Palestinian negotiators invoke the fact that the window of opportunity for a two-state solution is closing and will soon be replaced by the call for a “One State Solution” in order to incite fear among Israelis and push them to the negotiating table.  But this negative tactic is unwise, both because a “One State Solution” is akin to a state of war, because Israelis will never accept it, and because it causes bad will among the Israeli public.

Israelis use the path of unilateralism as a means to redress the perception that time is not on Israel’s side and that Palestinians should thus not be in a hurry to negotiate.  By being willing to unilaterally extricate themselves from the Palestinian lands and impose a solution, Israelis hope that Palestinian negotiators recognize they will not be able to use time against Israelis, and that they will get less if they don’t come to the negotiating table with a pragmatic approach.  But this strategy, too, is unrealistic, because there will not be a bilaterally and internationally agreed end to the conflict without an agreement among the parties.

In the end, both parties are barking a lot, but neither of their barks has bite.

The only bite is from militant absolutists and foreign fundamentalists that will use this incessant leaderless back-and-forth bickering to drive a wedge and pray on the situation.

Both sides need to recognize that time is not on the Israelis OR Palestinians’ side.  Time is not on the side of moderates that want to end the conflict. 

 The Clinton Parameters lay out clearly how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be resolved.  The Heads of State of both Israel and Palestine were elected on a platform to end the conflict.  Both Olmert and Abbas want a two-state solution. The Israeli and Palestinian public have clear supra-majorities that support a two state solution (at least still now, though not forever!).  It is time for the politicians to sit, lock the door, and not exit the negotiating table till they work out the details for an agreement premised on the Clinton parameters (which the OneVoice Pillars from the People are based on).

Enough bargainging and posturing!  All of this is helping only Ahmadinejad and his proxies!

That is why on October 18th, 2007 the Israeli and Palestinian people in unison will send a message to the world and to their leaders: we demand immediate, uninterrupted negotiations till the completion of an agreement among our heads of State, to be presented to their people within a year from that date.  www.OneMillionVoices.org.  The deadline from the people is October 18, 2008.  The time has come.

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Coaching Yourself to Strength

Published under Life, OneVoice Movement Aug 28, 2007

Then there are the low moments, which invariably will come when you
are taking yourself outside the safety zone, which you must do if you
want to achieve something meaningful.

When things are bad or bad news or disappointments come – you must
derive strength – from friends and family, from a steadfastly united
team, from Board members and supporters – and from internal conviction.

Self-analysis and critical introspection are also invaluable here.
But most essential is to not lose the long-term vision, to keep things
in perspective, to remember why you do what you do – and to remind
yourself where you are coming from.

Today as most days over the last couple months has been an almost
intolerable roller-coaster of many highs and some painful lows, of
news, developments, successes, setbacks, warm and much needed pats on
the back, and cold skeptical dismissals that of course also ‘get to
you.’

It started with success after success on the recruitment, media and
fundraising front. But then I got a phone call from an important Arab
dignitary who had promised to lend a hand and unfortunately backed out.

We will certainly overcome, and the momentum is overall steady and
strong. But high expectations can be the worst enemy of your spirit.

My personality is such that I take successes as a given, and I take
setbacks very seriously. They really bring me down.

At these times it is good to be able to count on friends and
supporters whose loyalty is ironclad. And it is important to remember
there is NO ALTERNATIVE but to prevail. Too much is at stake.

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos
.

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Driving up to Jerusalem with one of my mentors and Board members, Ian
Fisher, we discussed the importance we put in self-analysis and self-
criticism, and the essential need for objective constructive criticism
from others, both re. personal management and strategic substance.

Being a CEO in charge of taking ultimate decisions and guiding your
team, it is very valuable to find team members you trust to give you
earnest feedback re. your internal management. Board members, peers,
and mentors are also invaluable sources of feedback.

But the most important source for keeping grounded is the internal,
constant analysis of your own actions, behavior, ideas and failures -
not to chastise yourself but to help you improve. A self-imposed
methodical and introspective daily examination of the day – through
prayer, meditation, writing, or structured thinking – is healthy.

