MideastWeb Middle East Web Log

log  archives  middle east  maps  history   documents   countries   books   encyclopedia   culture   dialogue   links    timeline   donations 


Sumud: One Million Voices for real peace in Israeli and Palestinian societies


The most important Middle East event of October 2007 may be an event that didn't happen. Today was to be the day of simultaneous "summit" concerts around the world by the One Million Voices initiative to dramatize the will of the Israeli and Palestinian people for a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This event, planned well before anyone knew there would be a November peace summit, was serendipitously timed to boost the failing cause of peace, and raise the rather meager chances that this summit will be a success.

The petition that Palestinians, Israelis and others (you) are asked to sign at One Million Voices recommends no particular political solution. It just urges the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to negotiate in earnest until an agreement is reached.

Yet this simple and honest expression of the yearning for peace was too much for the hoodlums of the Electronic Intifada, ISM and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. Quite simply put, they are against peace, because it would put them out of business. Therefore, they and their terror groupie friends undertook a campaign of intimidation and lies, that resulted first in the cancellation of the One Million Voices event in Jericho, and then in cancellation of all the events in solidarity. Instead, the terror groupies will hold their own "Another Voices" event, attended by all the so called "progressives," warmongers in sheeps' clothing, who are against any sort of equitable peace settlement.

The significance of this non-event, is a sorry demonstration that there is no viable political will for peace in Palestinian society. Most discouraging of all, is the silence of moderate Palestinian leadership. The November summit was an event planned to bolster the authority of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to give Palestinians a real political horizon, and show that Abbas's Fateh movement has world support and can provide a more attractive future for Palestinians than the refusal front led by the Hamas. But the Palestinian leadership has not organized any demonstrations in support of peace, and it won't lift its finger to protect those who wanted to take a stand for peace. If a government cannot protect the right of its supporters to demonstrate, then what sort of government is it? Or perhaps Abbas's government in fact fears peace?

Daniel Lubetzky, principle organizer of the One Million Voices event, is not giving up, and neither are One Voice staffers:

In Ramallah earlier today, Ibrahim, our Director of Leadership Outreach, mentioned a lot of the activists (we have a network of 1,800 youth leaders across Palestine) were complaining why we were not being more assertive with the campaign by fringe groups trying to slander OneVoice Palestine, and why we allowed threats from the fringes to derail the will of the majority.

I was inspired.


OneVoice Canada is also proceeding with a solidarity event on Thursday, not music, but a strong show of forces of political supporters across all party lines, including the Prime Minister.


We are also renewing our signature drive campaign across Israel and Palestine to reach one million members urging Immediate Negotiations, Uninterrupted Till the Conclusion of A Two-State-Agreement. 600k here. 400k to go...

We can hope it will happen. But Canadians and Americans cannot bring peace between Palestinians and Israelis, only Israelis and Palestinians can do that. If One Voice Palestinian staffers are calling for more assertiveness, it is because they understand the Middle East. It is not California or Chicago or New York here. If One Million Voices do not assert themselves, "Another Voice" will assert itself, as it has asserted itself for a hundred years. It is a voice that chants, "Rights, justice, apartheid, history, death to traitors, there are no Jews, there are no Palestinians, Nakba, God gave, All of Israel, All of Palestine, international legitimacy, our land is holy, no compromise..." accompanied by a very loud and persistent and persuasive counterpoint: "Boom, boom, boom kaboom." If One Million Voices is not more assertive, the boom of the bombs will drown them out once again.

Opinion polls show that most Israelis do not support the minimum compromises that might be required for a solution of the conflict, and most Palestinians do not either. Israelis are not willing to give up Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. Palestinians are not willing to give up right of return of refugees.

Ziad abu Ziad has written about the importance of public opinion in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is almost right. But his perspective is that public opinion is only a useful and necessary adjunct, something for leaders to tend do as an afterthought. It is not so. Public opinion must drive the peace process, just as until now it has driven the war process. The truth is that real political power in Palestinian society belongs to those who do not want peace and never wanted peace. If that is not so, then how come there are no One Million Voices events today? Why is it possible for hundreds of thousands to gather to praise a suicide bomber, but it is not possible to gather in order to ask for peace? What sort of democracy is that?

