Palestinian Report & Futuring I
Tuesday 13th March 2018 @ 9:33 am
I regularly have conversations that accuse me of being a normalizer in the terms of the Middle East – the claim comes because some of the work I am involved in which brings together Palestinians and Israelis. Having Israelis present creates the critique of doing nothing to break the occupation of Palestine and end the violence for all sides by normalising everything.
There are deeper critiques and longer conversations available, but my usual (and honest) response is that I was brought up in Belfast.
Belfast would not have experienced any progress had people not taken brave decisions to sit with ‘the other.’ And hence, this month we remember 20 years of ‘The Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement.’
No–one works toward Shalom by only shaloming your own.
I treasure and value Israeli, and Jewish, friends. And I detest the land grabs of a right wing Israeli government. I hold both of those realities.
I love and treasure Palestinian friends (Christian and Muslim) who live under illegal occupation in the most horrible of circumstances. And I detest violent resistance that adds to inescapable cycles of violence.
All these realities live in complexity, are held in tension, and add to the non–binary options of lived experience in Middle East, and therefore also add to the non–binary actions that are necessary for peace–building.
The Palestinian issue has not been a Palestinian issue for a long time (if it ever was?) – it is a regional issue, and will need regional courage, leadership and the possibility of ‘what–we–see–is–not–all–there–has–to–be.’
And that simply cannot be achieved by ignoring, shutting out, demonizing ‘the other.’
The next blog will list 10 conclusions from the Al–Tazouma centre for studies and consultation regarding where the Palestinian & Israel issues are, and where they are likely to go over next year, eighteen months. This has been an introduction.
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