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"Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another." author Toni Morrison (1931- 05.08.2019)

“If I tell the story, I control the version. Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me”; Nora Ephron, author/comedian

"Make your story count". Michelle Obama

"Social pain is understood through the lens of racial animus". Researcher/author Sean McElwee writing in Salon, 2016

"We are citizens, not subjects. We have the right to criticize government without fear."  Chelsea Manning; activist/whisleblower

“My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I’m going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you, And no fascist minded people, like you, will drive me from it. Is that clear?” Paul Robeson; activist/singer

“We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent”. from civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” Frederick Douglass, WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS 4TH JULY? 07.05.1852 (full text in blog)

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"

 

"We are more alike than we are different"v  Maya Angelou

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89

 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain

 

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

 

 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:

 

"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.

 

Palestine: Moving Ahead Without The USA

2011-01-22

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

Chile and Paraguay recently announced their recognition of Palestinian statehood. This marks an increasing trend of individual states to respond to a new Palestinian initiative and bypass US policy.  

The Palestinians have long acted as if any chance of achieving sovereignty depended on close involvement and leadership from Washington—regardless of a standard Israeli rejectionist position. The passive approach by Palestinians proved futile. Today a new strategy may yield better chance of real progress on Palestinians’ goal of independence.

Gaining recognition from the international community country by country has further implications. It reveals the isolation of the US and the impotency of the (US dominated) UN; their sponsorship may not be as essential as many once believed.   

Naturally recognition of Palestinian statehood by individual states does not please Israel. But what does?   

Is the Palestinian leadership representing the West Bank finally on a realistic path? Let’s forget for the moment that Mahmoud Abbas is but an interim president; he rules without a mandate from the recent Palestinian election. Despite this he is the internationally recognized leader and is trying to use this to try a new approach. Neither the US nor Israel endorse his actions yet, his negotiations with states across the world demonstrate an initiative and confidence many had not expected of Abbas.  

Surely the growing endorsements from across the world of the Palestinian initiative are also a way of world governments to reject the American position. That in itself is valuable. It demonstrates a growing confidence of world leaders to send a message to Washington: ‘you are not the global leader; we refuse to acquiesce to your demands.  Eight South American countries and now Russian president Medvedev, on a visit to the West Bank  has affirmed his country’s 1988 position, namely recognition of a Palestinian state. Many forget that after the Madrid Talks , well before the Oslo Peace Accord,  statehood received widespread endorsement from nations across the world.  

Today, no less than 109 nations have endorsed the principle. Who are the world’s rouge states? 

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