Idea for a Nature Park on the Golan begins with Imad (Ed) Jazairi

Where did the idea of turning the Golan into a nature park originate?

It would seem that Imad (Ed) Jazairi of Houston Texas was the first to propose it in 2001. A Syrian-American Biologist and Naturalist with no interest in politics, Imad Jazairi is a descendant of Emir Abdul Kader Al-Jazairi the illustrious Algerian warrior who was sent into exile in Damascus following the conquest of Algeria by the French. [Read the wonderful new book by John Kiser, Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader] The al-Jazairi name has many positive connotations for Syrians, Sephardic Jews and North Africans. Imad points out that “not only Israelis or Americans can dream of such peace resolutions….but so can Arabs and, in particular, Syrian-Americans like myself.”

Imad Jazairi adds:

Please kindly note that I have sent you a hard copies of the proposed subject matter including but not limited to a letter from Mr. Edward Dejrejian, president of the Baker Institute. A copy of a letter from former President Bill Clinton regarding the subject matter as well as a copy of a letter of acknowledgment from the office of Kofi Anan, former Secretary General of the United Nations acknowledging the same proposal.

First there was the former Israeli official at the foreign ministry [Alon Liel] and his buddy the Syrian-American Businessman by the name of Ibrahim Soleiman. Now Fred Hof, a US Ambassador attached to George Mitchell is advocating a Nature Park be established on the Golan separating Syria and Israel. Here is my proposal of 2001-2002, which precedes these proposals.

A Proposal regarding peace between Syria & Israel.
By Imad (Ed) Jazairi
Houston, TX. 77057

Introduction: The following proposal can be suggested to both parties of the conflict, Syria & Israel, with a hope that it will ultimately lead to a permanent peace between the two parties. The idea is so simple, nifty and novel that both parties may find it acceptable and neutral in its concepts with a possible positive outcome for ALL.

Here it is: It came to my attention that the dispute revolves around a few hundred square meters bordering what is known as the Sea of Galilee, in Syria it is known as Lake Tiberius named after one of the Roman Emperor and in Israel as Lake Kenneret. By resolving this issue may usher a new path that may lead to peace between the two nations. The following is a step by step toward resolving this problem:

1- The Disputed Area
: Both sides, Syria & Israel, will relinquish sovereignty and claims of sovereignty of the area to a non-governmental international body or non-governmental international organization concerned with environmental issues and progressive environmental programs.
2- Area Transformation: The disputed area under the direction and supervision of the named environmental organization can transform the formerly “disputed” area into a Nature Reserve & Wild Life Sanctuary. Both countries can add a few miles here and there to enhance the size of the area to make it more attractive and establish a viable piece of land, ecologically speaking, that can not only serve both countries but the entire region at large.

3- Research and Education: A center for environmental research, wild life management, and land restorations can be established in the area. Scientists, engineers, technicians, laymen and even lawyers from both countries and the world at large can gather for seminars, lectures and symposiums and be able to discuss the environmental problems facing the region and other regions of the world with similar problems.

4- Some candidates: Possible candidates for administering this are The Nature Conservancy and the Wild Life Fund. No, I am not a member of either.

5- Security: The security of the area can be provided by a small contingent of a police force drawn up from various countries on a rotating basis and supervised by the United Nations.

6- The Public Perceptions: I do believe that the public sentiments in both countries, Syria & Israel, would be more receptive to the idea of establishing a nature reserve and wild life sanctuary on the border between the two states. The entire idea for which I am proposing can substitute the ideological and demagogical divide prevailing the cultures of the antagonists. No more piece of rock here and there, no more inches and centimeters of disputed soil marking some artificial lines drawn up in the 1920’s.

Thank you,

Imad (Ed) Jazairi

[end]

[Praise for John Kiser’s, Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader]

For more than 40 years he was a world figure, his renown stretching from the American Midwest to Moscow to the Middle East. As he neared death in 1883, The New York Times wrote that he “deserves to be ranked among the foremost of the few great men of the century.”

