Why would a peacemaker fail and a terrorist succeed in Israel and Palestine By Mutasem Rumi, Palestine

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Why have the majority of people from both sides become proud of hating, killing and spreading fear in the other side!?

I started thinking about the peacemakers and about their roles. In the last twenty years peace makers haven’t achieved much. What is the difference between the leaders from both camps? In a situation like Israel and Palestine, the normal things are hate and violence, mainly because of occupation, and thus the job of peace makers become much more complicated. The international world invests a lot of money in peace initiatives between Israelis and Palestinians and gives millions of dollars on both sides, but the efforts still hardly blossom. The international community, led by the USA could designate peace leaders, who would receive a salary.

On the other side, we have terrorist organizations; we can see so many of their leaders everyday being followed by so many brave and irrational people, and in most cases without even a salary! How come those people find so many to follow them and risk their life?

In some cases members of peace groups get to know each other and spend fun time together which enables them to feel close to each other. This is good and needed but peace isn’t all about that. The power of the leaders comes from the power of the real faithful people around them. The real faithful people can be brought by faith and belief. Faith and belief in peace can’t be achieved only by theoretical ideas on computer screens; they require actions on the ground. What do you do on the ground to make the people feel the peace you talk or theorize about?

Is the international community really serious about peace? If yes, why haven’t they made it possible a long time ago? They can make war in two days! It is good and necessary to have funded initiatives for peace and to bring people’s attention to it… but without real intent, it won’t succeed. The theory of peace needs to be translated into actions, and it needs brave people who stay strong and faithful to their ideas despite what people around might say.

The Palestinian peace side is the weakest part in the peace talks because it can’t manage to bring to it a large enough part of the society. They simply can’t talk honestly about peace, and prefer to lie (they call it diplomacy) by playing with words because they are simply not supported by actions on the ground by their Israeli partners. They could for example, remove checkpoints, open the way to Jerusalem, and open more of the closed roads for the Palestinians like road 443.

Moreover, in leading the peace process, we can still see that the youth are repeating the same mistakes of their elders. They take decisions alone and isolate themselves from the rest of society. It is the same story again, and again. Why can’t you dare speak up and say it in the face of all your people “I want peace, and occupation can’t be stopped by shedding more blood” if you believe in it? Do we, as Palestinian leaders, respect enough the desire of our people to decide on their future? Can we be honest with them and tell them that blood can’t be stopped by more blood?  When I will see poor and simple people talking about peace and express how much they want it, then I will be sure that there are real leaders behind the peace process.

The majority of the Palestinian people are poor, and the majority isn’t interested in peace, not because they can’t find it inside themselves but because they can’t find the truth in their leaders. The whole peace situation and political process are still the private property of a certain party and is decorated with fake words such as “democracy”, “decision makers” or “freedom of speech.” How can a peace movement be successful when there is only one decision maker in it? Peace will be really effective only when it will be isolated from personal benefits, and being looked at as a real strategic choice for the people and will guarantee them freedom and rights.

While talking about the Palestinian peacemakers and leaders, I can’t separate their Israeli partners from them. They are both in the same circle, and not gaining the real support that we as people of peace need. For a long time now, Israeli peace makers couldn’t make peace a demand of the Israeli public, in calling for the end of occupation, the end of settlements and to stop taking or destroying more Palestinian land. They keep going in the same circles and taking the ways they took so many times already, but trying to convince themselves they found a new way. The real peacemakers shouldn’t sleep before they find the real way to peace. Peace must become a public demand on both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides. It’s time for real action and practical activities on the ground.

YaLa Young Leaders

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