Common Grounds

Full Disclosure, My True Colors

March 22, 2016

Abraham A. van Kempen, Editor


It gives me much pleasure to introduce YOU to our first newsletter. YOU are part of a cadre of people around the world connected to the Israelis and the Palestinians, their quest to peacefully coexist, sooner than later. YOU could be the director or a representative or a member of one of 1,000+ Israeli-Palestinian organizations. YOU could be one of all living Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. YOU could be a known blogger or columnist or newspaper editor or reporter. Some of YOU are television and radio personalities. YOU are also academicians, renowned authors and intellectuals. And over 600 of YOU are members of the diplomatic corps, primarily in New York and Geneva but also in every major capital in the world. And just about all of YOU are peace activists. I feel honored yet humbled being in YOUR Company. YOU are part – a critical path – of our start.

Almost every respondent to my first e-mail asks me the same questions: ‘Where do you stand … what do you think of this … what do you think of that … etc.’? My consistent reaction has been: “it’s irrelevant what I think … it doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t matter … I’m not asking you to endorse my position on anything … what matters most is that you shout your own ideas and desires from the mountain top … write letters, sign or start your own petitions and use your pen as your sword. Shake the European leadership loose to take on their responsibility to help resolve a conflict they’ve created in the first place.”


Since everyone asks me to show my true colors, I will, despite my wish to remain neutral and apolitical but not inhuman. I’m human. I think a lot. For starters, I want Europe to apologize to the people of Israel and to the people of Palestine. Being ‘more’ European than most Europeans (British and Dutch), let me be among the first to say: I am sorry what we’ve done to the Jews; I am sorry what we’ve done to the Palestinians. I speak volumes, in silence, from the heart. To be clear, we Europeans may only propose, not impose, catalytic change to the people of Israel and to the people of Palestine. What matters most is what the people in the Region want.


Second, I propose that Europe measures the State of Palestine and the State of Israel according to one standard with fairness and equitability. One is not more or less than the other.


Third, I propose that Europe recognizes Israel and Palestine and treats both equally as de facto NATO ‘affiliates’ so that neither may ever attack, invade, and occupy the other. Frankly, Israel is, in practice, affiliated to Europe and to the United States as a de-facto NATO ‘entity’. Iran will never officially attack Israel, despite the rhetoric and spin and fears perpetrated by and from all sides. Iran fears NATO, not Israel. Israel fears only Palestine, paradoxically the true and only partner to carve out a better future for generations to come on both sides.


Fourth, I propose borderless boundaries or virtual borders, to facilitate freedom of movement and the right of passage for EVERYONE. This is nothing new.  The open borders between the BENELUX countries – Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg – are the forerunners of the open borders in the European Union. Is Europe a single federation or a union of individual nations? Both! Am I proposing a one-state solution or a two-state solution? Depending on the eye of the beholder, it could be either or both. Read my petition ‘Living Apart Together’.


Fifth, I propose that the warring parties compensate the other for losses incurred because no one can get something for nothing. Invoke Europe to finance an EU-type Marshall Plan. We’ll use the same playbook used by the United States after World War II when the Americans didn’t have a dime to spare. They monetized the Marshall Plan with a computer entry, now referred to as Quantitative Easing. We’ll flush the region with cash for micro and macro infrastructural development. Europe will benefit too as the exclusive supplier of materials. That’s how Europe rescued the United States out of its economic slump that started in the mid 1920’s. Since the late 1940’s through the 1950’s we Europeans bought just about everything from the Americans. And today, we’re still the largest investors in the United States.


Sixth, I want justice because no one can get away with murder. Should we hang Netanyahu like Sadam? After all what Sadam did to the Kurds, Netanyahu did to the Palestinians.


Seventh, I could live with an Act of Reconciliation similar to the one in South Africa under the tenets ‘live, let live’ rather than ‘kill, get killed’; and, ‘forgive in order to forget’, a fundamental economic principle and a precious lesson in life.


Eighth, I propose that the people in the Region vote to demilitarize the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian Defense Forces as a condition to enable Europe to guarantee security for all Israelis and all Palestinians with heavily equipped NATO troops wearing white helmets. The IDF and the Palestinian defense forces have, from the beginning, been a destabilizing factor. Their aims, often represented as acts of Holy Goodness, purportedly with the best of intentions, have turned out to be counterproductive for the greater good of the Region and the world. Democratically decreed regime changes may be in order.


So in the coming months, I’ll continue to challenge the Israelis and the Palestinians to converge toward a series of catalytic changes. Ultimately it’s their choice. The alternative is a path toward a cataclysmic clash and more grief.  The timing for Europe to take charge in brokering a sustainable peace cannot be more opportune. We need stability in the Region. If peace is possible there, it is possible everywhere.


With enough pressure, Europe will act. But it will take an Act of God, figuratively speaking, to invoke Europe to recognize the State of Palestine and the State of Israel as de facto NATO affiliates. This ‘Act of God’ is manifested in our solidarity, the collective thrust in us. You, together with millions more, can share your power with the most powerful. The Tool to Move Nations is now at your fingertips.


Is springtime on the horizon? Will millions of like-minded and unlike-minded people from around the world deploy their pens to achieve what matters most, to upstage each achievement with the next? Please click here for additional insight as to how the Israelis and the Palestinians can bridge their differences and why Europe will play the key role and not the United States.


Thank you for your precious time.


With every good wish to you, I remain,




 Abraham A. van Kempen



Building the Bridge Foundation

The Hague, The Netherlands


P.S. Please circulate our first newsletter to everyone in your sphere of influence.




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