Earlier, he had received accolades and awards from France, Britain, Russia, the Ottoman sultan, the papacy and President Abraham Lincoln, who sent him not a medal but, in quintessentially American fashion, a matched pair of fancy Colt pistols.

The man being honored was Abd el-Kader, a learned and fervent Muslim, who for 15 years had organized and led a jihad against a Western power.

After he ceased hostilities, his four-year detention, in violation of a promise of safe passage into exile, became an international cause célèbre. Released and feted, even by his captors, he came to live in Damascus.

There, in July 1860, el-Kader braved mobs and saved thousands of Christians from a murderous rampage through the city’s Christian quarter.

In this, the bicentennial of his birth, el-Kader’s name is known to only a tiny fraction of Americans. That fraction includes those knowledgeable about modern Algeria, where his resistance to French colonization places him among the founding figures of an independent nation.

And then there are the 1,500 residents of Elkader, a town in northeastern Iowa, founded and named in 1846 by a frontier lawyer who admired the freedom-fighting exploits of this “daring Arab chieftain.”….

Jane Geniesse, Former NYT reporter….. an absorbing and beautifully written story of a great hero who is a model warrior for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The reader is bound to be moved by the life of this remarkable man who was the very opposite of a fanatic jihadist….

Comments (66)


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51. johnpauljustlikethepope said:

Land for peace seems to be both a prerequisite and a deal breaker for negotiations with Israel. While the land may be considered holy, the same can not be said for those who stubbornly insist that it can not be shared between various parties. How much time, blood and treasure has to be wasted for some mildewed mantra that calls for competing capitals to control completely or not at all? Does this mean that one side or another must prevail over the other side for the land to host people living in peace? People who have learned only to try to carve a bigger slice of the same pie need to be shown that while there is no more land being made, the life of the people on top of it can expand in ways more productive than currently possible. True leaders would teach their people a path to a greater future. This desire to reclaim the Golan Heights is petty for the fact that it is not possible without assurances of security made to Israel. Absolute sovereignty by Syria over this land can not occur while Israel fears that Syria covets its land and supports its destruction. Everyone who is serious about this issue understands this. Why not build a park there and charge admission? It is a better deal than you are going to get waiting for victory over your sworn enemy.

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July 20th, 2009, 8:13 pm

 

52. Shai said:

Akbar,

I should have known you wouldn’t understand a word I said. It must be my Israeli accent…

As for this CAMERA.org report you gave here, I think you’re right. When we employ rational thinking to the matter, it certainly makes more sense that a few anonymous reserve soldiers who have come out of Gaza are lying through their teeth, than the many not-anonymous soldiers who are standing behind the IDF’s action in Operation Cast Lead. After all, if crimes were committed, wouldn’t the majority speak about them? So what if that same majority may have participated in those crimes? Most people are honest, and would gladly inform the world of crimes they may have committed in Gaza.

Those anonymous few “yefe nefesh” soldiers, are obviously self-hating Jews (a term Bibi is apparently now attributing to Rahm Emanuel and David Axlerod), who have nothing better to do than lie about their country. Once again CAMERA.org has proven its case. Quod erat demonstrandum.

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July 20th, 2009, 8:18 pm

 

53. Alex said:

Akbar habibi

Do the good guys at camera.org ever tolerate ANY criticism of Israel? … no.

Does that makes them a 100% propaganda tool? .. yes.

Do you have any problem with that? no.

Does this make you a robot that can not learn? .. yes.

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July 20th, 2009, 8:36 pm

 

54. Alex said:

Shai,

Of course I do expect politicians to lie. But when it comes to international agreements (signed or verbal) there is very little room for tolerating such things. Even when some army general in some African country takes over after killing his predecessor, the first thing he usually does is to state that he will respect all international agreements.

