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Big Dream/Small Hope: A Peace Vision

Mohammed S. Dajani  Daoudi


Rabbi  went faithfully, every  day for twenty years,  to the  Wailing Wall (Kotel) to  pray  for  peace between the  Jews  and  the  Arabs.  One  day, a  reporter who  learned of  his  dedicated mission thought  it  mightmake a good story.  So he decided to interview him.  He began his interview by asking him:  ‘‘How does it feel to go every day for twenty years to the Wailing Wall to pray for peace?’’ The Rabbi responded: ‘‘It feels like talking to a wall!’’

Why  is it that peace seems so elusive? Why  is it that we feel like  talk- ing to a wall when it comes to the  important matter of peace?1 One reason is because we always  evaluate an issue  in a certain context—‘‘a set of condi- tions that place  the  issue  or  problem in  a particular light  that suggests how the  issue  should be dealt with or how the  problem should be resolved; as one  scholar once  remarked, ‘‘If all you  have  is a hammer, then all the problems look like a nail!’’

In  his  classic   work, Stable Peace, Kenneth Boulding defines the  con- cept  of  peace as  follows:   ‘‘The  concept of  peace has  both positive and negative aspects. On the  positive side,  peace signifies a condition of good management,  orderly resolution  of  conflict, harmony  associated with mature  relationships, gentleness, and   love.  On  the   negative side,   it  is conceived as the  absence of something—the absence of turmoil, tension, conflict, and  war.’’2

Palestinians and  Israelis disagree over  the  peace issue  because they

view  it  in  two  diametrically opposed contexts—that  is,  with different

beliefs, interests  and  values in  mind. When competing actors—that is, Palestinians and  Israelis—place the  peace issue  in  their own  conflicting contexts, decisions by policy  makers to  give  more weight to  one  context than another typically determine the  outcome of the  dispute, pushing it more in  the  direction of war  and  conflict rather than in  the  direction of peace and  conciliation. Putting Israeli   security needs above   Palestinian national needs resulted in  making peace illusive since  one  party viewed its   own   values  and   needs  above   those  of  the   other.  One-sided total security  in   the   long   run   is  a  theoretical  and   practical  impossibility, unless the  opponent is wholly annihilated.

This  study is  divided into  three parts. The  first  part looks  at  where are  we  today, that  is,  living   the   Big Dream—conflict. The  second part looks  at  where we  ought to  be,  that is,  living  the  Small  Hope—concili- ation.  The  third part deals   with the   question  of  how   to  get   there— peace.

Historical background

Palestine was  under Ottoman occupation from   1516  till  1918.  In  1922, the  British Mandate was  put  in  effect.  It lasted until May 15, 1948,  when the  State  of Israel  was  declared. At the  time, the  West  Bank  and  the  Gaza Strip3 were  left without any strong centralized Palestinian authority. Eventually,  the   Gaza  Strip   was  placed under  Egyptian administration, while the  West  Bank  opted in  1950  for  unity with Jordan. In  June  1967, the   West   Bank   and   Gaza  Strip   came   under Israeli   Occupation.  Jordan kept its  constitutional ties  with the  West  Bank  until July 31, 1988,  when King  Hussein severed administrative  and  legal  ties  in  order to  reaffirm the  Palestinian entity.

Following lengthy secret talks beginning in  April  1992  and masterminded by  Norwegian Foreign Minister Johan   Jorgan   Holst,   the Oslo  Accord  between the  PLO and  Israel  was  secretly hammered out  in Oslo,  Norway   on  August   13,  1993.4  It  called   for  an  Israeli   withdrawal from   the  Gaza  Strip  and  the  West  Bank  town of  Jericho, which would then fall  under the  civilian control of a Palestinian autonomous author- ity. This  historic step  was  followed by the  Declaration of Principles (DoP) signed  by  Israel   and   the   PLO in  Washington  at  the   White House   on September 13, 1993.  It stipulated mutual recognition between Israel  and the  PLO and  a commitment by the  Palestinian side  to  end  terrorism and

eliminate calls  for the  destruction of the  State  of Israel  from  the  Palestin- ian  Charter. The DoP called  for a transitional period of no  more than five years,  during which final  status arrangements for  a lasting and comprehensive peace settlement will  be  negotiated. Article  I of the  DoP stipulated the  establishment of  a  ‘‘Palestinian Interim  Self-Government Authority’’  for  the   Palestinian people in  the   West   Bank  and   the   Gaza Strip,   ‘‘for  a  transitional  period not   exceeding five  years,   leading to  a permanent settlement based   on  Security Council Resolutions  242  and

338.’’ Major  issues, such  as Jerusalem refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders and  foreign relations and  cooperation with other neighbors,  were   deferred  to  ‘‘final  status’’   negotiations  to  begin  two years  later. The DoP was  ambiguous on  other issues  such  as:

1.    Definition of the  territory of the  Jericho autonomous zone.

2.    Release  of the  Palestinian political prisoners.

3.    The nature of Israeli  military withdrawals or redeployments.

4.    Acts of violence by extremists on  both sides.

The  Declaration of Principles had  a fundamental feature that had  an impact  on   the   Palestinian  public  administration   system: its   declared aims  at  establishing interim arrangements that would lead  to  ‘‘a Perma- nent Settlement.’’

