Yalla Peace Party to form Chapters in Palestine and Israel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Ray Hanania, Dec. 20, 2009

Yalla Peace Party to form Chapters in Palestine and Israel

Chicago – Yalla Peace Party founder Ray Hanania today announced that supporters are being asked to form Yalla Peace Party Chapters in Palestine, Israel and throughout the Diaspora to promote peace based on the two-state solution.

Hanania, a Chicago radio talk show host, satirist and syndicated political columnist, unveiled a platform of ideas to address the toughest challenges facing peace and those ideas are being embraced widely and will form the basis of the new Yalla Peace Party chapters.

Among the proposals are two new strategies, the first to embrace two-states and create a sovereign Palestine State along side Israel, rather than struggle through difficult details one at a time, and a creative solution to the cornerstone of Palestinian resistance to an agreement, resolving the rights of the Palestinian Refugees.

“Peace is about activism. We all know what the solution is already. What we need now is an activism to make that peace happen,” Hanania said. “I am asking the thousands of supporters who have sent me emails and letters and called to say they support this vision to now take it one step further. Start a Yalla Peace Party chapter where they live. It doesn't matter if you live in Palestine or in the Diaspora, in Israel or in any other country. Yalla Peace is not about one person but about a movement to bring peace based on two-states.”

Hanania said the strategy is to get individuals to become ambassadors for peace and to reach out and bring in more people who support peace under the Yalla Peace Party umbrella.

"The most important cornerstone of this strategy for peace that is so different from what has taken place before is that we are seeking to set aside our differences, differences that evoke such passion they sometimes turn in to anger that sometimes becomes violence and confrontation," Hanania said.

"We are telling people we don't have to change what we believe to be true about our history. We can believe our own narratives of history. But we must stop using history as the Wall that separates us or that stops peace. Even recent history of tragedies need not be used as reasons to prevent peace based on two-states. Peace based on two-states is the answer to our tragic history.

"While we can disagree on what has happened in our shared history as Palestinians and Israelis, we can still come together and agree on what can happen in our shared future when we work together for peace. Do not let the past prevent us from doing what needs to be done in the future."

Hanania said his campaign platform outlines real ideas that must be discussed not just by the leadership but by both the Palestinian and Israeli publics to initiate a new public-wide dialogue between our two peoples.

Two new ideas serve as the cornerstone of Hanania’s Yalla Peace Party plan. They are:

Create the two states now based on general borders, with a presence for a Palestinian Government seat in East Jerusalem, and work to resolve the remaining individual issues in the context of that peace, and a Settler-Refugee Exchange Program based on land for peace to resolve both the refugee and settlement issues.

"What this solution offers is a way for both sides to achieve their goals and to move forward," Hanania said.

Hanania said that he is reconsidering whether he should run for President and would step-aside for someone else who embraces the Yalla Peace Party platform and who would forcefully push for peace based on two-states. He said he will continue to seek election to the Palestinian Legislative Council from Jerusalem, where his family originates and has lived for centuries. He also said he is pushing to get the Palestine National Council to recognize the Yalla Peace Party and include it in the umbrella coalition of the PLO.

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