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One Democratic State gaining momentum - Bethlehem Declaration
an article by Mazin Qumsiyeh

A conference of those interested in pushing the program of a single democratic state in historic Palestine was held Saturday 1 September 2012 at the Bethlehem Peace Center. Activists from several cities, villages and refugee camps representing different backgrounds and experiences made this meeting a success and another step in the march toward freedom and justice. We reviewed previous achievements and developments, including those via writings, via several working groups on the ground, and via conferences held inside and outside Palestine. Other achievements were introduced including by anti-Zionist colleagues working for change in the areas of 1948. We also discussed the idea of a global conference to happen in one year and include all the parties working to achieve a one-state vision.

click on photo to enlarge

Items approved:

* Participation in committees that have been proposed in the Munich conference: Legal Committee, Activities Committee, Committee for Documentation and Communication, Communication Committee, Youth Committee, and Finance Committee

* Creating two other committees: one to propose an internal structure for the work of the various committees and groups (ie. mechanisms of coordination) and the other to discuss the mechanisms of political action/frameworks.

* Working on a major website to interact and exchange news, experiences, documents, and views

* Strengthening youth work and make sure young men and women play key leading roles in this movement

* Expanding awareness and information programs related to the concept of one state in all areas of historic Palestine and abroad

We formed a temporary follow-up committee and to encourage holding similar conferences and meetings in the all camps, villages and cities: Ghassan Olayan, Awni Mashni, Radi Jerai, Ahmed Taqatqa, Ali Jawhar, Mazin Qumsiyeh, Barak Cohen, Renen Raz, Tamar Aviyah

Those who want to participate in the working committees mentioned and/or wants help to create local working groups (in any part of the world), please write to us at


Question(s) related to this article:

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

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Presenting the Palestinian side from the blog of Mazim Qumsiyeh:

1- Palestine is the Western part of the Fertile Crescent: an area that includes Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. In this Fertile Crescent the first human agriculture developed.  Here the first domestication of animals (e.g. goats, donkeys, camels) and plants (e.g. wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, olives) happened.

2- This is also where civilization began including development of the first alphabet (by Phoenician Canaanites) and the first laws.  It was where we first developed sciences like astronomy, engineering, and mathematics

3- The original inhabitants of the Western part of the Fertile Crescent were called Canaanites and the original language was called Aramaic which Jesus spoke (he was born in the country called then Palestine and thus he was Palestinian)

4- The old Aramaic language gave rise to derived languages including Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew and this language group is called Semetic languages

5- Arabic alphabet evolved in Southern Canaan (today’s Jordan and Palestine) while the Latin alphabet evolved in Northern Canaan (Phoenicia, present day Lebanon and Syria).  The Alphabet used in Europe today came from our part of the world.

6- The people of Southern Canaan including Palestine endured many invasions of armies with nearly 15 times that local people were ruled by kings or emperors (Persian, Roman, Umayyad, Abbasid, Israelite etc). . ...more.

This report was posted on September 4, 2012.