Home Page Hebrew Arabic

About Us
What's New?
Personal Stories
Activities
Opinions
Join our newsletter

Cartooning in Conflict
Chicago Nov. 4-6

Opinions
07/03/2010

The Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Annual meeting

Jona Bargur

For the first time, the Palestinian-Israli Peace NGO held its first Bilateral Annual Meeting in Jericho, with the presence of all 100 organizations whom are members, experts in different fields and diplomatic delegates of the area.

24-25 January 2010, Inter-Continental, Jericho

 

Short Summary / Report:

 

Saman Khoury Palestinian Chairman of the PIPN in his opening remarks expressed the aspirations and expectations of the Palestinian people in the future: Living in prosperity & dignity in a free state.  The mutual / shared Forum requires a more active exposure that is louder/ boisterous.

 

Ron Pundak Israeli Chairman of the PIPN Surveyed in his opening remarks the chances of reaching reconciliation amongst the two nations and even phrased his remarks in terms belonging to us.

 

Ron is relying on surveys, that are meant to be presented later, indicating that:

73% of the Palestinians support the peace process.

74% of those do not believe that peace is possible.

67% of the Israeli public believes in the peace process.

67% do not believe that peace is possible.

 

Two conclusions:  On each side it is believed that the other side is to blame

On each side there are majorities that are Peace Seekers.

What are the causes of difficulties?

A.    The Americans are not doing enough

B.    The Israeli government is not interested.

C.    The Palestinian authority is situated like a vice-grip of the Hamas.

 

With in the last few days (after the remarks made by Yossi Beilin with respect to Netanyahu), there is a place to reconsider:  if it is true that Netanyahu is ready to promote peace, it is mandatory to start negotiations and the Palestinians must show more flexibility, at least in the conditioning of two to three months, to examine the truth worthiness of the Israeli intentions and break the unity of the Israeli right side.  Granting this background, the peace organizations forum plays a tremendous role.

 

 

Christian Berger European Commission Representative in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

The ability to work in the Middle East entails specializing in Quantum physics which three parallel universes exist:

 

 

The first Universe belongs to the diplomats, to the negotiations managers and politicians and two sub universes exist Gaza and Ramala and the conflict between them.  What is clear is that weakening one sub universe does not help.

The Second Universe Are the aid providers especially in the humanitarian aid and institution Building.

Currently a change is taking place Said Faid's Program for institution recovery, however the problems are:

How much longer the international communities will will be willing to continue to support?

How is it possible to carry out this plan when the Palestinians are still under occupation?

Is there a democratic backup to this program?  How is it possible to balance between security and human rights?

The Third Universe Is the ground reality:

In Gaza, Over one million people are leaving in a place that is impossible and can not leave the trip.

In the West bank most people do not believe anymore in the possibility of a solution, 60% in area B and C held by Israel.

On the contrary there is an economic improvement, security improvement, do to the Americans, Palestinians and the cooperation between the Israelis and Palestinians, in parallel a process of uneasiness is developing which means that a long period of peace and quiet is not possible.

 

Where does the European Union stand with this reality?

The European Union sees the solution of two states as the only solution, proper conflict, is against the settlements, against destruction of structures in Jerusalem and aid to Gaza.  Likewise the civilians and peace organizations of both nations, inasmuch they, likely, have the ability to maneuver within the field of Quantum physics of the region.

 

***

 

Analysis of the opinions of the Israeli and Palestinian public, in the light of polls that had been commissioned by the forum.

 

 

Dalia Sheindlin an independent researcher:

Findings of selected questions:

 

Do peace and human rights organizations

deepen the social slits in Israel?

Yes

No

 

63%

30%

 

 

Do the organizations

strengthen or weaken the democracy in Israel?

Strengthen

Weaken

 

46%

48%

 

 

What is the attitude towards the settlements

In favor

Against

 

40%

49%

 

 

What do the peace organizations do

Encourage peace

Reject peace

 

38%

50%

 

 

Do the organizations

Improve the perception of Israel in the world?

Strengthen

Do not have an effect

Damage

 

46%

19%

44%

 

 

Is there a Palestinian peace encampment?

Exists

Minor

None

 

6%

32%

57%

 

 

Conclusions:  30%-50% are open to strategic messages.

The settlements are causing damages to the impression of the democracy.

The peace organizations have a role - to reveal the Palestinian activity and direct the public sensations.

 

There is a tendency to continue with these surveys with the initiation of the Forum but to receive questions that interest different organizations in a particular manner.  Questions may be asked in Omnibus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elisa Zananere Researcher:

Survey amongst the Palestinian public:

Questions:

 

 

Road Map

Initiation

of Aylon Nusyeva

Sharons plan for  one sided

detachment

Geneva Initiation

Peace initiation of Arab Nations

Full knowledge

4.7

0.7

5.9

8.6

13.2

Reasonable knowledge

24.8

4.6

16.8

22.2

22.3

Little knowledge

57.3

19.3

42.1

49.5

49,6

None

13.2

75.3

35.2

19.7

14.0

 

 

Do you believe that a Palestinian state along Israel is still possible?

Yes

No

Dont know

 

41.6%

54.8%

3.6%

 

 

 

How do you

categorize yourself?

