"Israeli settlements have long been recognized as a thorn in the side of Middle East peace. They’ve been referred to as war crimes by the International Committee of the Red Cross since the Geneva Convention forbids resettling individuals on occupied lands. Even then-President Ronald Reagan proposed a peace plan in 1982 that required freezing such settlements. “The immediate adoption of a settlement freeze by Israel, more than any other action, could create the confidence needed,” Reagan said."
"By continuing the expansion of settlements, Israel is disregarding the Middle East policy of almost every country in the world. Nearly all stipulate that the Israeli settlements and their ongoing growth are obstacles to peace and illegal, and therefore must be stopped. The question the Palestinians are going to ask in September at the United Nations is what the international community is going to do about this intransigence."
"Palestinian unity, the political boost that would come from a strong U.N. vote and an expanded mass non-violent resistance effort in the occupied territories - just might help to do the trick. It would give the Palestinians a much needed shot in the arm and it would force the Israelis to debate and rethink their policies and the costs associated with their behaviors. On the other hand, listening to the U.S. and backing away from reconciliation, and dropping the U.N. vote (in much the same way the P.A. listened to the U.S. and initially dropped the U.N. human rights report on the Gaza War) - would be devastating to the Palestinian leadership, would only serve to further embolden Israeli hardliners, and would, in the end, make peace even more remote than it is today."
"About 40 brave Americans have cast their lot with civil society by setting sail on the American-flagged ship to Gaza, the "Audacity of Hope". Among them are men and women, elderly, and many Jewish-Americans as well. They will be joined by about ten ships and 300 other activists. They simply refuse to sit idly by like their governments as the crime of the siege of Gaza continues....As the collective punishment of 1.5 millions civilians persists, it's time to ask yourself: which side are you on?"
"Leaders and followers alike in the family of humanity can do better, and I trust we will soon enough awaken to the need for behavior change rather than continue down the primrose path that Rachel Carson called a superhighway. Our adamantly advocating and relentlessly pursuing a morally disengaged and patently unsustainable way of life -- one of endless population growth and connected economic growth -- simply cannot last."