On   February  4,  1994,   the   Gaza-Jericho Autonomy  Agreement,5   a three-page document on  principles of self-rule outlining the  first  stage  of Palestinian autonomy in  Gaza  and  Jericho, was  initialed in  Cairo  by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat  and  Israeli  Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.  Added to  it  was  an  eight-page document that included details and  maps of the control of border crossings and  security arrangements for  Jewish  settlers in  Gaza.  The  accord called  for  shared responsibility at  border crossings but  gave  Israel  the  ultimate right of decision. Israel  remained in  control of the  settlements, military locations, and  security matters. Joint  Israeli- Palestinian forces   led  by  Israel   would patrol  Gaza  roads leading from Jewish   settlements to  Israel.   The  boundaries were   not   covered in  this Agreement.

The  Gaza-Jericho Autonomy  Agreement signed in  Cairo   on  May  4, 1994,  stipulated that the  Palestinian Authority shall  establish ‘‘a strong police force—the Palestinian Police.’’

The  Palestinian Authority  Political Program (PAPP) declared on  May 28,  1994,   the   establishment  of  the   Palestinian  Authority  (PA) ‘‘as  an extenuation of the  PLO.’’ The  PAPP maintained that the  PA was  ‘‘a temporary interim authority implementing its tasks  until general democratic elections in  the  Palestinian land  takes place.’’  The  PA was  authorized to execute  the   interim  programs  during  the   interim  phase  in   order to achieve a  program for  connecting the  interim period to  the  final  solu- tion.  The  PA was  authorized to  ‘‘temporarily exercise its  executive and legislative mandate until the  general elections.’’ Among  the  main tasks designated to the  PA were:

1.    Preparing for  legislative and  municipal elections and  ensuring their free  nature and  legitimacy.

2.    Planning  and   formulating  an   active   local   governmental structure, which included a  new  framework for  local,  municipal, and  village councils.

3.    Drafting laws  and  decrees especially for  the  Palestinian Authority’s institutions.

4.    Coordinating with international institutions and  donors in  develop- ment programs.

5.    Reconstruction of the  judiciary system.

6.    Preparation of modern, efficient monetary system.

7.    Complementing and  structuring primary institutions such  as  a trea- sury,  development bank, employee bureau, accounting bureau, administrative monitor, economic council, and  statistic bureau.

8.    Reorganization of the  public service sectors.

The  Early  Empowerment Accord  (EEA) initialed in  Cairo  on  August 24,  1994  by  Palestinian minister Dr.  Nabil  Sha’ath and   Israeli   negotia- tor Danny   Rothschild   expanded   the PA’s authority in five key ‘‘spheres’’ to cover   all   of  the   West Bank and Gaza Strip. The five spheres of ‘‘early  empowerment,’’ for   which  PA  authority  extended beyond the   autonomous areas of  Jericho and   the   Gaza  Strip,   included education, culture, health, social  welfare, tourism, and  direct taxation/ Value  Added  Tax  (VAT). According to  the  EEA, Israel  would continue to control the   remaining civilian administrative functions until after the Palestinian elections. The  Israeli   Cabinet on  August   28,  1994  approved the    EEA,  but    stated  that  it   was   conditional  on   Palestinian  efforts to   halt   violence  and   terrorism.  Issues   delayed until  the   permanent status negotiations included Jerusalem, Israeli  settlements, and  military locations.

The  Early  Empowerment  Agreement signed in  Gaza  on  August   29, 1994  by  Israel   and  the   PA, transferred to  the   PA from   the   Israeli   Military   Government  and   its   Civil  Administration  in   the   West   Bank   the powers  and   responsibilities  in   the   following spheres:  education  and culture,  health,   social    welfare,  tourism,   direct   taxation   and    VAT. According  to  this   agreement, Israel   was   to  provide  the   PA to  enable free   access   to   all  information that  is  necessary  for   an   effective and smooth transfer. The  PA became fully  responsible for  the   proper  func- tioning of  the  offices  included in  the  spheres and  for  the  management of  their personnel in  all  aspects, including employment and  placement of  employment, payment of  their  salaries and   pensions, and   ensuring other   employee   rights.   The    PA   continued   employing   Palestinian employees  of   the   Civil   Administration  who   were    employed  in   the offices  included in  each  sphere and  maintained their rights. Article  VII of   the   Agreement  transferred  legislative  powers  also   to   the   PA.  It authorized  the   PA  to   promulgate secondary legislation regarding the powers and   responsibilities transferred to  it.  Such  legislation included amendments and   changes  to  the   existing  laws,   regulations  and   mili- tary   orders.  However,  Israel   would  have   no   reservations  concerning any  proposed legislation for  such  legislation to  enter into  force.  Article XI of  the  Agreement stipulated that the  PA will  do  its  utmost to  estab- lish  its  revenue collection system immediately with the   intent of  col- lecting direct taxes  and  VAT.

On September 28, 1995,  Israel  and  the  PLO signed the  landmark  400- pages  Interim Autonomy Agreement (IAA),6  at the  White House  in  Washington,  paving the   way  for  an  Israeli   withdrawal from   all  Palestinian cities  in  the  West  Bank  and  Gaza  Strip.  The  IAA provided for  two  elec- tions: one  for  the  head of the  Palestinian Authority (PA) in  January 1996; and  another to  elect  an  82-member self-governing authority—the  Palestinian  Council—which would have   legislative and   executive powers to be  held  in  April  1996.  It  also  provided that  legislative power would be exercised by  the   Palestinian  Legislative Council  as  a  whole, while its executive  power  would  be  exercised  by  a  committee  of  the   Council called   the   Executive  Authority.  This   committee  consisted  of  Council members together  with appointed officials.   The  powers  of  the   Coun- cil  would extend to  all  matters within its  jurisdiction. However, it did not   have   powers  in   the   sphere  of   foreign  relations.  The   IAA  did,however, provide for  a  number of  areas in  which the   PLO might, on behalf of the  Council, conduct negotiations and  sign  agreements.