Israel feels powerful enough to not give a damn about ANY of the UN resolutions issued against her … Israeli governments can flip previous government’s obligations with ease … The way the “Rabin deposit” was ignored after his assassination is not forgotten by Syria.

Israel respects SOME of its international agreements, it manages to find ways to get out of others while putting all the blame on the Arab side (the media can create any illusion Israel needs to be created about why this happened) … and will simply ignore other international laws if “the security of the state of Israel” is at stake (it always is)

What I am trying to say is that the Arabs do not think the settlements are continuously expanding simply because of corrupt Israeli politicians .. they are expanding because it is a strategy of the state of Israel… no matter who governs.

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July 20th, 2009, 8:53 pm

 

55. Yossi said:

John Paul,

>>> How much time, blood and treasure has to be wasted for some mildewed mantra that calls for competing capitals to control completely or not at all? Does this mean that one side or another must prevail over the other side for the land to host people living in peace?

Ah, likely, yes. That’s the likely requirement for long-term peace. There is no long-term historic precedent in the region to counter this assumption.

Salam == Istislam (acceptance of Arab culture and perhaps also religion by the Jews in Israel/Palestine)
Shalom == Hashlama (acceptance of Israeli ethnocratic requirements by the Arabs)

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July 20th, 2009, 8:57 pm

 

56. Shai said:

Alex,

Since I’d like to believe Israel is some-sort of a Democracy, I certainly blame my people for the Occupation no less than our politicians (in fact, even more, because it is still us that elect them, not the other way around). So yes, Israeli society has certainly supported Settlements throughout the past 40 years, and with every single government in power.

But like so many other contradictions in our region, I believe most Israelis at the same time want peace. How can that be? Well, Rabin, Peres, even Sharon and Olmert, were all elected specifically to withdraw from the same territories they encouraged settlements in. Had Sharon not fallen ill, perhaps by now you and I would not be talking about continued Settlement-building. And I think that by now, most Israelis know that the West Bank is going to be a part of Palestine, and that Greater Israel will remain a myth. The question is not if, but when and how. What the Obama administration is apparently beginning to do, is to reject our endless excuses. Let’s see where that takes us.

But as for Syrian-Israeli peace agreement, I don’t think we have the time or luxury to await “honest” politicians. I don’t want my grandkids writing to your grandkids on SC in the year 2050 things like “Why couldn’t our grandparents figure it out? Why did so many generations have to pay for their leaders’ inadequacies?”

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July 20th, 2009, 9:33 pm

 

57. Akbar Palace said:

Robots (con’t)

Alex asks:

Do the good guys at camera.org ever tolerate ANY criticism of Israel? … no.

Alex,

It is not a question of “tolerating…criticism” or not. CAMERA’s purpose is to counter the TONNES of criticism from the worlds media and the respective governments. That’s their job.

I hope it is not a surprise to you Alex, but the Arabs have many similar organizations like the Arab-American Institute, the ADC, CAIR, ARAMCO and the 20+ Arab governments. They do the same thing as CAMERA.

http://www.cair.com/

http://www.aaiusa.org/

http://www.adc.org/

Does that makes them a 100% propaganda tool? .. yes.

And your website isn’t a pro-Syrian “propaganda tool” Alex?

Do you have any problem with that? no.

Every side of the conflict has a right to explain their narrative. It is up to the objective observer to side with one side or the other, none or both.

Does this make you a robot that can not learn? .. yes.

I was going to ask you the same question now that you ask.

Ive already established the keyword: “robot” something you and your website with all the pro-Syrian articles could NEVER be accused of (LOL;)

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July 21st, 2009, 12:32 am

 

58. Akbar Palace said:

Alex asks:

Do the good guys at camera.org ever tolerate ANY criticism of Israel? … no.

Alex,

It is not a question of “tolerating…criticism” or not. CAMERA’s purpose is to counter the TONNES of criticism from the worlds media and the respective governments. That’s their job.

