Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Media Advocacy Opportunity: 1967 Borders

Below, in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-ed today, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi answers the question of whether the 1967 borders should guide an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.  In conclusion, he warns that if Palestinians do not achieve statehood, then eventually their cause will "be transformed from pursuit of two states to a struggle within one state for one person, one vote."  Harold Kirtz, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta, takes an opposing view.
Please write your letter of support for Dr. Barghouthi's position to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today, in fewer than 150 words.  Letters can be sent to letters@ajc.com.  Be sure to include your first and last name (no initials) and, for verification purposes only, your home address and phone numbers.

Pro & Con: Should the 1967 borders guide Israeli-Palestinian peace plan?

But the details matter: no conditions, no ‘swaps,’ no settlements.

By Mustafa Barghouthi
May 31, 2011

President Barack Obama was right to call for a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. But he should have stopped there. Instead, he added a damaging proviso about “mutually agreed swaps” of land.

Conditions and stipulations trouble Palestinians greatly. Israel used the Oslo Accords not to finalize a peace deal with the Palestinians but to expand settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank — talking peace while seizing our land. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was notorious for accepting what American Presidents asked of him. Yet in the next breath he would note his caveats.

Prime Minister Netanyahu imitated Sharon’s approach two years ago — and again last Tuesday in the U.S. Congress — while reluctantly voicing support for a two-state solution. He said yes to a Palestinian state while simultaneously stripping it of meaningful sovereignty. Israel would maintain major settlement blocs, retain East Jerusalem and a military presence in the Jordan Valley, refuse the return of any Palestinian refugees to stolen homes and land, and ensure that a Palestinian “state” is a nonentity without real sovereignty.