Precisely when you are succeeding the most, that is when self-
criticism is most vital to keep you grounded.

.

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[I am often asked for career advice by students and friends searching
for what to do with their careers, so I will start sharing thoughts as
the below for those interested - you may find the advice is worth as much as you paid for it]

The obvious advantage of choosing as your job something that you are
passionate about and gives meaning to your life is that you are never
bored, that you get a lot of fulfillment, and that you derive that
very meaning.

A lot of my friends that chose a more traditional path after law
school some times complain about the long hours, lack of fulfillment,
and lack of ‘meaning.’

But there is also a less noticed corollary to each of the above.

Living your mission can be addictive and dangerous because it turns
your job into an obsession and you into a workaholic. It is hard for
you to find as much enjoyment in a lot of otherwise rewarding social
activities when you derive so much fulfillment from advancing your
mission. And so your responsibility as a social entrepreneur is to
force yourself to have some non-work space with your friends and
family – and with yourself, lest the fire of your passion burn you out.

The positive corollary to the negative of having a job that doesn’t
give you as much fulfillment is that you can complement your work with
after-hours hobbies and social activities that will give you
fulfillment.

I personally feel very lucky to be able to truly (and not as a
gimmicky marketing fad) combine social and business objectives, which
is unfortunately not as frequently done. I would not change my path
for anything else – what I do with PeaceWorks and OneVoice is what I
would choose to do if I could choose anything in life.

But no one path is superior. As you evaluate your professional path,
it is optimal – indeed important – that you find something you can
ENJOY doing. It would be a shame if you are otherwise miserable at
work, and it is likely to make you perform badly.

But beyond the minimum requirement for your job that it be something you enjoy and care about, finding ‘meaning’ withing your vocation or through outside pursuits is a very personal decision.

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Today we filmed our first scenes of the “We Are Standing Up” viral video we are planning to release as a teaser for the October 18th OneVoice Summit: One Million Voices To End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

It was great seeing the energy of all involved, the real commitment, and the real awakening that happens in peoples’ actual lives, when they get involved with our message even if through film…

 The sound guy, who never had known about OV till today, started debating with a group of 4 Israelis who initially would have rathered been left alone – and told him so.  In the end, he signed them up and they got involved.

Gil Shamy, the OVI Executive Director, recruited a couple dozen people to join us for the recording.  And Ayelet Daniel quickly followed up to get them to wear OneVoice pins and get them to sign the OneVoice Mandate.

This is the power of OneVoice, that people start recognizing their power and potential for change, and we just need to keep going till we achieve critical mass and tip the point.

Today’s filming was in Tel Aviv, on Rothschild Street – which is actually a beautiful avenue.  We had a grandmother (played by Savta Dotty who blogged about us) stand up from her knitting, a pregnant Mom stand up for the future of her kid, and a few others who you will have to wait to see.

 Yesterday in Ramallah I planned the filming with the Palestinian team and hopefully we’ll complete the filming on both sides within a week to two at most – and edit right away, to release by second week of September.  If it ends up looking the way I have envisioned it in my mind, I think it will be an energizing blockboster that will really awaken people.

It starts from apocalyptic depression and inaction,

moves on to an internal awakening,

which results in each individual STANDING UP To End The Conflict

and culminates with ALL PEOPLE joining together as OneVoice to Stand Up….

Then it cuts to invite the viewer: Join Us on October 18th.  You, too, Stand Up…

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Doc Paskowitz Crossing Erez Checkpoint to Donate Surfboards

12 surfing boards were delivered by Doc and David through Mowaffaq’s facilitation, amidst enormous media attention.  Here are a couple, amidst hundreds of stories that were picked up on TV and Newsprint:

New York Times Story – Prescribing Surfboards for Peace

 The Guardian Story – Reuters – Surfer Promotes Israeli-Palestinian Peace

 And a couple pics, some public and some from behind the scenes:

Mowaffaq Crossing with Boards

More pics here:

Dorian being interviewed, David watching over

Mowaffaq from OV Gaza and Ayelet from OV Tel Aviv

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Watching the interaction between Shlomo Artzi and his audience, now I
understand why he is seen as THE foremost icon of the Israeli people.

