From Informed Comment
Elhanan Guest Editorial: Another Way for Israel
Another Way for Israel
Combatants for Peace
Via The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
This is the message we want to bring to the American Jewish community: Let us try another way. In the eyes of many, the key to this conflict lies in the US. Your support is invaluable just as the lack of it is disastrous. Israel is now refusing to negotiate with Syria, the reason being that Washington wants it so. My question is: What do you want?
For many people in Israel this bleak picture serves to prove that indeed there is no partner and that the formula of land for peace does not work. These attitudes are supported by the political system both in Israel and internationally, and are frequently promoted by the media as undisputable truths. Both societies, the Palestinian and the Israeli, seem to be locking themselves in a violent nationalistic mindset where the needs of the other simply do not exist.
How should one deal with such a situation? The simplest answer would be to play along. The other answer is to confront these false notions, to insist on telling truth to power, to work and expose the contradictions that exist in any black-and-white vision of reality.
Our organization, Combatants for Peace, is trying to do just that. Through our dialogue group, where Israeli and Palestinian former combatants meet regularly, we try to touch the hearts and minds of both societies. We try to help our communities become more aware of the reality of the other side, so that nobody can say “I didn’t know.” We want Israelis to comprehend the full scale of the oppression inherent to the Israeli occupation, and we want the Palestinians to know that behind the occupation there are humans, who are also suffering. We want both sides to understand the price of violence. Our message is simple: Peace is possible. The only way to reach peace is through dialogue and negotiations, and the only solution is a two state solution — an end the occupation, in keeping with UN resolutions.
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