Thursday, January 09, 2014

  • Thursday, January 09, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
There has been a bizarre private initiative to have ordinary Arabs and Israelis get together and see if they could agree to a peace plan.

From a press release:
The Israeli and Palestinian leaderships apparently do not have a working strategy to cope with their conflict. So, the time has come for the two peoples to take matters into their own hands!

On January 9-10, 2014 an Israeli delegation, a Palestinian delegation and an audience will negotiate solutions to the conflict. The Congress will have a historic first being held in Ramallah and Jerusalem. Each delegation will include 20 people from all walks of life: Israeli generals, Palestinian commanders, Israeli settlers, Palestinian ex-prisoners, academics, business people, and students; reflecting the entire political spectrum.

The congress is co-chaired by Dr. Sapir Handelman – an Israeli who received the Peter Becker Award in Peace & Conflict Studies; and Mr. Ibrahim Enbawi – a prominent Palestinian leader in East Jerusalem. The chairmen have five sessions to lead the public assembly to reach peace agreements.

This historical event is an important step towards the establishment of a major Israeli-Palestinian Public Negotiating Congress with political power. The congress is designed to involve the people in the peacemaking efforts and motivate the leaderships to conclude agreements.
So how did the meeting in Ramallah go today?

Palestinians threw rocks Thursday at a West Bank hotel, shattering windows and breaking up a meeting of Israeli and Palestinian peace activists.

The conference was cut short and three dozen Israeli participants were rushed out the back door, put on Palestinian police buses and driven to safety, organizers said.

About 35 Israelis and 50 Palestinians participated in Thursday's gathering, the first the group has held in the West Bank, said Palestinian organizer Ibrahim Enbawi.

After word of the gathering got out, about 30 protesters showed up outside the hotel. Protesters tried to enter the hotel, but found the doors locked, and then began throwing stones that shattered several windows and glass doors.
But did the Israelis learn anything from this episode? Apparently not:
Israeli participant Rami Cohen, a former air force pilot, said he felt uncomfortable after the stone-throwing, but expressed understanding for the protesters.

"There is more anger here than in Israel because the Palestinians suffer more than us," said Cohen, 56, who works for a high tech company in Tel Aviv. "One day, I hope it will be safe for us here in Ramallah as it is safe for us in Tel Aviv."
Come on, Rami - just try again tomorrow. And the day after that, and the day after that.  Eventually, either the protesters will understand you as much as you understand them, or you'll be lynched and murdered. But if you are killed, it would be a comfort knowing that you found your death eminently understandable.

(h/t Yenta P)

UPDATE: Come to think of it, is there any substantive difference between these Arabs throwing rocks to get rid of Israelis and the BDSers who use violence, threats and intimidation to get rid of Israelis from speaking or performing overseas?

This is a rare BDS victory! I wonder if they will write this up as a milestone.

UPDATE 2: In the comments, sshender describes his idea of how these wonderful initiatives work.

If previous such initiatives of (Leftist) Israeli-Palestinian discussions are anything to go by, it would probably have looked something like this: 
1. A day at the Buffet sipping Lattes and reading Haaretz.
2. A day of historical overviews of the conflict that would make Al-Jazeera blush.
3. A day of Palestinians accusing the Israelis of every conceivable wrongdoing accompanied by a choir of sympathetic head nodding from the Israeli side.
4. Half a day of the Israelis apologizing for everything that the Palestinians accused Israel of on the previous day, plus half a day of the Israelis apologizing for other things that the Palestinians neglected to mention.
5. Half a day of the Israelis saying "let byg ones be bygones" and half a day of the Israelis coming up with unrealistic solutions to the conflict, that no sane Israeli would ever accept.
6. A day of the Palestinians taking the Israelis out on a field day:
2 hours - meeting an obscure NGO representative (funded by millions of US$ by the EU, Soros and the NIF) who laments about the hardships of living under the occupation.
2 hours - meeting Tallal - a Palestinian farmer - to hear about the attacks of Settler whipped wild bores on his crops.
2 hours of the "apartheid" wall, with 1 hour of free time for selfies with the "V" sign and for spraying "this wall will fall" or other such themes.
2 hours of yelling and cursing at IDF soldiers.
7. A day of Palestinians explaining to the Israelis why they can never "let bygones be bygones", especially in the context of experiences form the previous field day excursion.
8. A day of Palestinians demanding that Israel submit to all of their demands as a prec ondition to having any dialogue to begin with.
9. A day of Israelis at the buffet discussing their experiences among themselves and arriving at the unanimous conclusion that no progress can be made unless and until Israel repents for all its past sins and acquiesces to all the Palestinian demands.
10. A day of Israelis going back and issuing a press release that the talks were a resounding success and that huge strides have been made towards a reconciliation and that this shows that if it were not for the intransigence of the Israeli government, peace could have been had long ago, since the "real people on the ground" see eye to eye.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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