Palestinians want to live normal lives. They want to be able to provide for their children and see their children's children grow and prosper. It is not, as the Israelis would say, that the Palestinians have chosen death. Rather, it is that the Israelis have never allowed them the chance to choose life.
The notion that Israel and Hamas "trade" attacks, or the consistent need for journalists to mention deaths in Gaza alongside "rockets raining down" on Israel, mask the reality of the situation on the ground.
Words just don't cut it when describing what it's like to be caught outdoors when an incoming missile alert siren sounds.
The fact is that people and their individual initiatives have much more impact on the course of history than is acknowledged by government officials, by cynics, and by those citizens too apathetic, too callous, or too fearful to act.
As the more powerful party to the conflict, and the one with significantly less casualties, Israel and its supporters are once again facing a growing chorus of criticism.
There will be no peace, for now, as Gaza is turned into an abattoir, to collectively punish Gazans for supporting Hamas. Israel, as any nation, has a right to defend itself, but it confuses offense with defense. It is on the offensive in Gaza.
They stood at the busy intersection where Ala Moana Boulevard meets Atkinson, from 4-6 p.m. holding up signs calling for an end to the occupation of Palestine and the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars and support to Israel.
In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize. King argued that the "spiritual and moral lag" in modern man was due to what he later referred to as the "triple evils" of society: capitalism, militarism and racism.
In violent conflicts, parties to the conflict are always under pressure to ceasefire. Ceasefire agreements tend to have different formats but there are two basic requirements that successful long-term ceasefires require.
Yesterday, on July 15th, I became a witness of something greater than any weapon in the world. I saw hundreds of people of different race and religion unite in the name of justice and true freedom in New York City.
My children have lived through three wars in six years. I want them to live and sleep in peace without worry or trauma. They want a childhood. They deserve a childhood.
As a country, we have continued to lose standing throughout the world as a legitimate voice for human rights, as a responsible member of a community of nations, as an arbiter of peace, or as a party protective of the planet. We have seen our standing reduced from a beacon of freedom to a beacon of financial self-interest.
Year after year, decade after decade, the same problems arise and the same defensive postures are immediately taken. It's as if neither party actually cares about solving the issue at hand, only that the other side is wrong.
Let's acknowledge and condemn the loss of any innocent life, whether it be Israeli or Palestinian. Let's encourage political leaders not to take sides but to help us find the middle ground. Let's read and then make up our minds, rather than making up our minds then reading.
If the majority of Jewish Americans decided to listen to new ideas, and to stand in solidarity with progressive, peaceful, solution-seeking Palestinians and Israelis, we could change the course of history.
With the security barrier and long-term closures of the West Bank, and the effective embargo of Gaza, Palestinians seem increasingly foreign to Israelis. But Palestinians are among the most democratically minded populations in the region. If genuine democracy has any chance in the Arab world, it should be with the Palestinians.