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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

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Home arrow Blog arrow June 2008 arrow June 10, 2008

June 10, 2008
WAWA Blog June 10, 2008: Books, book stores, PRO, AIPAC, Foreign Agents and DOA Reminder

DOA=Day Of Action, June 10: National Call-In Day

Thousands of activists across the country will call Congress on Tuesday and speak out for peace and diplomacy. Add your voice to the ROAR

Call your Senators and Representative | 1-800-788-9372

Tell them to work for direct, unconditional, and comprehensive talks between the U.S. and Iran.

The U.S. and Iran share common interests in a stable Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan.


The U.S. pursued negotiations with North Korea and Libya -- it's time to talk with Iran.



 Thanks to the Washington Post for publishing Saree Makdisi's commentary about a scheduled bookstore talk for his new book on Palestine that was abruptly cancelled after the owner read his book and disagreed with his point of view. Her response was also published in the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/06/AR2008060603066.html


Banned in the U.S.A. (Almost)
Sunday, June 8, 2008; B08

I didn't think America was a place where bookstores barred people for their viewpoints, until it happened to me, right here in Washington, D.C., the city of my birth.

I was scheduled to speak at Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse last month about my latest book, "Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation." My appearance was canceled when the bookstore owners realized that my book concludes by questioning the viability of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead it proposes a single democratic, secular and multicultural state in which Israelis and Palestinians live peacefully as citizens with equal rights.

"I do not believe that your book will further constructive debate in the United States," one of the owners wrote to me in an e-mail. "A single state is not a solution." I was dismayed that my invitation was rescinded because I express a different point of view from the one sanctioned by a supposedly independent bookstore. Yet the cancellation seems to fit into a larger pattern of nationwide censorship about this issue.

Stanford professor Joel Beinin had been invited to speak about Israel and Palestine at a Silicon Valley school last year; his appearance was canceled when the school was criticized for booking the event. Tony Judt of New York University was invited to speak about Israel and Palestine at the Polish Consulate in New York last fall; his talk was canceled after the consulate came under pressure from the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee.

The fact that senior scholars are prevented from speaking in well-known forums because they do not toe an official line suggests that the civic culture on which our country was founded has broken down, at least when it comes to Palestine and Israel.

Yet citizens can object to the muzzling of ideas. After receiving letters of protest and eloquent entreaties by bloggers, Politics and Prose decided last week to reissue my invitation. This reversal is an important step forward but questions still linger. Can we afford not to hear each other out as we evaluate our Middle East policies? Should Palestinians not be allowed to speak unless their erstwhile audience gets to tell them what to say? What, then, is the point of a conversation? What is the alternative to conversation?

What is so unspeakably wrong with saying that justice, secularism, tolerance and equality of citizens -- rather than privileges granted on the basis of religion -- should be among the values of a state?-- Saree Makdisi

Los Angeles

The writer is a professor of English literature at UCLA.



Politics, Prose and a Promise
Sunday, June 8, 2008; B08



Since its opening nearly 24 years ago, Politics and Prose Bookstore has been characterized by its program of presenting authors. One of our primary objectives is to connect authors and readers. As we have grown in size, sales and reputation, our author events schedule has grown. We now regularly feature 40 talks in our adult section each month.

How do we make the choice among the scores of authors we are asked to host? The highest priorities go to Washington area authors and nationally known authors on tour. We also will schedule authors on topics that are of interest to our customers. Obviously, our goal is to sell books. We are not simply a forum for ideas. We schedule authors with new books from established publishers so that there is media attention behind the books.

Last month, we canceled an appearance by Saree Makdisi, who was to have discussed his new book, "Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation," at our store. Now, we do not usually vet books before we schedule the talks, since we book these events months in advance. Sometimes we will ask to see the book before arranging a talk to see if we can get behind it for the purposes of marketing it. Makdisi's book arrived after the event was booked.

When I finally got a chance to read his book, especially its conclusion, I was very disturbed. As an American Jew, I support Israel, but I disapprove of its policies in the West Bank. I have been active in organizations and in programs expressing my opposition to the occupation by Israel and its policies toward the Palestinians. Makdisi's critique of Israel was not what bothered me; it was his solution. He advocates one state in the place of the partition that was established by the United Nations in 1947. His solution would result in the elimination of the state of Israel. What could not be accomplished militarily would be accomplished demographically, since Palestinians outnumber Israelis. What is more, there is no guarantee that such a state would be democratic since, except for Israel, there is no history of democracy in the Middle East.

I feel that we in America, both Jews and Palestinians, have an obligation to lean on the United States to be a mediator to promote a peaceful conclusion to hostilities. My opposition to Makdisi's book is that I found no such commitment. He is highly critical of Israel but not of the Palestinians or the Arab nations.

I disagree with American Jews who will support Israel's policies under any and all circumstances. My hope is, given the climate of tolerance and cooperation in the United States, that Palestinians and other Arabs would also work for a solution that would be acceptable to all sides.

Nevertheless, I now believe that I was mistaken to cancel Saree Makdisi's presentation at Politics and Prose. We will extend an invitation for him to talk at the bookstore at a time that works for him and for us. He can present the ideas that form the basis of his book. Our customers can make their own decisions on whether they support Makdisi -- or disagree with him.



-- Carla Cohen

Washington

The writer is owner of Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse.





Israel's 60th, OTFFP's 5th, and Keeping Hope Alive by Going PRO: Peace, Reconciliation and Opportunity
http://www.prweb.com/releases/Olive_Trees_Foundation/Peace_OTFFP/prweb993044.htm



(PRWEB) June 3, 2008 -- The events of that day we call 9/11 was the catalyst for a few thoughtful, committed, American Jews, Christians and Muslims to establish the non-profit Olive Trees Foundation for Peace/OTFFP in Orlando, Florida in June of 2003.



