IsraelPalestine

Palestinian and Israeli peace activists to join forces

Israeli and Palestinian civil society should not count on their deadlocked politicians to deliver and must join forces to mobilise grassroots support for a peaceful resolution to the violent , peace activists from both sides agreed at a meeting in Brussels.

Sitting and waiting until the leadership bring (peace) to you is not enough… Politicians get their mandate from their citizens,” said Jessica Nevo, an Israeli peace activist with Women in Black, an Israeli anti-occupation NGO.

Under the auspices of Pax Christi, the peace activists came together on neutral ground to hammer out a strategy for public mobilisation in an encounter that has become increasingly rare in the last 20 months of spiralling violence.

“We can work together even if, at the moment, we don't agree on all the issues,” said Haneen Zoaby of Ittijah, a Palestinian NGO in , noting that their strategy was action-oriented.

Nevertheless, there was a surprising consensus for promoting the creation of a on pre-1967 borders, the dismantlement of Israeli settlements and recognition of the rights of Palestinian refugees, as well as an end to suicide bombings.

The activists are under no illusions of the magnitude of the uphill task ahead of them in persuading their radicalised and cynical societies to give peace, and each other, a chance.

“Israel's departure from was very much influenced by grassroots initiatives,” Nevo points out. The group hopes that success can be replicated once more.

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This article appeared in the 27 June 2002 issue of The Bulletin.

See also  Israeli groups troubled by plight of Palestinian civilians

Author

  • Khaled Diab

    Khaled Diab is an award-winning journalist, blogger and writer who has been based in Tunis, , Brussels, Geneva and Cairo. Khaled also gives talks and is regularly interviewed by the print and audiovisual media. Khaled Diab is the author of two books: Islam for the Politically Incorrect (2017) and Intimate Enemies: Living with Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land (2014). In 2014, the Anna Lindh Foundation awarded Khaled its Mediterranean Journalist Award in the press category. This website, The Chronikler, won the 2012 Best of the Blogs (BOBs) for the best English-language blog. Khaled was longlisted for the Orwell journalism prize in 2020. In addition, Khaled works as communications director for an environmental NGO based in Brussels. He has also worked as a communications consultant to intergovernmental organisations, such as the and the UN, as well as civil society. Khaled lives with his beautiful and brilliant wife, Katleen, who works in humanitarian aid. The foursome is completed by Iskander, their smart, creative and artistic son, and Sky, their mischievous and footballing cat. Egyptian by birth, Khaled's life has been divided between the and Europe. He grew up in and the UK, and has lived in , on and off, since 2001. He holds dual Egyptian-Belgian nationality.

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Khaled Diab

Khaled Diab is an award-winning journalist, blogger and writer who has been based in Tunis, Jerusalem, Brussels, Geneva and Cairo. Khaled also gives talks and is regularly interviewed by the print and audiovisual media. Khaled Diab is the author of two books: Islam for the Politically Incorrect (2017) and Intimate Enemies: Living with Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land (2014). In 2014, the Anna Lindh Foundation awarded Khaled its Mediterranean Journalist Award in the press category. This website, The Chronikler, won the 2012 Best of the Blogs (BOBs) for the best English-language blog. Khaled was longlisted for the Orwell journalism prize in 2020. In addition, Khaled works as communications director for an environmental NGO based in Brussels. He has also worked as a communications consultant to intergovernmental organisations, such as the EU and the UN, as well as civil society. Khaled lives with his beautiful and brilliant wife, Katleen, who works in humanitarian aid. The foursome is completed by Iskander, their smart, creative and artistic son, and Sky, their mischievous and footballing cat. Egyptian by birth, Khaled’s life has been divided between the Middle East and Europe. He grew up in Egypt and the UK, and has lived in Belgium, on and off, since 2001. He holds dual Egyptian-Belgian nationality.

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