'Let's seize the day' Two twentysomethings create Pakistan-Israel Peace Forum
by Eric Fingerhut
In Israel, politics is typical workday conversation, but when Dror Topf came to the United States about 3 1/2 years ago, he was advised that might not be a good idea.
Yet on the first day of his job at a consulting firm, he couldn't help himself. A French colleague started attacking Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and even though Topf calls himself a "Labor Party kind of guy," he responded in kind.
Later told he would be sitting side-by-side with a employee from Pakistan, Topf was a little worried. He'd never met anyone from Pakistan, and that country did not recognize Israel.
His new co-worker was not what he had expected.
Waleed Ziad "has more Jewish friends than I do," Topf quipped. And he was "kind of like my counterpart," said Topf, 29.
Just as Topf can sympathize with the average Palestinian trying to get to work, but held up by checkpoints, Ziad, 25, can understand the average Israeli's worry that a suicide bomb might go off at any minute.
"Waleed is able to look [an Israeli] in the eye and see we're not evil," Topf said.
More than two years after that initial April 2003 meeting, the two friends and District residents have joined together to form the Pakistan-Israel Peace Forum, an organization dedicated to promoting dialogue and establishing relations between Pakistan and Israel at the political, cultural, social and economic levels.
The organization's Web site (www.pakistanisraelpeace.org) contains a petition â€¹ which has acquired 91 signatures since its posting in mid-September â€¹ calling for "building of bridges and promotion of dialogue" between the two countries.
"Peace, reconciliation, and activism to benefit all humanity are hallmarks of the two great religions, Judaism and Islam," states the petition, which also emphasizes that the group "expresses no partiality for any political position."
The idea for the forum was sparked by the first meeting of the Pakistani and Israeli foreign ministers on Sept. 1, said Ziad.
"Let's seize the day" and bring together those who "feel this way" in Pakistan and Israel," said Ziad.
"Our first goal is people will talk, people will meet," said Topf, adding that he hopes that through the Web site to create a "chat room" for Pakistanis and Israelis.
Ziad sees the group as perhaps sponsoring an exchange program that would bring Israelis to Pakistan and vice versa, and promoting economic and business ties between the two countries.
While Topf had never met a Pakistani before, Ziad was quite familiar with Israelis and Jews.
He was born in Pakistan and attended high school there, but has lived in a variety of other countries â€¹ including Turkey, Romania and Uzbekistan in addition to the U.S.
And he has been friends with a number of Jews over the years as a result of his international travels; in fact, his first exposure to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was hearing an Israeli friend's opinion of it in the fourth grade.
Ziad also has been involved in interfaith work, helping to organize the first Muslim-Jewish event at his alma mater, Yale University, in the days after Sept. 11.
So when he was paired with Topf â€¹ in their company's library during an office remodeling â€¹ it was nothing unusual.
"We opened up to each other pretty quickly," said Ziad, who noted that not being afraid to "say what you feel" is one of a number of traits that Pakistanis and Israelis share.
Ziad said Pakistanis are also similar to Israelis in the "chutzpah in the way [they] approach a situation," their strong family bonds, and the "grand matriarch" that holds the greatest power in the family.
Topf said that Ziad would probably be a member of the Labor Party if he were in Israel.
Ziad demurred from outlining a specific position on the Israel-Palestinian issue, saying he has not "faced the fire" and lived there.
To him, the area's biggest problem is that "so often on both sides ... there is a refusal to acknowledge the reality" of the other side. But often "extremists have the loudest voices."
Ziad is optimistic that there are many more like him in Pakistan who are willing to reach out to Israel. He cited a trip he took with Jewish friends a few years ago to his home country, saying they got the "red-carpet treatment" from everyday Pakistanis who were intrigued by Jews and wanted to learn more about them.
He also noted that when he sent information about the new group to a Pakistani Yahoo listserv, the initial response was that such an initiative should not occur until there is a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But that was followed by a number of positive messages from people arguing, for example, that one cannot resolve the conflict without dialogue.
He called Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's recent speech to Jewish leaders a hopeful sign, noting that coverage by the Pakistani media was generally positive.
Both Topf and Ziad point to ambivalence in their respective countries as an obstacle for their group. Ziad said that Pakistanis generally support the Palestinian cause, but see it as far away and not an important part of their life.
Topf said that Israelis would be happy to see improved relations with Pakistan, but are much more concerned about Palestinian terrorism.
But both emphasize the possible ramifications of this initiative. They believe that increased ties between the two countries could help Israel in dealing with Iran â€¹ since Pakistan has ties to that country â€¹ and possibly enable Israel to be a peace broker between Pakistan and India.