The IAA divided the  West  Bank  into  three areas:

1.    Area A with full  Palestinian civil jurisdiction and  internal security.

2.    Area  B with full  Palestinian civil  jurisdiction and  joint  Israeli-Pales- tinian internal security.

3.    Area C with Israeli  civil and  overall security control.

Although  Israel   continued to  control some   70  percent of  the   land in  the   West  Bank  and  Gaza  Strip,   the   IAA allowed the   Palestinians to conduct  their   own    internal   affairs,  to    reduce   points   of   friction between  Israelis and   Palestinians, and   to  open a  new   era  of  coopera- tion   and   coexistence  based   on   common  interest,  dignity,  a   mutual respect. At  the   same time, it  protected Israelis’   vital   interests, and   in particular its  security interests,  both  with  regard to  external  security and   the   personal  security of  its  citizens in  the   West   Bank   and   Gaza Strip.

Negotiations  on   the   final   disposition  of  the   West   Bank   and   Gaza Strip  were  due  to begin no  later than May 1996.  During the  first  stage  of the  Accord,  it was  agreed that Palestinians would gain  full  control of the municipal  areas  and   would  have   administrative  control  over   an   esti- mated 460 villages.

The IAA contained three undertakings from  the  PLO to Israel:

1.    A commitment to  annul the  Palestinian Covenant clauses calling for the  destruction of Israel.

2.    A commitment to put  a stop  to hostile propaganda.

3.    A commitment to wage  war  against terrorism.

To the  main body  of the  Agreement were  appended six annexes deal- ing  with security arrangements, elections, civil  affairs (transfer of  pow- ers),     legal     matters,    economic    relations,    and      Israeli-Palestinian cooperation. The  permanent status negotiations were   to  deal  with the remaining issues, including Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements,  borders,  relations,  cooperation  with  neighboring  coun- tries, and  so forth.

The  Wye  River  Memorandum  (WRM), signed on  October  23,  1998, called  for  the  implementation of the  IAA and  the  resumption of the  final status talks. It included modifying the PLO Charter, opening Gaza  Airport and  the  Safe  Passage  connecting Gaza  with the  West Bank,  reduction in the   number  of  Palestinian  police,  and   release  of  Palestinian  political prisoners.

The   Sharm  Esh-Sheikh Agreement  (SSA), signed  by  Israeli   Prime Minister Ehud  Barak  and  PA President Yasser Arafat  in Sharm Esh-Sheikh on  September 4,  1999,  stipulated that Israel   would withdraw  in  three stages from  11 percent of the  West  Bank,  release 350 political prisoners, open the  safe  passage, and  begin permanent status talks on  September 13, 1999,  to  reach a framework for  a settlement by February 2000  and  a final  peace agreement by September 2000.

The Al-Aqsa Intifada that began on  September 28, 2000,  and  the  Israeli Revolving Door  Policy  of  incursions into  the  West  Bank  that came  as  a reaction to  it,  sealed the  fate  of the  Oslo  Peace  Process, bringing it  to  a sudden abrupt halt   and   causing unprecedented human  losses   on  both sides,   heavy   destruction of  Palestinian infrastructure  and   economy,  as well  as vast  demolition of main PA institutions.

The  peace process

The  political  and   economic environment  in  the   late   1980s   and   early 1990s   was   charged  with  anger,  hopelessness,  tension  and    anxiety, resulting   in    a    wave    of    extremism   and    growing   tendencies   for radicalism  and   thus  precipitating an   unpredicted dangerous situation in  the  region. For  this  reason, there was  an  urgent need to  search for new   options to  defuse the   crisis.   Since  the   road   of  confrontation and violence  failed   to   produce  any   tangible  results  for   both  conflicting parties, there was  no  other alternative but   to  search for  new  avenues and  fresh approaches to  meet the  new  challenges.

In 1991,  the  Madrid  Peace  Conference brought a glimmer of hope.7  It

was  followed two  years  later by the  Washington Declaration signed and sealed  by  the   two   antagonists  and   witnessed  by  a  superpower.8   This historic event inspired people to hope: ‘‘Finally peace is attainable,’’ they calmed their fears.  However, since  its  early  days  in  late  1993,  the  Oslo Peace  Process lurched  from   one  crisis   to  another with no  light   at  the end   of   the   tunnel.9   Thus,   our   life   in   the   last   decade  had   been  a combination of despair and  hope. When the  waves  of terrorism ebbs,  we are  distraught with despair; when waves  of terrorism subside, we are  full of hope. But hope for what?

Big Dream/Small Hope  framework

In her  book,  The Vocabulary of Peace, Shulamith Harevern maintains that the Oslo Accords  brought an  essential change: ‘‘From now on, it is not automati- cally Jew against Arab and Arab against Jew; it is the Jews and Arabs who support peace, and those, Jews and Arabs both, who oppose it…’’10  Thus,  one  main fruit of  the   Oslo  Peace  Process is  the   radical change in  the   identity of  the protagonists. The identity of the  two  conflicting parties to the  Middle  East conflict has  been transformed from  national in  character (Arab-Israeli)  to more sociopolitical in character (Pro-Peace/Anti-Peace).

