So tomorrow is almost here. The big day when the Palestinians will make their bid for statehood to be recognised by the UN General Assembly and Security Council. The Israeli newspapers are full of the machinations that are going on, seemingly endlessly, behind the scenes. With Bibi, Peres and Ron Prosor each doing their bit to persuade, convince and soothe a whole range of foreign dignitaries not to support the Palestinian bid. In his article in Ha'Aretz today, Adnan Primor weighs up the moral decision Israel is asking the European nations to make against the moral decision the Palestinians are pinning their hopes upon. Over at Ynet, Bibi is doing his best to stir up fear and distrust, although as he is talking to Likud it seems like he is preaching to the converted on this one.
Tomorrow is also the UN International Day of Peace. This event "Provides an opportunity for individuals, organisations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date" - and as such I think would provide the perfect, ideal opportunity for Israel to make the ultimate move towards peace in the region: by recognising the Palestinian right to self-determination and voting in favour of the statehood bid.
*sigh* I should wake up from my dream now...
So in honour of the Day of Peace that tomorrow hopefully will be, I would like to share two things with you.
Firstly, a lovely lady I have befriended on Facebook, Zsuzsi Klara Schindler. She has published a note on her page which sincerely and eloquently asks for a peaceful response to whatever happens at the UN. I really couldn't have put it better myself so I am pleased that she has agreed to let me reproduce her thoughts here on my blog:
Oh my dear friends; tomorrow begins the week when things will change the situation here and no one knows really knows what is going to change from zero to much; I have one wish to all my Jewish Israeli, Christian and Muslim Israeli and Palestinian friends; please write and tell all the people you know to do all we all can to avoid violence even when a crazy terrorist on either side might want to be the match to put the whole area on fire. Please let us ignore them and let us not give them the power to decide whats going on here, its so easy to ruin all and being at war, again, as usual. Please let us show the world that we can handle these changes like grown ups, with confidence,trust and patience. Thank you all my beloved friends.Salam, Shalom, peace.
Zsuzsi is a peace worker who has plenty of experience in trying (and succeeding!) in bringing Jewish and Arab Israelis together. She knows that it is possible to see the human in people beyond the labels we assign to each other and the fear, distrust and even hatred this can engender. The message of taking back the peace process from those who would use violence has more value than I can put into words. She did this for me and I can only say thank you.
Unfortunately I cannot embed the video but I couldn't recommend anything more than for you to take 20 minutes out of your day to watch this astounding documentary - Settlers for Peace - about settlers and Palestinians working together to further mutual understanding, trust and coexistence. It's amazing. It took my breath away - not only at how these people are truly dealing with the issues that face them in order to be able to leave a better future for their children but just at how brave these people are. On the most basic level of visiting each other in their homes (although the settlers are unable to invite their Palestinian friends to their homes because of the "fear" of their neighbours) I have nothing but admiration for them. And I NEVER thought I would write that about settlers!
|co-existence IS possible|
I for one hope that the UN General Assembly passes the resolution that the PA submits tomorrow (taking it as read that the USA will use its veto). It seems as though the majority of international representatives would support the Palestinian bid, even if it fails at the Security Council. Israel's assertion that taking a unilateral step like this shows that the PA isn't a true partner for peace - nonetheless she continues to unilaterally develop the settlements. Israel has to wake up and realise that she cannot stall on the peace process for ever - and if she wants a true partner for peace then it should be as an equal.