the Democratic nomination. His first act as nominee was to visit AIPAC and affirm his commitment to the U.S.-Israeli “special relationship,” cemented by $30 billion in no-strings military aid over the next decade. After one of Obama's informal advisors, the highly respected Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group, came under rightwing assault for holding meetings with Hamas officials, he was quickly and quietly allowed to “resign.” In November came Hilary Clinton's appointment and word that the hawkish former Middle East envoy Denis Ross is a leading candidate to fill that position again.

Most recently, the president-elect has maintained a controversial silence in response to Israel's invasion of Gaza. For those around the world who had expected at least a cursory statement of concern or condemnation, this silence has been deafening.

“Palestinian circles have increasingly looked at Obama with skepticism throughout his campaign and into the transitional period,” says Toufic Haddad, a Palestinian-American activist and co-author of Between the Lines: Israel, the Palestinians, and the U.S. War on Terror. “Palestinians were willing, perhaps desperate, to believe in his calls for 'change', but the margin of tolerance for his rhetoric has faded. His recent declaration that 'there is only one president' ring hollow when Arab satellite stations have closely followed his political platform and noted his vocal positions during this transition period on both domestic and international issues.”

Of course, Palestinians don't vote in U.S. elections. But Jews do, and in November they voted for Obama more than 4 to 1, despite his selective and belated declaration of allegiance to the established AIPAC orthodoxy. That Obama's success with Jews surprised so many people testifies to the extent right-wing American Jewish groups have succeeded in equating hardline “Israel right or wrong” politics with support for the Jewish state. But as the election results and post-Gaza opinion polls of U.S. opinon have shown, those days are over and receding quickly from view. This fact may very well widen the political space for Obama to chart a brave new course in the region.

As explained most eloquently by Bernard Avishai in an October essay for Harper's, “Obama's Jews” are a different breed than the hard-line Likudniks that have traditionally claimed to represent the American Jewish community. “Obama's campaign exposed the fault lines among Jews, which are serious, while implicitly challenging the great silent majority to repudiate ... neoconservative celebrities like William Kristol ... whose militant simplicities purport to represent them -- and don't,” wrote Amishai, noting that 70 percent of American Jews support exerting pressure on both Israelis and Palestinians. “Obama's campaign is an implicit opportunity for a new leadership to emerge, a contemporary equivalent of Rabbi Heschel locking arms with Dr. King.”

That new leadership is guardedly confident that Obama will call for a cease-fire upon taking office and begin the tortuous work of reviving the peace process. Just as important, they are hopeful they will have a voice in the debate over the evolution of U.S. policy. Last month, senior Obama transition officials met with an unprecedented array of American Jewish organizations, including pro-peace outfits that have been completely shut out during the last eight years. Present were groups at the core of what might be called “The Lobby 2.0.” This new wave of beltway Jewish activism is challenging the traditional dominance of AIPAC and the ADL on everything from a Gaza ceasefire to West Bank settlers to diplomacy with Iran.

The best known of these groups is the newly minted J Street, which since its founding in early 2008 has grown to threaten AIPAC as the most influential voice of American pro-Israel Jewry. In the last cycle, J Street's PAC raised more money for liberal, pro-peace candidates — nearly $600,000 — than any of the more established PACs in the hard-line AIPAC constellation. Although J Street has no direct links to the incoming administration, organizers say they intend to have impact through their web of connections in the capitol, extensive media outreach, and an organizing email list of 100,000 supporters and growing.

“Our influence will be significant because the agenda we back-a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and diplomacy to resolve conflicts in the Middle East-has such overwhelming support in the American Jewish community,” says Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street's executive director. “The voices that have been the loudest in recent years when it comes to Israel and the Middle East are far to the right of the community. If the agenda does start to shift, groups like ours can anticipate far sharper attacks from the right.”

Other pro-Israel, pro-peace groups share this sense of a new day dawning on January 20. “Based on the statements of candidate Obama and on what we have been hearing from staffers of President-elect Obama, we have good reason to believe that the incoming administration will be more receptive to our message,” says Ori Nir, spokesperson for Americans For Peace Now, the U.S. affiliate of Israelis For Peace Now.

“If you are prepared to listen to a wide range of informed opinions and have the intellectual capacity and willingness to process them, then organizations like ours will inevitably play a much more important role,” says Nick Bunzl, director of the pro-peace Israel Policy Forum. Among the proposals advocated by IPF is an immediate cease-fire in Gaza followed by a ten-year armistice by both sides conditioned on a full lifting of Israel's blockade and an end to rocket attacks.

Whatever the particulars of the administration's forthcoming plan, a chorus is growing for a vigorous U.S. re-engagement with a problem that has been allowed to fester and is now burning. From the foreign policy community to the new Jewish netroots, the call for bold action, and change, is clear.

“During its first several months, the Obama administration will have to make a choice,” says Ben-Ami of J Street. “Either continue with the status quo of a low-level peace process on the back burner, or turn the current crisis into an opportunity to redefine American foreign policy and achieve a settlement."

Let the newly enlarged conversation begin.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

PR - II Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides

II Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides
Sunday, January 25, 2009 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Unity Church of Dallas
6525 Forest Ln, Dallas, TX 75230

Admission is free - Your are invitedLimited Seating -

Please RSVP to: ConfirmAttendance@gmail.com

You may become a part of the history as this event is a stepping stone towards Peace in the Middle east.

Continued: http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Articles/Holocaust-and-Genocides-Press-Release-011709.asp

Saturday, January 10, 2009

HR 34 : Are we pleasing the lobbyists or the people?

HR 34 : Are we pleasing the lobbyists or the people?

The question is about the House Resolution 34 which “barely mentions the human suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza.”

We are the most powerful nation on the earth and Israel is the most powerful nation in the Middle East, both of us can decide whatever we want. Who will question us?

Continued: http://www.mikeghouse.net/Articles/House-Resolution-34-Congressman-Ellison.asp

Obamamobile - Cadillac One


The Obamamobile: New presidential limo is unveiled - and it can withstand rocket and chemical attacks

It's official call sign is Cadillac One, but it will always be known as the Obamobile.

Pictures and story Continued: http://www.mikeghouse.net/Articles/Obama-Mobile-President's-Cadillac-one.asp

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saving life, Saving Gaza

Saving a life is like saving the whole humanity, says the Torah and Qur'aan. I pray that the criminal individual leaders of Israel and Hamas listen to their own scriptures and not violate them. They are neither Jewish nor Muslims, these leaders are a disgrace to the people of Israel, Palestine and the humanity. It would be shameful if we defend any one one of these criminal leaders who are acting in behalf of the people of Israel and Gaza and Jews and Muslims.

Continued: http://www.mikeghouse.net/Articles/Save-Gaza-Petition.asp

Mike Ghouse