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APN Statement Marking 50 Years of Israel Occupation
Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the Six-Day War, Israel’s greatest military victory, a victory that ironically inflicted a political disaster upon the state of Israel.
After fifty years, the disastrous Pyrrhic repercussions of this military victory are intensifying as the occupation of the West Bank solidifies both on the ground and in the minds of many Israelis, Palestinians, and their leaders.
As the 50-year-old anomaly of the occupation turns in the minds of an overwhelming majority of Israelis and Palestinians into the only reality they know, governed by constant violence and no political horizon, many of them – if not most – are accepting the erroneous assertion of extremists on both sides that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is unsolvable.
On this fiftieth year of the occupation, we at Americans for Peace Now are committing to redouble our efforts to demonstrate that the conflict absolutely can be resolved, that it must be resolved, and that reaching and implementing a negotiated political agreement to settle the conflict is a principal responsibility of Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and of international stakeholders, led by the United States.
Fifty years of ongoing occupation, compounded by several failed attempts to end it, are normalizing the anomaly. Now, alarmingly, extremist Israeli politicians, members of the ruling coalition, are using this travesty to try to legitimize the occupation and present it as a national security necessity. Palestinian extremists, conversely, are using the ongoing occupation to warrant their equivalent zero-sum ideology and to justify violence.
There is a solid constituency for peace on both sides of the Green Line, both among Israelis and Palestinians. And most Israeli national security experts, including a vast majority of former military generals and former Mossad and Shin-Bet chiefs, point out that a two-state solution is necessary for Israel’s survival as a democracy and a Jewish state.
Fifty years into the perversion that the occupation is, we at APN are as determined as we’ve ever been to not let the extremists win, to bolster and embolden the constituency for peace – both among Israelis and among their brethren in the US – and to help bring about a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the only solution that would ensure Israel’s future as a state that is both Jewish and a democracy.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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