I attended '' Peace Education Workshop " this weekend in Beit Jalla. The workshop started when Gershon Baskin asked a big question: How to end occupation and help make peace?. Gershon told the participants to think about practical ideas and projects as the workshop aimed to move from words to actions. Sadly, the workshop ended and the big question still needs to be answered. So I introduce the same question to let peacemakers in this website think and discuss it.

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so much hate Basil so much hate . how do want to have peace with Israelis ?.
maybe write another ten times south Africa and the peace will come .
the solution for Israel will not be like south Africa the world is in consensus about a two state solution . that means that we need a Palestinian state at least as a first stage next to Israel .
that means that we need a Palestinian united Gov.
I agree with you, Basil, that a pressure is needed. That is how it had been worked with others, as you have suggested.

But, it is not good enough, there is an urgent need for an assimilation of the peace idea and it's meaning in the people's heart and mind. People are afraid of the idea of peace, out of ignorance and lack of trust, out of the wrong education about the other side, out of indifference which is a result of all the above.

Waleed, the workshop indeed had ended with the "big question" un-answered, but I feel after every time I participated the workshop wiser, and more hopeful, and with much stronger belief peace is going to be happened. Just, it will take more time, dear time, and we must hope - not too long time.

Thank you for posting this here - I think this is the right place for a brainstorming.
Israel can not withdraw form the west bank with out agreement. ending the occupation will have to be in agreement BTW the Palestinian and the "world", mostly US. declaration of independence of Palestine. and then with pressure from the world it could work.
just pressuring Israel with out giving a solution will lead us to war
"Israel can not withdraw form the west bank with out agreement."

++++ Yes it can, but doing so, nothing has been solved.

"ending the occupation will have to be in agreement BTW the Palestinian and the "world","

++++ Noooo, it has to be agreement between Israel and palestinians, after that will world follow.

" mostly US. declaration of independence of Palestine."

++++ Mostly UN general assembly declaration.
Mika at the moment there is no united Palestinians gov, and fatah is against direct talks with us, so how are we going to have an agreement between Israel and Palestine? we need a broker in the middle .
other then that I agree with you
No need to be "united government". If hamas is in government, Israel would say most likely that dont talk with those guys anyway. And fatah, well, we know what is fatah stance. Settlements freeze, total. And because no freeze, no direct talks.

And indeed, broker is needed, but someone else than US. First, they are not honest, and they cant be broker in this Israel/palestine situation today.

We need USA in negotiation table, but when it is there, they cant be objective to any direction. Dilemma really. If US starts to but some pressure to Israel, Israel lobby pulls brakes in domestic field in USA, and thats the end of that. And pressure needs to put to both sides, but whose gonna be able to do so ? Do we need a new player in the field, who can work in similar terms with both sides.
Mika but you see again I partly agree.
if there is a deferent gov in Gaza and the west bank then it is a problem.

other then the US and Maybe Germany I doubt that is another third party that is powerful enough and will be fair to Israel , so it has to be the US .

now there is a settlement freeze it maybe not 100% but every include the Palestinians knows that its an impossible demand
"if there is a deferent gov in Gaza and the west bank then it is a problem."

++++ Only problem which i see really is how someone from outside doesnt recognize completely democratic election results in 2006. And thats the problem. When was hamas given really opportunity what election won give to them.

Fair to Israel ? Fair to both. And pressure to both. And US cant do that job.

Settlement freeze 100% impossible ? No at all. We all know that it will end anyway.

Or we must then do conclusion that Israel (government ), is not interested of peace at all. But settlement enterprise they are. So, conflict continues on and on.
mika I am fine with what ever gov the Palestinians wants to have as long as both the people in the west bank and Gaza agree on it. and this gov and willing to make peace with Israel .

++ I am saying fair to Israel BC if its not the US or again maybe Germany it will not be a gov that is fair to Israel. so it will not be fair to both. the US is the only one that is fair to both and has enough influence in the region to promote peace, .

100% settlement freeze in a place with living people are impossible unless you want to see a war in Israel or unless again Israel is withdrawing from the west bank in a one sided move
Norway ? Did splendid job in Oslo negotiations.

US "has enough influence in the region to promote peace"....LOL

Yeah, they really LOVE USA in the middle east. And promoted they have, & i cant really count peace to be one of those things that US has promoted in the region.

"100% settlement freeze in a place with living people are impossible"

++++ Well, i dont know this field in ME and Israel so well, but where i live there are some city/county etc limitations of construction + coordination, where and how to construct buildings. You know yourself that its just excuse.

"unless you want to see a war in Israel"

++++ We are mostly talking of situation in OPT. Which includes east-Jerusalem. And settlers are ready to start war in Israel ? Good luck with that, now we know who are running Israel after all. So, we can then forget that peace between Israel and palestine.

After few years we might come to visit and see if anybody is still alive.

"or unless again Israel is withdrawing from the west bank in a one sided move"

++++ Nope, and doesnt belong to this issue.
Mika I will not argue with you first BC I do support 100% settlement freeze.

and I do what to see a peace talk Btw Israel and what sever gov the Palestinians wants.

and I agree with you on most things, at the moment it seems far away
I wrote an article for Common Ground about two months ago and the thesis was that the international community needs to work with Israelis and Palestinians alike to begin a national education program in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza too. The program will prepare both publics for peace and to better understand an "other," through dialogue based on what has worked well in Israel/Palestine and internationally. As people come in contact with each other the process will inform and encourage additional engagement by politicians on all sides building interest and the likelyhood of reaching a lasting peace agreement.



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