I hope it is not a surprise to you Alex, but the Arabs have many similar organizations like the Arab-American Institute, the ADC, CAIR, ARAMCO and the 20+ Arab governments. They do the same thing as CAMERA.

http://www.cair.com/

http://www.aaiusa.org/

http://www.adc.org/

Does that makes them a 100% propaganda tool? .. yes.

And your website isn’t a pro-Syrian “propaganda tool” Alex?

Do you have any problem with that? no.

Every side of the conflict has a right to explain their narrative. It is up to the objective observer to side with one side or the other, none or both.

Does this make you a robot that can not learn? .. yes.

I was going to ask you the same question now that you ask.

Ive already established the keyword: “robot” something you and your website with all the pro-Syrian articles could NEVER be accused of (LOL;)

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July 21st, 2009, 12:35 am

 

59. Akbar Palace said:

Do the good guys at camera.org ever tolerate ANY criticism of Israel? … no.

Alex,

I responded to this yesterday. Any idea where the post went?

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July 21st, 2009, 11:11 am

 

60. Alex said:

Akbar,

Your comment was stuck in the spam filter because it had many links. I just released it.

As for the difference between you and I … you always buy the version that you read in your Israeli propaganda sources (like camera.org) … when was the last time I linked an article from Syrian newspapers?

I never do.

You are welcome to link WSJ pro Israel opinion pieces, there are plenty … but please spare us camera.org propaganda and we will continue to spare you CAIR and ADC propaganda.

And do you need me to remind you that many times Joshua and I posted news critical of Syria? … remember the many Ehsani pieces critical of economic policies? … the many news stories about Syrian political prisoners?

When was the last time YOU posted anything critical of Israel?

YOU are a robot Akbar, I am not.

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July 21st, 2009, 4:15 pm

 

61. VexedLevantine said:

“But the settlers, many of whom say they have a God-given right to live in the West Bank, have threatened to impose what they call a “price tag” on such evacuations.”
so there is a price tag? who would have thought… and from such peace loving nation? bless..

Israel settlers burn olive trees
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8160607.stm

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July 21st, 2009, 8:32 pm

 

62. Akbar Palace said:

As for the difference between you and I … you always buy the version that you read in your Israeli propaganda sources (like camera.org) … when was the last time I linked an article from Syrian newspapers?

Alex,

All these threads are FILLED with articles that you or Professor Josh, etc link to.

And 95% of them are critical of Israel.

Alex,

You and I are no different. I’m a pro-Israel supporter and you’re a pro-Syria supporter. Face it.

The only difference is that I cannot post or link articles. That is only left for the “authors” such as yourself and Professor Josh.

I addressed this issue (pet peeve) on another recent thread.

YOU are a robot Akbar, I am not.

Whatever you say Alex.

We’ll have to agree to disagree

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July 22nd, 2009, 12:24 am

 

63. Alex said:

Akbar Palace said:

Alex,

All these threads are FILLED with articles that you or Professor Josh, etc link to.

And 95% of them are critical of Israel.

Alex,

You and I are no different. I’m a pro-Israel supporter and you’re a pro-Syria supporter. Face it.

The only difference is that I cannot post or link articles. That is only left for the “authors” such as yourself and Professor Josh.

Akbar,

This is “Syria” Comment … yet the majority of comments are by Israelis … and 99%+ of comments by Israelis like you who are “pro Israel” (including Shai and Yossi who are much more pro Israel that the hawks like you, if you ask me) are allowed unmoderated.

Can you tell me if I am a robot who is engaged in Pro-Syria propaganda, why would I allow “pro Israel” commentators to be all over the place here?

You know that the articles that Joshua posts are usually followed by a much longer comment section … here is comment number 63 for example. This blog’s comments section is often more popular that the original posts because Joshua does not try to make it his personal promotion blog like most other blogs.