Supporter of the peace process

Against the process

Not against yet not in favor

Do not have an opinion / idea

 

73.8%

18.7%

6.7%

0.8%

 

 

How do you appreciate the activities of peace organizations?

Very good

Good

Average

Bad

Very Bad

No opinion

 

16.9

47.4

10.6

16.6

4.1

4.4

 

 

 

 

Additional questions included in the survey were:

Who is delaying the peace process?

What are your expectations from the peace process and do you think it will continue during 2010?

Regarding the continued negotiations with respect to Jerusalem:  refugees, borders and settlements, do you think there is a possibility of reaching a solution?

 

Do you think the Palestinian authority is serious when it calls for the renewal of the peace process negotiations?

Yes

No

No opinion/ Dont know

Palestine

80.3%

15.1%

4.7%

Israel

5.8%

72.7%

5.8%

 

 

Do you support the renewal of negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel?

Supporter

Oppose

No opinion

 

58.9

37.8

3.3

 

Did you participate in any peace activity?

No

Yes

 

85%

15%

 

 

Do you agree to the existence of public organizations within the Palestinian Authority that enhance peace?

Very Agreeable

Agreeable

Do not Agree

Very much so do not agree

No opinion

 

29.0%

53.8%

10.8%

6.1%

0.4%

 

***

 

Itzhak Frankental The Fund for reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace

The peace a personal survey of status of encampment

There is a need to operate within the discipline of education in order to bring out the message of nonviolence, attribute for the other.

The Palestinians today doubt appeasement and peace as they are being occupied.

Problems are exposed in the realm of attitude towards the other; tolerance and appeasement process, when the general tendency is against amongst Israelis.

 

The Fund will support the organizations active in education, a large part will be directed to mass advertisement and communication (forecast of about 100 million dollars dedicated).

 

 

Effir Yaar: The Evans Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation

 

Prof. Effi Yaar began his talk with a provocative comment which angered Dr. Gershon Baskin. The comment: The peace industry is thriving; the peace process is in retreat.

The question is why. Possible answers:

  • The activities at the people-to-people level have failed.
  • There is no spillover effect, because:

The NGO's set themselves unrealistic goals.

Selectivity effect -

The peace organizations chose to preach to the converted.

The Israeli peace organizations aren't sensitive enough to the standpoints and opinions of the Israeli public.

 

The Israeli public is in a process of sharp polarization on the one hand -- the gap between Left and Right is constantly growing -- and of integration on the other hand -- today's Right is different from the historic Right --, adopting standpoints that were "inadmissible" a decade or two ago.

Nonetheless, there is a ray of hope -- the majority of Israelis are critical towards the settlements.

 

The mission: take action and change the public opinion.

 

***

The second part of the first day was consecrated to presentations of the different organizations. We had prepared written material, reports, posters and pictures and we showed the short movie: "Behind the intentions" (directed by Ayelet Bargur)

 

***

 

The second day began with my appeal to the plenum to take action for the liberation of Muhaned Abu Awwad. My call received massive support and a letter to the Defense minister was formulated, which was signed by all the representatives of the Israeli organizations at the end of the meeting.

At the end of the first part of the second day, I tried to lighten up a bit the heavy atmosphere and the seriousness that reigned and read to the participants the following words:

 

 

On my visit to Ireland a few years ago, I stumbled on this motto (which is now hanging on our wall in a place of honor)

 

 

AN IRISHMANS PHILOSOPHY

There are only two things to worry about
Either you are well or you are sick

If you are well
Then there is nothing to worry about

But if you are sick
There are only two things to worry about

Either you will get well
Or you will die

If you get well
There is nothing to worry about

But if you die
There are only two things to worry about

Either you will go to heaven or to hell
If you go to heaven there is nothing to worry about

But if you go to hell
Youll be so dam so busy shaking hands with friends
You wont have time to worry

Why worry

 

 

I wrote the following parallel association on that bases:

A "PEACENIC" (ISRAELI and PALESTINIAN) PHILOSOPHY

There are only two things to worry about
Either there will be War
Or there will be Peace

If there will be Peace
Then there is nothing to worry about

But if there will be War
There are only two things to worry about

Either you will win
Or you will loose

If you will win
There is nothing to worry about

But if you loose
There are only two things to worry about

Either you will live
Or you will die

If you will die
There is nothing to worry about, ANYMORE

But if you will live
There are AGAIN two things to worry about

Either there will be War
Or there will be Peace

If there will be Peace
Then there is nothing to worry about

But if there will be War
Youll never stop worrying
STOP THE WAR! MAKE PEACE! 


***

 

The last part of the conference was dedicated to comities discussions.

 

Conclusion:

It is agreed that the success of the conference lays in its existence.

 

There were 100 representatives from 60-70 Palestinian and Israeli organizations and that in itself constitutes reason enough to hold additional meetings such as these.  The direct meeting is an impressive and refreshing experience.

 

Intercontinental Hotel (Casino) the organization was exemplary, the atmosphere was good and food was excellent.

The Palestinian side still lacks young participants, and women on both sides.

The organization of a mutual Forum brought great consensus amongst both sides, a condition that was not held from the beginning.

 

Jona Bargur

 

 

Translation: Vered Ben David, Osharat Cohen 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Replies

 
Latest Opinions