The  well-known Palestinian poet  Mahmoud Darwish once  wondered:

‘‘What  is  more important—a small hope or  a  big  dream?’’  In  my  view, the  Oslo  Accords  brought two  other  radical changes. The  first  was  the Israeli   recognition of  ‘‘the  legitimate rights of  the   Palestinian people,’’ the  first  genuine recognition in  the  history of Zionism that the  Palestin- ians   are   ‘‘a  people,’’11…  shaking the   basic   foundations of  the   Zionist denial of  the   very  existence of  a  Palestinian people as  exemplified  by Israeli   Prime  Minister  Golda   Meir   famous statement:  ‘‘It  was   not   as though there was  a Palestinian people and  in  Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and  we  came  and  threw them out  and  took  their country away  from  them. They did  not  exist.’’12

Another essential change was: ‘‘From now on it is not Palestinians against Israelis and  Israelis against  Palestinians; but  it  is Palestinians and  Israelis, who believe in the big dream,  and  those Israelis and  Palestinians who believe in the small hope…’’  Thus,  as  the   peace process progressed, this   identification has  crystallized more into  cultural/psychological character which assem- bled   in  one   camp those Palestinians and   Israelis who   are  for  the   Big Dream in  mortal  combat with those in  the   other  camp of  the   Small Hope.  But  what is the  Big Dream? What is the  Small  Hope?  What is the Big Dream for Israelis?  What is the  Big Dream for the  Palestinians?

The  Big Dream

For the  Israelis, the  Big Dream is to  wake  up  one  morning and  find  that Palestinians have   disappeared in  the   desert and  that only  Jews  live  in the  promised land  of  Eretz  Israel  in  a purely Jewish  state with the  two rivers  as its borders and  unified Jerusalem as its capital. Among  the  early Jews  who   believed in  this   dream was  Zeev  Jabotinsky who   advocated force  to contain the  Arabs  of Palestine behind an  ‘‘Iron  Wall’’ of Zionist resolve which they   will  be  powerless to  break down. He  considered a ‘‘voluntary agreement’’ between  the  Jews  and  the  Arabs  of  Palestine as ‘‘inconceivable now  or in the  foreseeable future.’’13

For the  Palestinians, the  Big Dream is to  wake  up  one  morning and find  that all Israelis have  departed and  only  Palestinians live  in  the  Holy Land  in  an  independent Arab  state from  river  to  sea  as  its  borders and al-Quds  al-Sherif  as its capital.

Advocates of the  Big Dream are  those, at present in the  majority, who struggle for the  eventual triumph of their perception of good  over  evil as resembled by the  other, and  as a result seek  to establish their state exclu- sively on the  historic land  of Palestine/Israel. In their effort to achieve their goal,  the  Big Dream camp exercises strong opposition to the  Oslo Accord and  all  subsequent agreements such  as  Hamas14  within the  Palestinian community and  the  Likud Party  within the  Israeli  community. In his book Sharing the Promised Land: A Tale of Israelis and Palestinians, Dilip Hiro accuses Israeli  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of ‘‘doing his utmost to wreck the  peace process.’’15  It  demonizes the  other and  implements a  highly nationalistic curriculum in  its  educational system that deligitimizes and demonizes the  other. It promotes conflict education that teaches the  new generation the  war philosophy of the  old generation. It appeals to the  emo- tional bondage of the  people to the  land  and  focuses on  historical ties  of the  past.  It denies the  narrative of the  other and  ignores their history, cul- ture literature, and traditions.

In the  Big Dream scenario, Israeli  morbid fantasy is expressed in  the saying:  ‘‘The only  good  Palestinian is a dead  Palestinian!’’ On  the  other hand,  Palestinian  morbid  fantasy:  ‘‘The  only   good   Israeli   is  a  dead Israeli!’’

The Big Dream vision  is reflected in different aspects in both societies in  conflict.16  In  the  daily  life,  the  Big Dream is reflected in  denying the other, building negative mirror image of the  other, divisiveness, demon- ization of the  other, mistrust of the  other, blaming the  other, insecurity, broken hearts, shattered families, and  vanished dreams.

In both countries, the  Big Dream advocates teach historical Palestine/ Israel  with all its total geography with maps including pre-1948 Palestine as the  envisioned state of Palestine/Israel. In Palestine, Israel  is viewed as a  usurper state founded on  the   destruction of  historical Palestine and the  misery of its people.

1948  Arab-Jewish war  is remembered by Israelis as ‘‘the  War  of Indepen- dence/Liberation’’; in contrast, the  same event is remembered by the  Pal- estinians  as   the   ‘‘Catastrophe/Disaster/Nakba.’’  Rouhana  and   Bar   Tal describe how  each  narrative negates the  other:

According to the  Palestinian narrative, the  Jewish  settlers occupied the   land, and   Palestinians were   dispossessed and   displaced.  The Palestinian narrative  views   this   influx an  invasion of  foreigners who  took   over  the  country from   Palestinians and  in  the  process pushed out  Palestinians, making them refugees in the  neighboring countries.  According to  the  Zionist narrative,  the   land   was  liber- ated  and  redeemed in  a process of national revival. The  Jews gath- ered  their exiles  in  the  land  of their forefathers to  establish their state, which was  attacked by  hostile,  non-accepting Arabs  at  its birth. As an  outcome of  Arab  aggression and  defeat, the  Palestinians  became refugees.17

In  the  Big Dream Palestinian refugees aspire to  exercise their right of  return to  the   places of  origin in  the   State   of  Israel.18   Politics   and religion  shape  the    character  and    tone  of   all   other   subjects  such as  civic  education, language, history, literature,  and  geography.  Jerusa- lem   is  proclaimed as  the   capital of  one   nation at  the   expense of  the other.

