Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle
My letter as pubished in the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle July 16th 2004 Regarding the article titled “Greens propose ‘right of return,’ ‘one-state solution’”
The article by Leon Cohen mischaracterizes the Green Party convention and its platform. Months of deliberations, taking various viewpoints, bring consensus based on universally accepted norms like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR; e.g. article 13 supports right of refugees).
I personally think the platform could use some improvements such as dropping the part mistakenly speaking of balancing the interests of "two people": Israelis vs Palestinians. Where in this "duality" do we place the 1.3 million Palestinians who inside the "Green line". Where do we fit 300,000 Christians and Muslims considered by Israeli law "present absentees"? Where do we put groups like Rabbis for Human Rights and the Israeli Committee against Home Demolitions?
Rosenthal is quoted as asking why US Greens "rant" about Israel and not Sudan. Simply: US taxpayers fund and our government supports ethnic cleansing in Israel but not the Sudan. How is support for the UDHR and holding our government to task for supporting violations of basic human rights suddenly become "marginal" and represent "contempt and hatred "! Is it "contempt and hatred" by Greens (Jews and non-Jews) to mention that billions of Israeli and US tax dollars are spent on occupation, colonies, land confiscation, apartheid walls, and ethnic cleansing while 30% of Israeli Jewish children live below the poverty line?
Like I supported Wachtel's right to speak uninterrupted, I am willing to participate in a public dialogue in your area. I think by being open to hearing varied perspectives, we can all advance the cause of peace and justice for all.
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
Member, Green Party and a Palestinian-American