To promote peace… in the middle east
This short article is an attempt to offer a different view on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people.
I know that a lot has been written (and said) about the conflict in a way that focused on the question "whose fault is it? (or who started it…)", but I’m not going to deal with that question here at all. The reason for that is that I think it’s better to improve the present and the future rather than to deal only with the past.
In addition, many can tell the history of the conflict and show its develpoment and I’m not going to deal with that either. For those who want to learn more about the conflict, I strongly recommend to read "Manual For a Wounded Dove" by Yossi Beilin and "A Place Among The Nations" by Benjamin Netanyahu". However, because no one have the monopoly on wisdom, I don’t think that their opinion has more validity than mine or yours.
In order to deal with the conflict, we need to recognize all the aspects of it.
I think that in addition to the fear and lack of trust between the parties, the conflict also has economical, social, religious and cultural aspects, to name just a few. However, because most of the discourse revolves around the borders and security issues, I’ll focus mainly on them.
I think that along the years, the dynamic of the conflict has been shifting between occupation of territories as a respond to terror (or fear from it) and returning territories as respond to cease-fire (or a chance for that). This dynamic can somtimes lead to the feeling of never-ending war, each side views the entire population of the other as the enemy and every event as a direct danger to its lives.
I want to offer a different point of view.
I think that both sides are starting to realize that the other is here to stay.
This realization (and its acceptance) could lead to compromise about the borderlines and reduce the violence on both sides. A true peace can come only after all sides stop looking for revenge. However, it’s clear to me that it is almost impossible to deal with all the civic issues (that are the goals of the struggle) when there are suicide bombers, fights, or general closures and other sanctions.
I think that there is a real base for negotiation and that it’s time to deal with all the issues on dispute (security and borders, Jerusalem, holy places, refugees, settlement, trustfunds for victims on both sides, etc.) to begin a real dialog for peace.
In order to do so, I want to suggest to make a separation between the process of cease fire and the process of peace. My approach can be summarized into two stages: first stage "territories for cease fire" and second stage "peace for peace". It’s important to emphasize that I’m not trying to give any timetable or schedule from one step to the other, although I hope it’ll be as soon as possible. It’s also important for me to emphasize that I’m against the assumption that talking about some of the issues (and not all) will solve all the problems by itself. That is the reason I think we should deal with all of the problems.
I know that raising all the questions would be hard and difficult, mainly because it will show all the lies that were told (on both sides) along the years and it will force each side to deal with questions that untill now have been avoided from.
In my opinion, in the end it all comes down to people and societies. That is the reason I think and believe that we can get together (after all the bloodshed and misery on both side) and built the foundations for a real and lasting peace.
This can happen only if all sides decide that enough people had died and suffered and that it’s better to focus on living.
If we really want to achieve peace we need to give it a real chance.
I think and believe that in both sides people prefer to live good than die and that we all want to have a better lives, for ourselves as well as for generations to come.
Thank you for reading, Asaf.