OneVoice under attack
This just came in the mail. The www.OneMillionVoices.org event is under attack, and loosing momentum. I’m posting the email, as is. I’m not trying to promote a particular agenda or tactic, only honest debate.
Hope you’re all o.k. As a status update, Jericho and London are sadly still cancelled. There is, rather randomly, a huge event going on in Aberdeen in support of this and there’ll be a press conference in Washington DC so if any of you are up in Scotland/ Washington/ have friends there do encourage them to go. I’m going to put the details below.
Please find below Jake’s response to the allegations against us together with our press release. We need to get this around everywhere.
All of you have been targeted by a campaign based on hatred and a commitment to hide issues from the people.
This is the truth: OneVoice does not seek to dictate final status negotiations; it does not have a political agenda. It is an organization whose work in building civil society can add massive value to the conflict resolution process precisely because it is not so arrogant as to dictate answers. You and I sitting together now and defining resolutions doesn’t do any good because we have no power to implement them – it is outside the real political world and symptomatic of political naivety and the fact that we have lost hope of actually changing anything, so we just row theoretically amongst ourselves.
In the November conference next month, the leaders will sit just as powerless because no one is standing up and saying that it is time to raise expectations. It is time for the world to know that the people of the region will accept the deteriorating status quo no longer.
If a million Israelis and Palestinians take to the streets tomorrow and say ‘we want answers found’ then maybe, just maybe, we will change this feeble political dynamic and not lose this opportunity and that provided by the Arab peace initiative.
What has happened is that people with an absolutist agenda, have taken a survey that OneVoice did years ago to gauge public opinion on different issues and changed questions into statements and claimed that it was a policy document for final status negotiations. This is simply a lie. If I had received it with all its lies, I would turn against the organization. But that’s because of the lies that mask the truth about an incredible attempt to galvanise civil society to empower the process to deliver the two-state solution that most people want.
Instead we face the reality that this opportunity will be missed, that Palestinians will be dismissed as ‘extremists and terrorists’ and that the truth will be lost.
I ask everyone on this list to forward this email so that the Israeli and Palestinian people know both that they have a partner on the other side, and that they have foul sinister enemies who would seek to use the refugees as a pawn in their political game in order to try to con us all out of a chance to end the situation – a chance that the people deserve.
Forward this message, publish this message, relay this message. You have the power between truth and lies now, between progress and regression.
International Program Coordinator
The views represented in this email do not necessarily reflect those of the organization, but those of the individual. If you have received this message in error please delete it immediately and notify the sender.
OneVoice Statement – Lies and Threats Savaging Truth, Palestinian Cause and Opportunity for Change
12 days ago a slanderous press release was launched by a fringe group that sparked rumours that OneVoice Palestine exists to negotiate away the rights of refugees and international law. OneVoice’s teams here come together to categorically deny this and expose the fact that some Palestinians have been misled by a campaign of hate, coupled with threats of violence that have spiraled out of control.
OneVoice is a civil society movement to empower the conflict resolution process from the grassroots. We have no power to affect the content of negotiations, but we do have the power to tell the leaders and international community that we will no longer accept a failure to deliver real progress. The OneVoice Mandate calls on our heads of State to commence immediate negotiations, uninterrupted until the conclusion of a viable Two State agreement in order to amplify moderate forces in the November negotiations. That is the power of the grassroots and without a mobilized grassroots constituency we leave our leaders open to attack and without the strength to deliver real answers.
Of course the people have demands, whether they be to end the occupation or to deliver security, OneVoice, however, does not have a political platform other than to endorse negotiations for a Two State solution and stands only to support the leaders and demand that the will of the people serve to energise the process. Its Palestinian offices in Gaza City and Ramallah, run by nationalist Palestinians for nationalist Palestinians, exist to do exactly this.
And so, an organization of around 600,000 Palestinian and Israeli signatories, board members from Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat, Jibril Rajoub, and Islamic Chief Justice Sheikh Taysir al-Tamimi to Arab-American Institute President Dr Jim Zogby and Founder George Salem, is being targeted by absolutists with no intention of ending the conflict, who are defrauding the people out of their right to peace, and into being a part of their battle. They must not be tolerated and we implore all of you who are confused by the lies and seek further clarification to look at the OneVoice track record and materials yourselves.
The opportunity is not lost: 600,000 people have already spoken and will not lose the hope and momentum we are building in the wake of the Arab Peace Initiative and the upcoming November Summit.
We will stand by President Abbas and tell him that he can and must deliver something for the people and that we will support him every step of the way when he does because these enemies of peace will attack him too as they did attack Chairman Arafat’s ‘peace of the braves’ and all other efforts toward a just solution that will bring about Palestinian independence, an end to the occupation and peace with its neighbours including Israel based on the terms that he as the Palestinian head of state agrees upon.