One Voice on a negotiated end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Received by email.

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Dear supporter,

The Palestinian plan to request UN recognition of its statehood has created intense controversy and challenged OneVoice. How should we position ourselves on the UN initiative? How could we place it in a broader perspective? And most importantly, how could we play a positive role in shaping the aftermath?

OneVoice always strives to bring ordinary citizens into a constructive conversation about the conflict and to mobilize them for action. During this tense period, we continue to work to reduce the frustration and pessimism on both sides and channel people’s energy into nonviolent actions that advocate for a two-state solution – the only stable, viable, and peaceful future for the beleaguered people of Israel and Palestine. No matter how the UN initiative is resolved, that will remain our course.

Only good faith negotiations will produce a mutually acceptable, comprehensive and permanent two-state solution – of that we remain certain. President Mahmoud Abbas agrees, having said last week, “Our first, second and third priority is negotiations. There is no other way to solve this. No matter what happens at the United Nations, we have to return to negotiations.” He also added, “We don’t want to isolate Israel but to live with it in peace and security. We don’t want to delegitimize Israel. We want to legitimize ourselves.”

OneVoice Palestine (OVP) launched its campaign to support the Palestinian bid with the primary intent to mobilize thousands of Palestinians behind the two-state solution. Their activities will lay the basis for nonviolent and constructive responses in the aftermath of the vote. OneVoice Israel (OVI) will soon begin their own campaign to keep the two-state solution alive, spotlighting the potential benefits for Israel of recognizing a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with all its neighbors.

Our Israeli activists are urging their leadership to take positive actions that can turn the UN initiative into a win-win for both sides and rekindle negotiations. Prominent members of Israel’s political and security elite, including OneVoice Israel board members, believe that a resolution that addresses issues of concern to Israel and paves the way for renewed negotiations would preserve the country’s interests and the two-state solution.

With our Israeli and Palestinian teams, we reached an unambiguous conclusion: Bringing the vision of a Palestinian state closer to realization is vital to counter absolutist agendas. We have watched with alarm the growing Palestinian disillusionment with the two-state solution, which threatens a peaceful and stable future for Israelis and Palestinians. We have seen growing frustration on both sides at the lack of tangible progress, all set against the backdrop of worrying developments that endanger the security of the entire region.

OneVoice continues to advocate for a negotiated resolution to the conflict, and we hope this Palestinian initiative can produce positive developments that are far superior to stagnation and prevent a steep deterioration into violence and extremism.

Already, OneVoice Palestine’s campaign shows encouraging results. Thousands have visited OVP’s Web site and read our common message that supports a negotiated two-state solution. Nearly 60% of them agreed that the Palestinian bid will help realize this goal. We will send updates of our activities and their impact over the coming weeks and welcome your questions and reflections. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Howard J. Sumka
CEO

OneVoice is an international grassroots movement that aims to amplify the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates, empowering them to seize back the agenda for conflict resolution and demand that their leaders achieve a two-state solution. For the latest updates, join us at blog.onevoicemovement.org.

Please consider signing this e-petition, asking the British government to recognize Palestine as a state and support its admission to the UN in September, as a step to reviving direct negotiations.

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9 thoughts on “One Voice on a negotiated end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    1. Mira Vogel Post author

      Very worrying indeed – but I can’t help wondering (not least because I want it to be the case) whether Maen Areikat has been misinterpreted – whether something of what he meant was lost in translation. There’s nothing in the USA today piece that suggests he is campaigning for a ‘judenrein’ Palestine. The piece seems to riff on one small quote. Areikat can equally be interpreted by pro-two-staters as simply reiterating “Two states for two peoples”.

      Electronic Intifada are also trying to make a big deal out of this – that Areikat quote is good fodder for those who want to wreck a two state solution. The Liebermans of this world will use any such sentiment to justify the idea of displacing Palestinian citizens of Israel into the new Palestinian state. Which would be a terrible self-inflicted wound for Israel.

      Right of return – that’s a tricky one. Does anybody have an English copy of the Taba Accords?

      Reply
  1. Isca Stieglitz

    The plot thickens:
    Yes he did – Lieberman right – http://www.israeltoday.co.il/News/tabid/178/nid/22948/language/en-US/Default.aspx

    No he didn’t – Lieberman wrong – http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2011-09-15/palestinians-foresee-secular-state/50419552/1

    Abbas hasn’t even asked us! – http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/gazans-wary-of-palestinian-un-statehood-bid-1.384434

    Aaaaaargh; what to think?! I now get the feeling that Areikat was saying what he said from a more practical level, i.e.even within the new state there should be a ‘cooling off’ distance between the communities which share a more warring history. This seems sensible in the interim and I’m guessing that the communities with existing good relations, (of which there are many), will just get on with it.