Topf and Ziad have already acquired one big-name (at least in Pakistan) supporter for their efforts: Salman Ahmad, a rock star so popular in Pakistan that the teachers in the country's madrassas, religious schools, are fans, according to Ziad.
And they have inspired at least one local pro-Israel activist to join their cause.
Michael Berenhaus of Potomac, who assisted Topf and Ziad in setting up the group and serves on its advisory committee, said he is excited by the group's goal of "understanding [each other] at a person-to-person level."
A founder of the media watch group Eye on the Post, which criticizes The Washington Post for what it believes is anti-Israel bias, Berenhaus sees the peace forum as "more productive."
"I've realized building bridges is more productive that breaking them down," he said.
that's encouraging. Thank you for posting.
Tomaz Humar website. We were all waiting what would happen. Some were even watching online. I think a short video is also on that website somewhere.
Why do we do that? Well, every child spends some time in the mountains, but in our mountains mostly Czechs and Slovaks die. The Nanga Parbat rescue is considered the toughest so far.
Every death in our mountains is a failure of all three states. Humar made people angry, at least he says he'll build a hospital there. We also have a guy who sweam the Mississippi and Yangze rivers.
The Tomaz Humar rescue in the Himalayan Region was the highest altitude rescue ever. It was excellent work by the Pak Army.
This is K2, second highest peak in the world, Pakistan.
indian allegation of "cross border" terrorism and other allegations on pakistan SHATTERED to pieces........... its own military creates events and stage manages terrorism in order to blame it on Occupied Kashmiries and Pakistan. It misuses world's effort on war on terror to discredit kashmiri freedom struggle and pakistan. What a cowardly enemy pakistan has! Terrorist nazi aryans in germany did the same, now brahmin aryan nazi terrorists do the same on an international level. so sad.
Indian Military Stage Managed Terrorist killings
Source: THE STAR
"Pakistan militants" falsely blamed Cover-up included false DNA tests
New Delhiâ€”Troops hunting terrorists killed and buried Indian civilians and passed them off as Pakistani militants responsible for killing Sikhs in Kashmir, an inquiry by India's top investigating agency has revealed. When villagers' protests led to the bodies being exhumed, the army doctored DNA tests to show that the remains were those of militants from across the border, India's Central Bureau of Investigation said in its final report two weeks ago. Human rights groups frequently report abuses by security forces in the Himalayan territory claimed by both India and Pakistan.
But this was the first case of its kind handed over to the agency for investigation. The bureau found four army officers guilty of killing the civilians. Hours before then-U.S. president Bill Clinton visited India in March 2000, 35 Sikhs were killed in Chattisinghpura village in Kashmir by suspected Islamic militants in army uniforms. India blamed Pakistan-based terrorists for the attack. Four days later, 17 Muslim residents from three neighbouring villages disappeared. Simultaneously, reports emerged that five Pakistani terrorists involved in the massacre of the Chattisinghpura Sikhs had been killed by the army. Juma Khan, a 45 year old from Brari Angan, was among the villagers picked up without explanation by the soldiers. "I thought they would not harm him because he was a family man and was not involved in anything," Khan's wife, Roshan Jan, said recently.
Two days after Khan's arrest, the army said its sharpshooters had shot dead five "foreign militants" during a "ferocious encounter." There were no autopsies before the bodies were buried, but locals determined from clothing and personal items recovered at the gravesites that the bodies were those of missing villagers. As violent protests raged around Kashmir, local officials ordered exhumations. Although the bodies were charred, the army fatigues in which they were clothed were mysteriously intact. Relatives of a local cattle trader said his body was headless. There were no bullet wounds in another corpse. The chopped-off nose and chin of a shepherd was discovered in a grave holding another body.
Farooq Abdullah, then chief minister of the state, ordered DNA tests to determine identities. But that plan came under a cloud when two forensic laboratories said DNA samples from relatives of the dead men had been tampered with. "In one case, blood samples were said to belong to the mother and daughter of one victim. But not only were the samples male in origin, both belonged to the same man," a senior scientist at Calcutta's Central Forensic Science Laboratory told investigators. In three cases, samples allegedly collected from female relatives were found to have come from men. Another woman's sample contained the DNA of two individuals.
Two doctors involved in collecting the samples were suspended by the government, and a new team, headed by a senior police officer, collected fresh blood samples in April 2002. The new DNA tests established the dead men were "not foreign terrorists, as contended by the forces, but innocent civilians," a CBI investigator said this week.
The agency concluded the doctors, under pressure from the army, had tampered with the first DNA tests. "We have irrefutable evidence of at least seven such fake encounters, where Indian security forces killed 13 innocent Indian villagers in the last five years and passed them off as Pakistani militants," said Pervez Imroz, a human rights lawyer who spearheads the Association of the Parents of Disappeared Persons. "However, since 1989 more than 8,000 Kashmiris have disappeared from the custody of the security forces and we know nothing of their whereabouts."
