People Power for PeacePosted: 05/25/2012
[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]June 5, 2012 marks the 45th anniversary of the start of the Six-Day War. One of us experienced the war in Jerusalem at the age of 11, and the other in Beirut at age 4, yet it haunts us to this day. The war led to the ongoing Israeli military occupation that has come to define the conflict. It has lessened neither the fears of the triumphant Israelis, nor those of the defeated Arabs; the mindset of confrontation that produced the war still haunts the region.
Despite the military might and economic prowess of their state, Jewish Israelis feel insecure and hesitant to trust the Arab side. They remain traumatized by a tragic history. For some, clinging on to the occupation is seen as a security necessity. For others, it is the fear of losing land that they consider a divine or historical birthright.
The Palestinians, given their historic dispossession and suffering in exile or under Israeli occupation, feel increasingly disempowered and disillusioned, and are rapidly losing hope that a two-state solution will ever be achieved. Given its immoral and indefensible system, the occupation is wrecking their livelihood and lives, and condemns them to live without basic human and national rights.
The State of Palestine remains an unfulfilled promise and seems a distant reality. Peace negotiations, United Nations resolutions, and accords have reached a seemingly impossible impasse. Israeli and Palestinian politicians are not listening to each other. Years of conflict and narratives of struggle and pain mean both national communities are caught up in their own visions and divisions.
A year has passed since Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wrote an op-ed in The New York Times about "The Long Overdue Palestinian State." At the same time, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke, on May 19, 2011, about the need to base future negotiations on the pre-June 5, 1967 lines...READ MORE