    I’m so glad I’m not having to sort this out and hope that when peace comes, it comes without another war.

    Reply
    1. Mira Vogel Post author

      That second USA Today piece is heartening. I’m with you Isca. I think the Palestinian politicians are going to have to work incredibly hard to hold their course and avoid being misquoted or taken out of context by the wreckers. They are really up against it from all who hate the idea of a Palestinian state because they want the from the river to the sea to be a single state. And those people are spewing out the propaganda as if there’s no tomorrow.

      The way I see it (from an admittedly rather folksy perspective) there’s never a good time for this kind of thing. The polls say a majority want it. All this stuff about requiring negotiations, well negotiations seem to lead to further divisions and disaffection. We can expect this Israeli coalition to resist in any possible way. Hamas are still locked into a zero sum game strategy. The rejectionists feed off each other.

      It’s important to search out what the left in Israel are saying, as well as what the principled anti-Zionists are saying (i.e. those anti-nationalists who don’t hate anything or anyone). My hunch is that they are being pragmatic and understand that this two states initiative is looking like the best chance to avoid war (take your point that being the “best chance” might not be enough to avoid war, and it might hasten war). They’ll be totally overshadowed by the more newsworthy extremists.

      But there is still a majority among both Israelis and Palestinians who want two states.

      Reply
    1. Mira Vogel Post author

      That’s clearer from Areikat. Enforced separation. I can’t support that, no matter how pragmatic, and no matter how much I sympathise with the dismay Palestinians feel at those settlers (not all, but enough to be a big problem) bristling with weapons and animosity.

      What’s wrong with giving immediate Palestinian citizenship to the Jews living on the Palestinian side of the (rough) 67 borders when the state is declared, and giving them the same choice Palestinian refugees were given in Resolution 242 – to either return (in this case remain) and abide in peace according to the law of the new land, or leave and stay out. As it is Areikat is practically giving licence to Israel’s right to expel Israel’s Palestinian minority. Maybe that is what he wants.

      (Israel didn’t give Palestinian citizens rights for a long time – Palestinians lived under martial law until their citizenship became recognised in 66.)

      Also a disappointing whitewash of the historical Palestinian role in the murder and persecution of Jews during Europe’s Nazi years). The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem met Hitler and it’s well documented how they bonded over a shared nationalism and hatred of Jews. He was also responsible for the Arab Revolt against Jews.

      Reply
  2. Isca Stieglitz

    I remember a friend of mine, (a member of ‘Shalom Achshaz’), telling me that a lot of westerners misunderstood a lot of the members’ feelings, simply because they are members of a ‘peace group’. she said not all ‘peace groups’ share the same method or motive. She explained that, in her opinion, most people were members of ‘Shalom A’ for pragmatic reasons. She simply wanted peace and for that she/they were prepared to unilaterally give what was asked for – ‘Give them what they want; draw a line; cooling off period for deciding on numbers of each religion in each state; close borders; done’. She/ they also were pushing for Jordan to be forced to give back some land from the original territory which had under the Ottoman and later British control.

    However, she/they were very clear about the consequences of violating that two-state agreement. I.e. if ‘you’ dare to step over that line, send rockets, suicide bombers anymore then this will be constituted as an act of war from a now sovereign state on another and you will now have to bear the responsibilities of being a sovereign state as well as reaping the benefits…or words to that effect. The ‘Shalom A’ group she was with was pretty much in agreement. Very black-white, very straight, very mid-east.

    Also, having re-read Resolution 242, I’m still agog at how misquoted/ misused it is and why “Jordan-two-thirds” is never included in any deal, or propaganda maps.

    There seems to talk emerging that Israel will annex the settlements if it looks like co-existence could not be guaranteed. Watch and wait now I suppose.

    Reply
  3. rehmat1

    The once voice which was not reported by the mass-media – “Ehud Barak: ‘Israeli Jews should move to Finland’.”

    [link to antisemitic site redacted. Just by way of example, here are a number of antisemitic tropes in one small sentence: “Even if the 6-million-gas-chambers were true, it would be a dishonour to make such din and pump up so much money everywhere”. Then goes on to say that Jews died because they had declared war on Germany. MV]

    Reply

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