[QUOTE]Care to give the date and the link?Originally Posted by The Watcher
can u plz tell me who r the people killed in kargil ! It is that of all pakistan rangers and islamist terrorist. And guess what who admitted it ur own pakistani prime minister that too in a PTV ineterview.Originally Posted by The Watcher
even after defeat after defeat u people have don't shame to come again and again
lovboy, take it easy. I know the painful truth hurts you more than a run-away-sati. Those killed in kargil were nazi brahmin indian terrorists...remember the 3000 body bag scandal? Indian nazi brahmin hindu terrorist army have terrorized that region for past 55 years and terrorist nazi brahmin government continues to shove "democracy" up in the worlds behind while its terrorist nazi brahmin agents across india kill and mame minorities!
These reports and truth which is coming out speaks it self and every lie that nazi brahmins have told will be exposed and it should be and it must be exposed so that everyone in this world can see true deceptive devil type evil which exists and how hindu brahmin terrorists are misleading the world.
nazi brahmin hindu terrorists of india are stage managing terrorism and is something that NAZI germany did to oppress innocent people, to kill innocent people and now those who inspired hitler are doing the same to the innocent people of kashmir and who is getting the blame? the supposed "terrorists" which india doesn't have any proof against in the COURT. when you ask terrorist nazi government of india for proof, what does it do? hide bihind fat statements and create new allegations and claims but hard evidence never appears.
I resent you cheapening the holocaust.
Hours before then-U.S. president Bill Clinton visited India in March 2000, 35 Sikhs were killed in Chattisinghpura village in Kashmir by suspected Islamic militants in army uniforms.
The fact that a 2000 incident is being mentioned in 2005 with such fanfare does indicate the immense frustration of the Moslem writer of the article and the super frustration of The Watcher!
This frustration is so obvious and it typifies the Pakistani mind wherein that they call "nazi brahmin hindu terrorists".
One does not hear of Indians calling Pakistanis Islamic barbarians undergoing endless pathetic whining, typifying a whipped dog.
Because, that would not be correct. Pakistanis are not dogs. They also belong to the human specie.
It is true that the standard of education (not only madrassas) is poor and abysmal. There historical facts are warped and the same has governmental guidance! In other words, the Govt of Pakistan plays a major role in fabricating facts.
If I have the permission I shall produce the state of Pakistani education and its fabrication history (as preported by their educationists). Or else a visit to the WAB in the Asia Pacific Forum would indicate the same with links from Pakistan. It sure would be embarrassing for people like The Watcher.
Unlike the Makhtar Mai, the Sindhi lady raped by the Major and other cases of Pakistan where the government of Pakistan has swept the cases under the carpet and the President played as major role in the same by stating that Pakistani women get raped to become milliionaires and that is the Pakistani ethos, it will be noticed that in India none are beyond law!
Why does The Watcher harp on his signature tune sentence "nazi brahmin hindu terrorists" when it is patently bogus and flawed?
This hatred is based on the following facts.
Fact that India was under the Moslem rule and the Hindus and others were subjected to the oppression and were second class to the Moslems. That is not so the case now.
Fact that the Moslems were roundly vanquished by the British and made subjects and the Hindus regained their place by no longer being subjected to conversion by the Sword of Islam or being subjected to the back breaking Jezia tax, consequent to their rejection of conversion to an alien religion which was too brutal for the Indian mentality. This is too hard to digest by Moslem fanatics like The Watcher.
Fact that a motheaten (Jinnah's word) Islamic state (Pakistan) emerged an entity when India was partitioned instead of the grand Empire dreamt by Jinnah and the Moslems!
Fact that it (Pakistan) was not an entity before even though Moslem ruled in earlier time.
Fact that their Islamic inferiority surfaced from Day #1. While both countries were granted Independence the same day, the Moslems (who were from India anyway) wanted to fool themselves that they got independence before India got. Therefore, they celebrate their Independence Day a day earlier. This indicates their juvenile bent of mind wherein they want to dream that they are ahead of India in all departments. Sadly, the facts have proved otherwise!
Fact that they have tried four times to attack India and every time has faced defeat in the face.
Fact that their country was decimated under the Indian onslaught and a new country Bangladesh came into being.
Fact that the emergence of Bangladesh proved false the Islamic concept of ummah and cast to the wind, their Qaid e Azam, Jinnah's "Two Nations" theory, based on religion, that he had propounded to get Pakistan, the homeland of the Pure. Pakistan means so in Urdu.
Fact that a large number of Moslem refused to go to Pakistan and preferred to stay in India is another reason for the frustration of Pakistanis since it again proved false the idea of Jinnah and his Two Nation theory!