The  media in  both Israeli  and  Palestinian communities advance the Big Dream theme.19  Each  echoes the  popular messages: ‘‘We are  victims; they   are  aggressors’’; ‘‘Our  victims are  a  terrible tragedy; their  victims are  statistics’’; ‘‘Our actions are  legitimate; their actions violate interna- tional law’’; ‘‘Our aspirations are  noble; their aspirations are  despicable’’; ‘‘Our  cause  is  just;  their cause  is  evil’’; ‘‘We are  peace lovers;  they  are war  mongers’’; ‘‘Our  hands are  clean; their hands are  stained.’’20   Press coverage of the  other ‘‘other’’ is: biased, emotional, exaggerated, myopic, and  nationalistic.

In  evaluating Israeli   and   Palestinian education,  one   finds   that the knowledge imparted  through  both  Israeli    and   Palestinian  textbooks reflect the  Big Dream theme.21  They are  hardly objective, truthful, or fac- tual.   Both  Palestinian and   Israeli   textbooks instill enmity  and   hatred. They  are  biased, and  include visual   and  verbal incitements,  as  well  as negative stereotype images of  the  other. Both  curriculums delegitimize and   demonize the   other, and   fail  to  embody the   principles of  coexis- tence, peace, tolerance, multiculturalism and  diversity. Classes  in  Israeli and   Palestinian  schools  and   programs  at   universities  do  not   include peace education courses.

The  Center for  Monitoring the  Impact of  Peace  claims: ‘‘Palestinian textbooks instill hatred of Israel  and  Jews …. The  PA has  ‘‘rejected inter- national calls’’ to  modify the  Palestinian textbooks.’’22  Similar views  are echoed in  the  Israeli   press: ‘‘The  incitement to  hatred of  Jews  and  the destruction  of  Israel,   which  has   always   been  part  of  the   Palestinian school curriculum,  was  intensified.’’23   Hillary   Clinton claims: ‘‘A book that is required reading for Palestinian six graders actually starts off stat- ing,  ‘There  is no  alternative to  destroying Israel.’’’24  The  spokesman for Israeli  settlers proclaimed: ‘‘We teach our  children to  respect life,  while they  teach that if  you  die  with Jewish  blood  on  your  hands you  go  to heaven and  are  fed  with grapes by  15  virgins.’’25  Charles Krauthammer claims that since  the  signing of  the  Oslo  Accords,   the  Palestinians had ‘‘intensified the  propaganda, the  anti-semitism, in  their pedagogy and  in their media’’  and  that while Israel  had  ‘‘assiduously’’ changed  its  text- books to  prepare for  peace, ‘‘on  the  Palestinian side,  the  opposite was happening.’’26    However,  George   Washington  Professor  Nathan  Brown finds  such  charges ‘‘inaccurate.’’ He concludes: ‘‘While  highly nationalis- tic,   the   Palestinian  curriculum  does   not   incite  hatred,  violence, and anti-Semitism.’’27  Similar views  are  stated in the  Study  on  the  New Pales- tinian Curriculum prepared by  Israel  Palestine Center for  Research and Information (IPCRI), which  concludes: ‘‘The  overall orientation  of  the Palestinian curriculum is  peaceful…. It does  not   openly incite against Israel  and  the  Jews. It does  not  openly incite hatred and  violence.’’28

Despite drafting  a  new   curriculum, Palestinian education remains a source of conflict since it includes such words as ‘‘Palestine’’ and ‘‘Jerusalem’’ used in the  new Palestinian textbooks but  without definition is interpreted by  the  other as  a denial of  the  two-state solution. For  instance, on  one cover  of a textbook on national education (grade  2, 2001) is a British Man- date  stamp that originally had  Palestine written on  it  in  English, Arabic and  Hebrew and  that now  has the  Hebrew erased from  it. Cities  located in the  State  of Israel,  such  as Akka,  Haifa,  Nazareth and  Jaffa, are  referred to in  Palestinian textbooks as  part of  Palestine, which is  interpreted as  a denial of the  existence of the  State  of Israel.  Textbooks teaching the  Arabic language in grade  6 include titles such  as ‘‘Our Homeland Palestine’’ that shows a picture of the  city of Akka,  which the  Oslo Agreement designates within proper Israel.  Also,  while Moslem  and  Christian religion, culture and  heritage is taught to students, Jewish  religion is ignored and  thus cre- ating a rift  with the  other. Students are  taught that ‘‘the [refugee]  camp is not  to be considered an original homeland for the  Palestinian refugee, it is but  a temporary place  in which he was forced to live, and  all Palestinians are  waiting for the  return of each  Palestinian refugee to his city or village from  which he was forced to leave.’’ This position contradicts the  spirit of the  Oslo Accords.  In an announcement addressed ‘‘To the  Palestinian Lead- ership,’’ in  January 2001,  over  thirty Israeli  peace activists, intellectuals and  politicians announced publicly that ‘‘we shall  never be able  to agree to the  return of the  refugees to within the  borders of Israel,  for the  meaning of such  a return would be the  elimination of the  State  of Israel.’’29  The leading figure  in the  Israeli  peace movement, author Amos  Oz, views  the right of return to Israel  of Palestinian refugees as a Palestinian demand to have  ‘‘two states, both of them for Palestinian refugees.’’30  Robert Mallay and  Hussein Agha, whose article on Camp  David Summit shed  much light on  the  secret negotiations, wrote: ‘‘The Palestinians, while maintaining the  right of the  refugees to  return to  the  homes which they  had  lost  in 1948,  were  ready  to link  the  implementation of the  resolution to a mecha- nism which would provide substitutes for the  refugees and  would restrict the  number of refugees who  would return to Israel  itself.’’31