He is as big a star as they come in Israel – without any doubt the #1
choice of the Israeli people – and yet he has this warmth &
approachabiliry & comfort in his own skin, to be loved by all. More
so, Israelis seem to relate to him as their favorite member of the
family.

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos
.shlomo-concert.jpgnew-image.jpg

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Check this invitation out:

http://blog.onevoicemovement.org/one_voice/2007/08/save-the-date-o.html

 We have been working on this for close to a year!  We have been dying to share this with the world for so long, but waited and waited till we could be strong enough to guarantee that we will pull this historic event off!  Now is YOUR time to join us and find your way to help us make this a historic TURNING POINT - the day the moderates stood up in unison, said enough, and propelled their heads of state to achieve an agreement within one year at most!

Momentum is crazy.  I can barely sleep with all the work, and yet not even feeling it b/c of all the adrenaline of all the great people wanting to sign up and join and contribute.  Lots of roller-coaster-type challenges every day, and so many frustrations and worries and apprehensions.  But net-net, this thing is going to make a very strong impact in the psyche of the region and the world – the first time ever when a moment in history will have a shared narrative for the Palestinian and Israeli people!

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The Boards Made it through to their intended recipients!

 Mowaffaq, Ahmed, Mohammad with surfing boards from Dorian

Now Americans David and Dorian are heading tomorrow morning with Ayelet Daniel from OneVoice Israel to deliver a lot more boards for the Palestinian surfers to be able to teach others to surf, with coordination from Mowaffaq Alami, from OneVoice Palestine in Gaza. 

They are also hoping to surf together in Jaffo later this week!

Surfing for Peace will have an official launch on October 18th in partnership and coordination also with the OneVoice Summit – www.OneMillionVoices.org – and the campaign to reach One Million Voices to End the Conflict!   David and Dorian may be bringing world-famous surfer Kelly Slater to surf with them here, along with an entourage of world-famous musicians who will perform that night at the OneVoice Summit in Tel Aviv.  David may perform his OneVoice song that night also. :-)

Suddenly there is a lot of media commotion and CNN, ABC, and others are trying to do a story on this.

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So, not only did we locate the Gaza surfers and their federation, but through the amazing work of Adi Balderman of OneVoice-Israel, we were able to secure permits for one of their representatives to come meet with David, Doc, and Arthur, who is Doc’s loyal apprentice and also a very good surfer, who also runs a surfing magazine in Israel.

The meeting started a bit weird because the “representative” was not a surfer himself, which took David and Doc aback. But they quickly learned that he was indeed representing the surfing federation, because Ahmed Abu Hasera and Mohammed Abu Jayab were not able to get permits that quickly, and were actually scared to go to Israel – they have never left Gaza before.  When Mowaffaq called Mohammed and Ahmed on the cell – all excitement took them over and they started planning how to really help surfing take off.

 I love these guys – Doc and David.  They are savvy and sincere at once.  Doc brings the wisdom of the 86-year old surfer and teachere that he is – and he explained that if surfing could take off in Gaza, it could generate tourism, jobs, etc.  But above all, it would help build a bond that no politician can break – a bond of freedom riding the waves.  David brings the heart of gold and purity of a citizen of the world – his commitment is so pure that he makes all barriers come down.

 So, before you knew it, Doc, David, and Arthur, arranged to get some surfing boards donated to the guys in Gaza – and Mowaffaq was kind enough to try to get them through.

 Mowaffaq from OneVoice with surfing boards for GazaYou can imagine that when Mowaffaq tried to cross Erez, he had a bit of a challenge.  He spent over two hours trying to carry the boards across.  The officer on the border said he had never seen this before, and Mowaffaq said there was always a first time.  Eventually, Adi Balderman interceded and convinced them to let Mowaffaq through. 

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