Alternative Palestinian Agenda

Comments/Discussion for the APA Peace Initiative

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Dear Deborah,

Thanks for your comments. Our proposal demonstrates the inability of the two state program to provide a solution to the major issues of the conflict. As long we agree that what we propose is the most equitable option then this would be the option that would prevail.

We fully understand that the proposal would require major political and social transformation within Israeli society, but we are also aware that such transformation is only viable when fully democratic prorams like ours become the mainstream Palestinian program. Otherwise the continued rejection of Israelis would continue to fuel Zionist ideologies of Jewish exclusivity as the only safty net for Jews.

We are under no illusions that the Israeli leadership would consider our proposal. The process we are engaged in is a societal one. It is a process of social transformation that starts with articulating what a viable option for resolution and the future social and political arrangements between Palestinians and Israelis could look like.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.


Nasser Abufarha

posted by David at 8:29 AM    Powered by Blogger

Friday, January 31, 2003


Thank you for sharing your alternative vision of how to resolve the Israel-Palestine dilemma. I have long felt that because of the small geographic size and limited natural resources, that a bi-national state would provide the most stable, sustainable alternative. One reality, however, is that because of the years of suffering it has not been seen as likely that either side would be ready to join in one state. Perhaps even more important, both sides might likely to see having their separate, well defined state as the only satisfactory expression of their national identity and aspirations (not to mention, security) at least for a considerable period of time, to begin to build up mutual trust to the point where a federated bi-national state could be contemplated. However, the level of destruction of infrastructure of the nascent Palestinian state, plus the destruction of so much farmland, forests, watersheds, etc., makes me question the viability of a separate Palestinian state. It also appears that Israel's attempt to build a Jewish-only infrastructure in the West Bank and parts of Gaza is stressing the ecological capacity of the land and damaging Israel's own economy. These negative ecological effects (and their economic and social ramifications) make the interim "two-state" idea seem less realistic than during the 1990's. Unfortunately, the violence to which both communities have been subjected make any attempt at a bi-national state seem farfetched.

I realize that my comments may not be helpful, and I am very sorry for that. I do believe that what you propose represents the most equitable (and environmentally sustainable) alternative that I have seen. I sincerely wish you the best in your struggle.

Sincerely, Deborah B. Santana

posted by David at 4:30 PM    Powered by Blogger

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Dear Nasser Abufarha,

Please let me express my appreciation for the Alternative Palestinian Agenda project, and my strong support for a general approach of binationalism as the correct roadmap for peace with justice in Palestine/Israel. Your emphasis on full implementation of the Palestinian Right of Return, and on the civil and human rights guarantees of UNGA 181 which have now been ignored for 55 years, very much speaks for me as a Jew living in the USA who is active in the Al-Awda and Al-Awda-unity e-mail lists.

In fact, the main difference between our approaches is that I favor what could be described as more rapid integration, with a unitary democratic, nonsectarian, and binational state with subdivision into possibly 12 or 15 districts somewhat analogous to Swiss cantons. One proposal of this kind appeared in an article by Emile A. Nakhleh, "Palestinians and Israelis: Options for Coexistence," _Journal of Palestine Studies_ 22(2), Winter 1993) pp. 5-16 at 12-14.

However, what seems most important to me at this crucial hour for "roadmaps" is our full and firm agreement that a just peace must address 1948 as well as 1967, and that binationalism is the right way to guarantee the security of the Palestinian Arab and Israeli Hebrew peoples in their common space.

Your proposal is, to put it mildly, 100 times more just than any conventional "two-state solution," and your outstanding presentation is both highly readable and very persuasive.

What I especially enjoyed, for example, was your beautiful explanation as to why UNGA 181 is much relevant to the Palestine/Israel problem than Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, which simply seek to end the international "Israeli-Arab" wars of 1967 and 1973.

Thank you for your explanation of Palestinian land tenure, and of why a European term such as "peasant" is so highly misleading. I'll find this very useful in my activism.

As an Al-Awda activist, I was fascinated by your presentation on how the Right of Return might be implemented; a number of returnees somewhere around 2 million seems intuitively about right to me, and I might guess based on my reading of Dr. Salman Abu-Sitta that many of the demographic patterns would be similar under either your federal two-state plan or a unitary state with 12 or 15 subdivisions.

Visiting your Web site again, I read a speech with which I strongly agree: Israeli apartheid indeed must end, with full democratization, in 100% of historical Palestine. Personally I favor a South African approach of "One Person, One Vote, One Country" while recognizing full national and language rights for both peoples throughout the whole country, but consider the basic values behind either this kind of binationalism or a territorial federal scheme as quite similar.

Again, please let me thank you for your outstanding material, and warmly invite further dialogue on how we might more effectively present binationalism as the most just and practical way to peace.

In peace and solidarity,

Margo Schulter

posted by David at 8:59 PM    Powered by Blogger

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Jean Feraca at Wisconsin Public Radio interviewed Nasser Abufarha last week. We don't yet have an audio file but the transcript is now online here.
posted by David at 1:04 PM    Powered by Blogger

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

Dear friends and members of APA.

The Alternative Agenda Peace Initiative was formally presented at the University of Wisconsin last Thursday May 2nd.

The attendance was a diverse mix of faculty, students and community leader, Arab, Jews, Palestinians, Israelis and Americans. Approximately 100 participants.

The forum was sponsored by the UW Middle East studies program and the UW African Languages and Literature Department.

The forum was moderated by Professor Art Glenberg, Vice Chair of the Psychology department, University of Wisconsin. The Alternative Palestinian Agenda Proposal was presented by Nasser Abufarha, Author of the Proposal.

A Panel of experts in different fields commented on the proposal. The panel included:

Dr. Jonothan Groubart, Associated Professor San Diego, International Relations. Commented on the International law aspects of the proposal and how it is positioned in the international power.

Dr. Mohammed Doughla, Department of Education, University of Wisconsin. Presented an Arab reaction to the Proposal.

Dr. Ariel Soposnick, University of Wisconsin, Milwauki who’s specialty is Jewish Nationalism presented an Israeli reaction to the proposal and its relations to the Jewish state.

Mohammed Abed is working on writing up coverage of the forum and contents of the commentary.

The Forum was video taped and we will make copies available for interested parties.

This is just an update that the forum was held and I felt it was a great success.

Best, Nasser

posted by David at 7:28 AM    Powered by Blogger

Thursday, April 25, 2002

If you are interested in providing physical presence in Palestine to help prevent further atrocities, visit our Human Support page to find out how we can help you do it.

New American delegations getting organized. The situation is desperate, Internationals are urgently needed for witnessing, reporting and providing humanitarian aid. With no international intervention is sight, and reporters denied access the role of the International community is of the utmost urgency. This is what human solidarity is about.
The International Solidarity Movement

posted by David at 5:13 AM    Powered by Blogger

Monday, March 18, 2002

At a rally for supporters in Madison Wisconsin, Nasser raised more than a few eyebrows. His speech, A Few Thoughts, is now here on the site.
posted by David at 12:33 PM    Powered by Blogger








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