Fact that Pakistan has never had democracy per se and vacillates between "sham democracy" (to quote the words of their beloved President General Parvez Musharraf) and military dictatorship, when India continues to be a vibrant democracy. It does ignite the Pakistani soul with hatred that they are such a failure!
Fact that India has a galloping economy and the US thinks that India is on its way to a super power status, makes the Pakistani heart shrivel with fear and super charges the hatred factor because they cannot fathom as to why a Moslem nation (Pakistan) should flounder like a rudderless ship and be gripped with the last gasps of a landed fish! It puts paid to the Quaranic injunction that Islam is superior to all! Islam uber alles thus goes for a six (a solid hit beyond the boundary in cricket)!
Fact that they are terrorism took birth in Pakistan's womb under Zia's rule ostensibly to produce jihadis for Afghanistan against USSR. Today it is a cuss word!
Fact that terrorism continues to flourish in the terror factory called madrassas even now and the beloved President cannot to do anything concrete leading to international embarrassment. The Jammat e Islamiya of Pakistan still calls the shots!
Fact that Bush and Blair dictate terms to their President and he kowtows to their smallest command.
Fact that without international financial aid, Pakistan cannot survive.
Fact that Pakistan is an ailing terminal patient on international life support aid.
Fact that India has a vibrant equation with Israel, a country which is loathsome to Pakistan.
Fact that Paksitan, because of India, is forced to beg on bended knees for forgiveness of Israel and is ready to all to be accepted within Israel's charmed circle.
Therefore, it is not surprising that The Watcher fails to realise that unlike Pakistan which is an Islamic country which subjects even non Moslems to the Islamic laws like the Huddood, India is a secular country composed of all religions and a myriad of communities.
He also burns that Pakistan which is a small country and which has a dubious birth is a true example of the failure of Islam as a principle for Nationhood since the dream of their Qaid and the millions of Pakistanis has turned sour, wherein the Sunnis are fighting the Shias, the Balochis are wanting Independence and are rebellious, the Shias of Northern Area are wild with Paksitan and killings are commonplace, the Sindhis are disgusted and the Mohajirs are openly regretting having got Pakistan, the NWFP and Pashtun are thnumbing their nose at the Federal authority and are desiring Pakhtoonistan as wanted by their leader, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan! The Punjabis alone are pleased!
Therefore, obviously someone else has to be blamed!
India is the ideal one to carry the burden of all ills of Paksitan.
Therefore, the warping of The Watcher's brain, wherein he mistakes India's secular fabric, vibrant economy and international standing, compared to the sad state of Pakistan, as Brahmanic Nazi terrorism.
ASSALM WALKUM ALL BROTHERS THIS IS REAL MISSTATEMENT BY THIS PAKISTANI FOOL. EVERY BODY KNOWS WHAT THE HUMAN RIGHT CONDITION IN PAKISTAN FROM 1947 WHERE THERE WAS A 28% POPULATION OF MINORITES INCLUDING SIKH,CHRISTIAN OTHER NOW THEIR ARE LESS THAN TWO PERCENT AND SEE IN INDIA ITS GROWING NOW ITS CONSITS OF 30%. AND IAM A MUSLIM TOO I KNOW SOME INCIDENT ARE BORN TO HAPPEN AND SOMETHING HAPPENS THEY WILL COME OUT IN THE OPEN NOT LIKE TERRORIST COUNTRY OF PAKISTAN WHERE FOR MINORITES NOBODY LISTEN. I WILL GIVE U A EXAMPLE MY RELATIVES WERE GONE TO PAKISTAN IN 1947 PARTIION THEY ARE STILL CALLED MOHAJIR AND KHAFIRS. EVERY DAY OR OTHER THE MOHAJIR GIRLS WOMAN ARE RAPED THEIR OLD MAN ARE BEATEB WHY BECAUSE THEY ARE INDIAN MUSLIM. I TELL THE FACT THIS PAKISTANI THEY ARE TERRORIST AND THEY BELEIVE IN TERRORSIT .THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NAZI PAKISTANI DICTATOR SHIP AND INDIAN DEMOCRACY. AND BY THE WAY ABOUT THE FRIENDSHIP WITH INDIA IS A NATURAL ALLAY WITH ISREAL BECAUSE BOTH ARE DEALING WITH ISLAMIST FUNDAMENTALIST. ISLAM DOES NOT TEACH KILLING . THOSE WHO TEACH WILL GO TO HELL .
ALLAHATALL WILL GIVE THEM HELL .........
SO BEWARE PAKISTANI UR ALREADY ON A PATH TO HELL
stop typing in caps plus what you're saying isn't all that clear.
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