Thursday, August 22, 2013

From JPost:

For a group of Palestinian and Israeli researchers investigating methods to completely purify water from medicinal materials, working together is nothing short of critical.

“It is a must,” Dr. Rafik Karaman, of Al-Quds University’s College of Pharmacy in Abu Dis, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

The joint Palestinian-Israeli research team from Al-Quds University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is working to assess the use of advanced membrane and bio-degradation technologies for eradicating pharmaceutical materials from treated waste-water. Organized by the Peres Center for Peace and sponsored by the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, the two-year project aims to investigate the degradation and removal processes of certain drugs found in aquatic environments that come from both domestic and industrial sources.

“In order to facilitate and progress with the research, we need the expertise of the Israeli side,” said Karaman, who is the principal researcher on the Palestinian side. “We can learn from them and they can learn from us, and this way you can do good research in Palestine.”

...While the work together is critical, Karaman stressed that it is nothing new, as Al-Quds researchers have been working with Technion researchers for around a decade on various wastewater projects.

This is the second such project under the auspices of the Peres Center, he explained, crediting the center for enabling them to pursue the research together.

“You learn from the relationship,” Karaman said. “I learn a lot and I also give a lot.”
Here is a great story, a story of cooperation and collaboration between two enemies for the common good. It should be looked upon as a model for the future, a future where two groups of people with historic grievances who are forced to live next to each other put their antipathy aside for the common good.

There is a slight problem, though. Only one side celebrates peace.

Dr. Karaman might have no problem working with Israelis - he received his degrees from Hebrew University - but there is no means within Palestinian Arab culture for that attitude to reach the masses.

If you search through Al Quds University's website, both in English and Arabic, it mentions nothing about working together with Israeli universities. In fact, the only mentions of "Technion" in Hebrew on the site is in an article about how Israel is "Judaizing" Jerusalem. The university has a museum for "prisoners affairs." It has a "human rights clinic" with a single project  - to demonize Israel through the Goldstone Report. Not a word that I could find about human rights under PA rule.

Of course, this cooperative project is not mentioned in a positive light in Palestinian Arab media. On the contrary - this article slams Al Quds for being involved in this project, saying that while it used to be a symbol of steadfastness now it has become a symbol of "normalization."

The best that can ever happen on the Arab side is a grudging admission that there is value in cooperating when absolutely necessary - but this should never be publicized.

For Israelis, real peace is the goal. For Israel's Arab neighbors, anything that resembles real peace is something to be ashamed of.

Which makes this just another reason why peace is impossible.

(h/t Zvi)


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