So you have been welcome to participate as much as you want in this “Syria” blog… by Syria propagandists?

If you take a look at all the opposition news that Joshua posts, or some of the articles I write, like this one

http://joshualandis.com/blog/?p=824

You would realize that there is enough criticism of Syria going on here, but it is polite. Why is it polite? … because Syria did not start an Iraq war that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people like the Bush administration did, and Syria did not attack Lebanon and kill 1500 Lebanese people, and did not attack Gaza and kill 1300 Palestinians …

I assure you that if Syria ever matched Israel in its unnecessary violence, I will be as vocal in criticizing Syria as I am in criticizing Israel.

And I assure you that if Syria displayed the same hesitation to reaching a comprehensive peace that Israel has, I will criticize Syria.

Until then, I will only criticize Syrian corruption and treatment of some of the decent political prisoners… the two most known names (Michel Kilo and Aref Dalile) were released this year.

Syria’s wise regional policies are perhaps the reason why the region did not totally collapse after the Iraq war … there is nothing to criticize there.

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July 22nd, 2009, 6:59 pm

 

64. Shai said:

Akbar,

I totally support Alex in his comment above. I’ve seen many hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand blogs in the past decade, and none are like Syria Comment. It is not only the level of the commentators, and the discussions that take place here each and every day, but indeed the fact that we have been welcomed here by none other than… our “enemy”. Believe me, if 50.1% of Israelis knew SC, there would be peace tomorrow morning. These are “propagandists”? Joshua and Alex have allowed every kind of Israeli and Israel-supporter to voice their opinion, sometimes 10 and 20 times a day.

Alex pointed out a few days ago that you never seem to exhibit even the slightest criticism towards Israel, and that your message is always the same. In that sense, you are an AIPAC-like “robot”. Programmed to support Israel no matter what, and always running the same script. And STILL the moderators allow you to voice your mantras. A real propagandist would neither allow opposing voices to be heard, nor anything deemed counter-propaganda.

Personally, I do take issue with the occasional impolite mannerism practiced by a few Israelis and Israel-supporters in this forum. If there’s something we most definitely lack, and can certainly learn much from the Arabs, it is politeness and hospitality.

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July 22nd, 2009, 7:58 pm

 

65. Akbar Palace said:

Personally, I do take issue with the occasional impolite mannerism practiced by a few Israelis and Israel-supporters in this forum. If there’s something we most definitely lack, and can certainly learn much from the Arabs, it is politeness and hospitality.

Shai,

It would be great if Israeli liberals were as polite and hospitable to Israelis as they are to Arab supporters of terrorist organizations.

That being said, from the little time I’ve been with Arabs, I agree with you. I found Arab hospitality to be something we all can learn from including Israelis and especially, Israeli liberals;)

Plus, I think there is a lot the Arabs can learn from Israelis. Do you agree Shai?

And please, don’t bore me about “robots” and my “one-tracked” support for Israel, and my “propaganda”. I am a mirror image of Professor Josh, Alex, and the tonnes of pro-Syrian articles they post “sometimes 10 and 20 times a day”.

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July 23rd, 2009, 12:24 pm

 

66. Shai said:

Akbar,

I know the “robot” thing bores you. Maybe there’s a reason it bores you. No, I don’t think Arabs can learn anything from Jews – that’s the answer you wanted to hear, no? Of course I think Arabs can learn from us, and we can learn much from them. It’s easier to do, if we truly view one another as equals, though. It’s more difficult, when one side feels and acts superior to the other.

“It would be great if Israeli liberals were as polite and hospitable to Israelis as they are to Arab supporters of terrorist organizations.”

Do you really think I’m being impolite or inhospitable to Israelis? I don’t think so. By the way, since you’ve convinced yourself that I just love supporters of terrorism, how would you explain that? Try to explain this without using Neocon phraseology such as “self-hating”, etc.

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July 23rd, 2009, 6:46 pm

 

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