As of June 2008, forty-one thousand trees of peace, reconciliation and opportunity have now been deeply rooted at schools, houses of worship and on private property in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Twenty-five food bearing trees can sustain the average sized Holy Land family as well as provide exports of olives, oil, soap, wood crafts and job opportunities from nursery, factory to exportation.

The dream of the OTFFP community is to blanket the Holy Land with one million food bearing trees as our way of literally extending the olive branch of reconciliation to all our cousins in the family of Father Abraham, by providing opportunities for all the people of Israel Palestine.

Inspired by the OTFFP community and her first of five journeys into Israel Palestine, author and speaker, Eileen Fleming, has dedicated all proceeds from "KEEP HOPE ALIVE" to the Olive Trees Foundation for Peace until the OTFFP dream becomes reality.

"KEEP HOPE ALIVE" is a fictionalized retelling of the well remembered memoirs of a 1948 refugee from the Upper Galilee who made his way to the USA and realized the American dream. After a lucrative career in the Defense Industry during the Cold War and that day we call 9/11, Dr. Khaled Diab brought together American Jews, Christians and Muslims to respond to evil with good by founding the Olive Trees Foundation for Peace and initiating The PRO Plan.

"Keep Hope Alive" is an historical chronology with connections to antiquity, and hope for the future. It also is Eileen's spiritual journey told with humor and insight through six fictional characters who represent six ways to intuit God.

Book Reviewer from www.midwestbookreview.com:

"At first I thought this had something to do with the famous line of Jessie Jackson. I'm delighted to say it is much, much more. The author shows that there are many people from all over the world who are moving in the right direction to establish peace in the Middle East. The organization Olive Trees Foundation for Peace/OTFFP is Arabs, Jews, and Christians who have formed a non profit non political group who have one goal; to have Israelis and Palestinians live side by side in peace.

"These are people from all walks of life who are committed to changing the area into a peaceful region. Social movements like this grow until finally government jumps on-board. As dialogue continues to grow on this subject government will be forced to rethink its approach to the region. This is a book that should be read by anyone (who) does not believe there can be peace in the Middle East. It should also be included in schools and on the college level to help focus on how the area can move toward peace." – Gary Roen

To learn more about going PRO:

http://www.olivetreesfoundation.org/


###



In case you missed it:

Jon Stewart on the AIPAC conference and our pandering politicians-

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=171492




Yesterday I received my copy of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy special 200 page report  Foreign Agents: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee from the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal, an expose of AIPAC's encounters with US law enforcement.

"Foreign Agents" asks tough questions about AIPAC and the Foreign Agents Registration Act, US election laws and the 1917 Espionage Act.


It begins with Senator J.W. Fulbright's 1963 hearings on foreign agents active in the United States. Fulbright discovered $5 million had been laundered into US lobbying and propaganda activities from Israel-based foreign principals. Isaiah L. "Si" Kenen, AIPAC's founder, received tens of thousands of dollars to write and distribute his lobbying newsletter "The Near East Report."

The "Near East Report" (NER) is still published today at AIPAC headquarters. During Kenen's time it excoriated members of the US Congress who rejected Israeli policy mandates. The NER lavished praise on members of mainstream media and "experts" who provided public relations spin on controversial Israeli initiatives. One that NER covered up was Israel's Dimona nuclear power program which clandestinely produced 150 nuclear weapons in spite of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. "Foreign Agents" reproduces the subpoenaed foreign payment vouchers and internal public relations strategy documents in a groundbreaking analysis. Israeli lobby money prevailed in spite of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, nonproliferation efforts and a Department of Justice investigation.

In the late 1980s US-Israel trade was roughly in balance. In 1984 the US and Israel signed America's first "free trade agreement". Between 1989-2006 bilateral trade went from parity to an almost a $50 billion cumulative US deficit with Israel. In 1984 the FBI discovered that AIPAC possessed secret information US companies had supplied to the International Trade Commission, but no criminal charges were pursued.

However two years later a former AIPAC director helped rig the California Senate race by laundering campaign contributions in collusion with a network of cutout campaign donors. The former AIPAC director, Michael Goland, even served a few months of prison time, but the results of the dirty election went unchallenged. AIPAC's own reputation and power in the US Congress subsequently ballooned.

AIPAC then allegedly coordinated Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions in violation of its nonprofit status in order to promote vetted candidates for Congress and to pick off foes. The Washington Post published the internal AIPAC coordination memos in 1988. "Foreign Agents" analyzes the years of subsequent court actions against AIPAC by concerned US citizens. The case reached the US Supreme Court before fading into oblivion. Did AIPAC transcend US laws?

Finally, "Foreign Agents" provides in-depth analysis of the 2005 criminal indictments lodged against two AIPAC executives for alleged violations of the 1917 Espionage Act. Can this long delayed criminal trial proceed, or will it require a pardon in keeping with standard US law enforcement leniency and special presidential treatment of AIPAC? "Foreign Agents" provides one shocking answer.

Reporters and bloggers can get a hardcopy of "Foreign Agents" by sending email to

Members of the public may purchase "Foreign Agents" for $14.95 at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and many other fine bookstores. The report's ISBN number is 0-9764437-7-5.

About the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc. www.IRmep.org

IRmep is a Washington-based nonprofit that studies U.S. policy formulation toward the Middle East. IRmep's Center for Policy & Law Enforcement studies how warranted enforcement of US laws would improve trade, development, and America's international standing.

SOURCE Institute for Research:Middle Eastern Policy




   
 
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"HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

 "He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust." - Aquinas

BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

Published 10/30/10

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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On 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." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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