Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Byron DeLear is going to Israel as NGO for peace

Byron DeLear to Promote Conflict Resolution in Upcoming Trip to Israel

January 6, 2009 St. Louis, Mo. -- Tel Aviv, Israel. As the crisis in the Middle East escalates, all eyes are on Israel and Gaza. NGO representative Byron DeLear will be working with groups in the region focused on the Israeli / Palestinian conflict in an effort to calm the current crisis. The former Missouri Democratic US House candidate will travel to Israel on January 9th through February 12, 2009.

In a recent interview with an ABC News affiliate, DeLear echoed the frustrations of many who are witness to the seemingly intractable conflict, "They talk about how a two state solution is inevitable, but yet no real progress is being made to help establish that two state solution."

Mr. DeLear is also slated to consult the Israeli progressive political party Brit Olam in the approaching national election to be held on February 10, 2009. Negotiations are underway for a coalition of smaller parties and activists representing a broad spectrum of issues to come together and join forces with Brit Olam.

A common criticism of the Israeli political system is that with so many parties (more than 25) the electoral landscape is often confusing and fractured. One contribution Brit Olam's proposed coalition will provide will be to pull disparate social and political ideas under one umbrella. Consequently, this proposed coalition will help unite Israelis, both Jewish and Arab, and simplify what is often seen as an overly complex set of choices for voters to choose from.

Since its inception, Brit Olam has endeavored to bring people and diverse perspectives together; and in this, will serve as a successful vehicle exemplifying unity through diversity.


In 2004, Byron DeLear co-founded a non-profit organization (Global Peace Solution) with Ofer Lifschitz with the goal of promoting conflict resolution in the Middle East, sponsoring a delegation to Israel and collaborated with several NGOs in the region.

Since then, DeLear has entered the US political fray and has ran for the US House in 2006 and 2008 and has been interviewed by many nationally syndicated programs. He has delivered key note addresses and presented at several international events such as the World Peace Forum held in Vancouver, BC in 2006 and the National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project conference held at Rice University in 2007.

Ofer Lifschitz (Chairman Brit Olam) established the progressive political party Brit Olam and ran in the March 2006 election for the Israeli parliament (Knesset). While visiting N. Carolina, DeLear was interviewed by ABC News affiliate regarding the recent conflict in Gaza.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Israel continues its campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza, vowing no ceasefire until the rocket barrage from Gaza stops. 64 Palestinian civilians have been killed since the ground assault began. Here in Wilmington, people with international ties are feeling guilty and helpless about the ongoing conflict. The fighting continues over 17 miles of land that two opposing groups say spiritually belongs to them, the Gaza Strip.

"When you look at the orthodox religious perspectives on either side, they are going to sight a religious divine right to this land," said former House candidate, Byron DeLear.

Palestinian business owner, Musa Agil said, "Well the Palestinian god did not say, ‘well this land belongs to the Jews or to the Israelis’." Musa Agil is originally from the Palestinian territory of West Bank. Agil said the land belongs to Palestine. He now lives here in Wilmington with his wife and children, and owns three businesses.

While Agil agrees with the fundamentals of the Palestinian government, he advocates a peaceful resolution to the fighting that's been waged in Gaza for more than a week, killing hundreds.

He said the only way to stop the fighting in the Middle East is to learn how to share. "We are encouraging the Israelis to change the map in the Middle East by wiping out so many innocent Palestinians in Gaza."

"They talk about how a two state solution is inevitable, but yet no real progress is being made to help establish that two state solution," said DeLear. Byron DeLear is a Democrat who ran for the House of Representatives twice.

He is off to Israel next week to help non-profit American organizations there, to help facilitate peace. For both men, sitting back on the American sidelines and simply watching the crisis play out is not what they want to be doing.

"Here we have so many bounties, and security, and these poor Palestinian people don't have anything, and they are being bombarded from the air, the sea, and the land," Agil said. "Israeli citizens as well as Palestinian citizens desperately want an acceptable solution so they can have something as simply as safety," added DeLear.

DeLear is headed to Israel with high hopes, and while he and Agil are on opposing sides of the conflict, they both agree a solution to solving a problem that's existed for thousands of years, won't happen overnight.

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