In teaching Islamic education in grade  6, the  focus  is on ‘‘jihad  rheto- ric’’ and  the  lesson is that ‘‘the Moslem  loves his country and  defends it to stir  national feelings to regain the  homeland.’’ Pupils  are  taught that it is their religious duty  to be part of the  struggle against occupation; however, this  lesson is not  balanced with any  religious lessons on  peace. Its nostal- gic teaching of a vanished past  has  an anachronistic quality about the  Big Dream textbooks. For example, a second grade  text  reads: ‘‘a family takes a trip  to Jaffa, smelling lemons and  oranges along  the  way.’’ This of course is the  Jaffa of the  past;  current drivers along  the  way entering the  city are more likely  to  smell the  polluted air  rather than oranges. This  teaches Palestinians to yearn for a world in the  past  that does  not  exist  anymore. Such education enforces fantasies of the  Big Dream.32

On  the  other side,  Maureen Meehan finds  Israeli  education needing much reform. She  writes that ‘‘Israeli  textbooks and  children’s literature promote racism and  hatred toward Palestinians and  Arabs.’’  She  asserts that ‘‘Israeli  school textbooks as well  as children’s storybooks, according to  recent academic studies and  surveys, portray Palestinians and  Arabs as ‘murderers,’ ‘rioters,’ ‘suspicious,’ and  generally backward and  unpro- ductive. Direct  delegitimization and  negative stereotyping of Palestinians and  Arabs  are  the  rule  rather than the  exception in  Israeli  schoolbooks.’’ Professor Daniel Bar-Tal  of  Tel  Aviv University studied  124  elementary, middle, and  high school textbooks on  grammar and  Hebrew literature, history,  geography and   citizenship. Bar-Tal  concluded that  Israeli   text- books  present  the   view   that  Jews   are   involved  in   a  justified,  even humanitarian, war  against an  Arab  enemy that  refuses to  accept and acknowledge the  existence and  rights of Jews in Israel.33

In  the  Big Dream, Israelis maintain that hiding behind walls  would provide them with the  national security they  seek.34  However, the  histor- ical  experiences show   the  fallacy  of  this   assumption. For  instance, the Great  Wall  of  China, built in  221  BC and  stretching 4,100  km/2,550 mi across   north  China, failed   to  repel attacks from   nomads to  the   north; the   Constantinople Wall  failed   to  protect the   city  and   was  eventually destroyed in  the  year  1453;  the  Maginot French defensive fortifications constructed 1929–31  to  act  as protection against German invasion failed to  prevent the   German attack  of  1940;  the   Barlev  defenses along   the Suez  Canal  crumbled and  thus could  not  protect the  Israeli  western front in  1973;  more recently, the  96-mile, 11.8-foot-high Berlin  Wall,  built in 1961,  could   not   prevent East  Germans from   fleeing to  West   Germany and  was  finally  torn down in 1989.

The  lessons drawn from  history are  that great walls  provide a false feeling of  security without providing much protection. They  symbolize failure in  diplomatic communications and  are  no  substitute for  political solutions. They also  reflect a negative international  image indicating lack of peace strategies. Thus  while the  Big Dream advocates call  for  building walls  to separate them from  the  other, the  Small  Hope  advocates call  for building bridges of  knowledge and   understanding based   on  peace and justice.

The  Small Hope

Advocates of the  Small  Hope  are  those, at  present in  the  minority, who believe in  the  peaceful coexistence between the  two  peoples and  call  for the  establishment of a two-state solution (State  of Israel  next to the  State of Palestine created in  the  West  Bank  and  Gaza  Strip)  living  next to each other in  harmony, peace and  security, with Jerusalem as a shared capital for both.

Refugees would exercise their right of return to the  State  of Palestine or  accept compensation.35  As the  Palestinian professor of sociology Elia Zureik states,  ‘‘By accepting  the   Madrid   formula  for  the   Middle   East peace  talks,  which  excludes  the   United  Nations  as  the   structure  for resolving the  Palestine refugee problem, the  Palestinians have  seriously weakened  their   demand  for    the    implementation  of   the    right   of return.’’36   Although  the   Israeli-Palestinian  DoP  of  1993   is  completely silent on  the  vital  issue  of the  right of return, Edward Said  in  Peace and Its Discontents maintains that the  Palestinian claim to  the  right of return was  substantially weakened by the  DoP.37  In  contrast to  the  Big Dream, agreements in the  Small  Hope  are  holy  and  honored by both parties.

Politics  and  religion are  discussed independently  and  separately and do not  dominate the  contents and  nature of all other subjects.

The  Small  Hope  advocates teach Israel/Palestine as  two  independent neighboring states with  Palestine as  West   Bank   and   Gaza  Strip   while Israel’s  boundaries would reflect the  1967  borders with minor modifica- tions; refugees would exercise their right of return to  the  state of Pales- tine    in    addition  to   being  compensated;   politics  and    religion  are discussed independently and  separately without dominating the  contents and   nature  of  all  other  subjects. In  the   Small   Hope   vision,  religion becomes a source of peace inspiration.38

The   Small   Hope   believers  are   devout  disciples  of   the    Book   of Proverbs, the  Hebrew Bible  that instructs: ‘‘Peace will not rise by force, but only through  understanding’’;  the   Christian Bible,  which says:  ‘‘Blessed  are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God’’ (Matthew 3:16); as well  as  the   Muslim Holy  Quran, which states in  Surah 47:35:  ‘‘Call for peace. And if they lean to peace, then leaneth thou too to it, and  trust  in Allah; verily he is the all-hearing, all-knowing.’’ Rather than teaching controversies and  differences in religion, peace advocates focus  on  commonalities such as  The  Golden Rule  in  Judaism: ‘‘What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary’’ (Hillel,  Talmud, Shabbat 3/9); in  Christianity: ‘‘In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets’’ (Matthew 7:12), in  Islam:

‘‘Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself ’’ (The Prophet Mohammed, Hadith).