Peace will not begin to come until the Palestinian street is made safe for moderate opinion, until Palestinians are willing to assert their rights in the face of their own extremists, just as Israelis and Palestinians are ready to face the Israeli army at Bil'in. Peace will not begin to come until a revitalized Israeli peace movement can honestly call on Israeli patriots to stand up to extremists in Israeli society. Peace cannot be prefabricated in USA or Europe and imported. It must be made here, by our peoples. We have allowed political leadership to be hijacked by opportunists and hoodlums. We have allowed the peace movement to be hijacked by dogmatists who are more interested in their slogans than they are in peace. It is time to take back the streets and the political arena.

There is hope. Watch the One Voice Presentation hosted by Yahoo. You will be convinced that there is a genuine will for peace in both Israeli and Palestinian society - a non-ideological movement, as yet without political clout, but a movement which understands, as Nisreen Shaheen tells us, that we will only achieve our goals "with insistence and determination." Sumud, sister Nisreen, Sumud. This slogan has been used by the anti-peace forces, who have degraded it. Let us adopt it as our own. It means, "steadfastness."

Sign the One Million Voices declaration, pass this message on, and start thinking seriously, "What am I willing to do for peace?"

Ami Isseroff

If you like this post - click to Reddit!
add to del.icio.usAdd to digg - digg it

Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000633.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

by Moderator @ 10:27 PM CST [Link]


Middle East e-Zine

Midde East News

Opinion Digest

Late Updates


Middle East Glossary

Middle East Maps

Middle East Books

Middle East Documents

Israel-Palestine History

Israel-Palestine Timeline

Middle East Countries

Middle East Economy

Middle East Population

Middle East Health

Zionism History

Palestinian Parties

Palestinian Refugees

Peace Plans


Middle East


Blog Links

OneVoice - Israeli-Palestinian Peace Blog

Bravo411 -Info Freedom

Israel News


Michael Brenner

Dutchblog Israel

Dutch - IMO (Israel & Midden-Oosten) Blog (NL)



Alas, a Blog

Little Green Footballs

Blue Truth

Fresno Zionism

Reut Blog

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Blog

Simply Jews: Judaism and Israel

Jeff Weintraub - Commentaries and Controversies

Vital Perspective


Meretz USA Weblog


MIDEAST observer

On the Contrary

Blogger News Network- BNN

Google Sex Maps

Demediacratic Nation

Realistic Dove

Tulip - Israeli-Palestinian Trade Union Assoc.

On the Face

Israel Palestjnen (Dutch)

Middle East Analysis

Israel: Like This, As If

Middle East Analysis

Mid_East Journal

Z-Word Blog

Dvar Dea

SEO for Everyone

Web Sites & Pages

Israeli-Palestinian Procon

End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: One Voice


ATFP- American Task Force on Palestine

Americans For Peace Now

Shalom Achshav

Chicago Peace Now


Peacechild Israel

Bridges of Peace


Israeli-Palestinian Conflict



Zionism and Israel

Zionism and Israel on the Web

Israel - Palestina:Midden-Oosten Conflict + Zionisme

IsraŽl in de Media

Euston Manifesto

New Year Peace


Christian Zionism

Jew Hate

Space Shuttle Blog

Israel News Magazine


My Ecosystem Details
International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Link 2 us
We link 2 U.
MidEastWeb- Middle East News & Views
MidEastWeb is not responsible for the content of linked Web sites

Please do not leave notes for MidEastWeb editors here. Hyperlinks are not displayed. We may delete or abridge comments that are longer than 250 words, or consist entirely of material copied from other sources, and we shall delete comments with obscene or racist content or commercial advertisements. Comments should adhere to Mideastweb Guidelines . IPs of offenders will be banned.

Powered By Greymatter

[Previous entry: "Israelis and Palestinians declare for peace"] Main Index [Next entry: "Support for One Million Voices from the Palestinian Authority"]


Thank you for visiting MidEastWeb - Middle East.
If you like what you see here, tell others about the MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log - www.mideastweb.org/log/.

Contact Us


Editors' contributions are copyright by the authors and MidEastWeb for Coexistence RA.
Please link to main article pages and tell your friends about MidEastWeb. Do not copy MidEastWeb materials to your Web Site. That is a violation of our copyright. Click for copyright policy.
MidEastWeb and the editors are not responsible for content of visitors' comments.
Please report any comments that are offensive or racist.

Editors can log in by clicking here

Technorati Profile

RSS FeedRSS feed Add to Amphetadesk Add to Amphetadesk

USA Credit Card - Donate to MidEastWeb  On-Line - Help us live and grow