In   the   Small   Hope,   society  shows  tolerance.  As  Joshua   Leibman states, ‘‘Tolerance is the positive and cordial effort to understand another’s beliefs, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting them.’’

The  aim  of the  Small  Hope  is to  build bridges for  peace and  justice with others, to  help future generations make the  right choice between war  and  peace, to  make them realize that they  do  not  have  a monopoly over  the  truth, to  give  the  ability to  treat opinions and  interests of the other  with respect, to  help solve   problems through peace culture, to develop a sense of civic  duty  and  personal responsibility for  the  fate  of not  just  one’s  own  country, but  for the  other.39

In  the  world of the  Small  Hope,  Jerusalem would become the  inter- national City  of  Peace  reflecting the  multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi- religious, and  peaceful nature of the  city.

In  the   educational  system of  the   Small   Hope,   peace  education  is adopted by both Israeli  and  Palestinian ministries of education.  Montes- sori   teaching  methodology would be  adopted by  private  schools.40  As summarized by Bar-Tal, peace education aims  at achieving the  following: goals:

…to   foster  changes that  will   make  the   world  a  better,  more humane place.  The  goal  is to  diminish, or even  to  eradicate a vari- ety  of human ills ranging from  injustice, inequality, prejudice, and intolerance to  abuse of human rights, environmental destruction, violent conflict, war,  and  other evils  in  order to  create a world of justice, equality, tolerance, human  rights, environmental quality, peace and  other positive features.41

According to  I. Harris, the  objectives of  peace education in  a  situa- tion  such  as the  Palestinian-Israeli conflict would be:

…to  break down enemy images and  break through a  process  of numbing and  denial about atrocities committed in  intractable  con- flicts…promote compassion for  the  suffering of those in  the  other group, in  the  hopes of  reducing ethnic and  religious hatred, and bringing  members  of  conflicting groups  together  in   a  diologic communication process that searches for common understandings. The  key  is to  accept the  other and  respect the  inherent humanity that resides in all humans.42

Textbooks  would  not   include  negative  images  and   adjectives  of other; negative stereotypes in  describing the  other; pejorative terminol- ogy. On the  other hand, it would include narratives of the  other; positive features and  traits of the  other; stories about friendship and  cooperation between Israelis and  Palestinians; and  a human, multidimensional, indi- vidual   approach.  The   Small   Hope   educational  peace  strategy  aims   at including the  following elements:

1.    Democracy: fostering independent and  creative thinking.43

2.    Peace-orientation: focusing on  the  acceptance of the  other and  embody- ing  mutual respect for the  other.

3.    Non-authoritarianism:  avoiding  placing  any   stress  on   authority  and making manifest that truth is not  absolute.

4.    Rationality: teaching students to think in a rational way avoiding emo- tional decision making.

5.    Tolerance: teaching tolerance of the  other.

6.    Compassion: promoting compassion for the  suffering of the  other.

7.    Cultural  sensitivity: Being  culturally sensitive; for  instance, using the following definition  quoted  from   the   Encarta  Online Encyclopedia to define Al-Intifada in  the   Palestinian context: ‘‘throwing off, as  a  dog throws  off fleas.’’ Using   this   definition may   offend  the   Palestinians who  are  being portrayed as  a ‘‘dog’’ as  well  as  the  Israelis who  are being portrayed as ‘‘fleas.’’

Generally, the  aim  of peace education focus  on  building bridges for peace and  justice with the  other. Its  objectives focus  on  helping future generations make the  right choice between war  and  peace, making each realize that they  do not  have  a monopoly over  the  truth; giving  each  the ability to  treat the  other’s opinions and  interests with respect; helping one  solve  his  problems through  peace instruments;  developing a  sense of  civic  duty   and  personal responsibility for  the   fate  of  not   just  one’s own  country, but  for the  other.

Media   coverage  of  other  in   the   Small   Dream  reflects  neutrality, accuracy, honesty,  objectivity, humanity,  broad-mindedness, as  well  as promoting peace and  conciliation.

In  the   society of  the   Small   Dream, there  is  no  monopoly for  one party over  the  truth, as reflected in this  wise  Jewish  folktale:

Cohen and  Levi both  approached  the  rabbi  in  an  attempt  to  resolve a festering dispute between them. After Cohen relates to the rabbi his side of the story, the rabbi  pronounces to him: ‘‘You are  right.’’ Following Levi’s statement of the facts as he sees them, the rabbi declares to him: ‘‘You are right.’’ Once the two have departed, the rabbi’s wife turns to the rabbi and asks: ‘‘But rabbi, how can they both be right?’’ To this question, the rabbi responds: ‘‘You are also right.’’

Conciliation and  forgiveness

No doubt, there is an urgent need to invoke the  spirit of reconciliation44 in order to  reach a long,  lasting peace.45  But  many feel  that reconciliation will  be  difficult to  reach if both sides  to  the  conflict are  not  prepared to acknowledge their responsibility and  guilt.46 Palestinians tend to distrust the  term ‘‘reconciliation’’ as  they  feel  it  doesn’t do  justice to  their pain and  suffering. Hizkias Assefa argues that, ‘‘The central question in recon- ciliation is not  whether justice is done, but  rather how  one  goes  about doing  it  in  ways  that can  also  promote future harmonious and  positive relationships between parties that have  to  live  with each  other whether they  like  it or not.’’47  In The Palestinian Exodux-1948-88, the  Palestinian  Pro- fessor  Rashid  Khalidi  raises  the  issues  of responsibility and  atonement in order to achieve reconciliation:

We  need truth so  that the   harm done in  1948  can  be  acknowl- edged  by all concerned, which means facing  history honestly, acceptance of  responsibility by  those responsible or  their  succes- sors,  and  solemn atonement for  what was  done fifty years  ago.  We need truth also  in  order to  clarify  the  limits of what can  be  done to  right that injustice without causing further harm. Once  these have  been established, it should be possible to work toward attain- able  justice and  therefore toward reconciliation. This  is  essential because our  ultimate objective should be  to  end  this  conflict for good,   which  can   only   come  from   true  reconciliation, based   on truth and  justice.48

Professor of  Political Science Munther  Dajani of  Al-Quds  University expresses  similar  views   in   The  Palestinian  Refugees: Old  Problems—New Solutions:

At some  point the  Israelis must face  the  truth and  begin the  recon- ciliation process by accepting responsibility for  injustices inflicted on  the  Palestinians in  general, and  the  refugees in  particular. This will  open the  way  to  usher in  the  Palestinians as  equal partners. While it is true that it has  taken the  Palestinians a long  fifty  years to  finally  accept the  Israelis, it  is my  sincere hope that it  will  not take  the  Israelis another  fifty  years  to  accept the  Palestinians…as partners in the  peace process.49

Nadim Rouhana argues that  conflict reconciliation,  as  opposed to conflict resolution or conflict settlement, seeks  to achieve a kind of rela- tionship between the  parties founded on  mutual legitimacy. For  this  to occur, issues  of justice, truth, and  historical responsibility as well  as the restructuring of social  and  political relations need to be addressed.50

In his  book  Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return, Nur  Masalha states that ‘‘any genuine reconciliation between two  peoples—as opposed to  a political settlement achieved by leaders—can begin only  by Israel  taking responsibility for the  displacement and  dispossession of the  refugees.’’51

In  my  view,  for  a lasting peace to  be  achieved, the  Israelis need not acknowledge their  central  role   in   the   historical  dispossession of  the Palestinians as a people, or that they  should take  collective responsibility for  evicting the   Palestinian people from   their homeland. As a  pacifist, I believe in  conciliation without the  need for  forgiveness as  echoed in the   Christian  Lord’s  Prayer:   ‘‘Forgive  those who   trespass  against  us.’’ Research shows that  learning  to  forgive   those who   hurt us  can   have profound benefits. It helps to manage anger, cut  stress, and  improve rela- tions. Forgiveness can  be a powerful antidote to hate and  bitterness.52  In her   insightful  article  ‘‘The  Power   of  Forgiving:  Best   Way   to  Heal   a Heart,’’  Lisa Collier  Cool  lists  five  steps  to  find  peace: ‘‘(1) Focus  on  the facts  of the  offense. (2) Don’t  condone it,  but  try  to  understand what led to  it.  Try  not  to  take  it  personally; you  aren’t the  only  one  to  ever  get hurt. (3) Focus  on  the  offender’s humanity, not  just  his  hurtful behavior. (5) Forgive  for  yourself, not  anyone else.  And  forgive  in  your  heart. You needn’t tell  the  offender.’’53

Glimmers of hope  for peace

I. International initiative

The  Road  Map: Officially  launched in  June  2003,  the  Road  Map for  peace remains the  only  accepted political process for  moving from  a  state of violence toward peace between  Israel   and   the   Palestinian authority.  It has  been endorsed and  accepted by Israel,  the  Palestinian authority, and the  Quartet led  by the  United States.  Its  main goal  is the  establishment of  a  Palestinian state, ‘‘independent, viable,   and   sovereign with  maxi- mum territorial contiguity.’’  With   regard to  Jerusalem, the   Road  Map grants the  Palestinians a political status equal to  Israel;  determines that the  decision in  the  negotiations over  the  city’s status will  be with regard to  ‘‘the  political and  religious interest  of  both sides’’;  and  emphasizes that Israel   should reopen Palestinian institutions closed   in  East  Jerusa- lem.  As for  settlements, it  demands that Israel  should immediately  dis- mantle all  the   outposts and   freeze all  settlement  activities, including natural growth. On security, the  Road  Map  calls  for  security cooperation between  Israel   and   the   Palestinian  Authority,   with  participation   by ‘‘American  security  representatives.’’  It  demands that  Israel   cease   its attacks on  ‘‘Palestinian civilians.’’54

II. Arab initiative

The  Saudi   Peace  Plan:  Adopted at  the   Arab  Summit held   in  Beirut   in March  2002.  Its main goal  is the  establishment of an  independent  Pales- tinian state based  on  the  1967  borders with East  Jerusalem as its  capital. It demands that Israel  dismantle all  its  settlements and  that Palestinian refugees be  granted right of  return for  all  the  Arab  states to  establish

normal relations with Israel.  The  plan needs to  be  marketed authenti- cally  to  the  Arab  and  Israeli  public. Although unfortunately there is no minimal effort at  present to  pursue this  initiative, it  holds much prom- ise.55  The  Arabs  moved a long  way  from  the  1967  Khartoum Arab  Sum- mit   of  the   famous three  no’s:   ‘‘no  conciliation,  no   recognition, no negotiations,’’ and  the  2002  Beirut  Arab  Summit of ‘‘yes to  conciliation, yes to recognition, yes to negotiations.’’56

III. Joint Palestinian-Israeli initiatives

1.  Ayalon-Nusseibeh people  initiative: People’s   Peace   has   been  gathering momentum with tens of thousand signatures from  both Israelis and  Pal- estinians supporting the  peace process. Its main goal  is seeking a viable just  solution to  the  conflict. It calls  for  the  establishment of an  indepen- dent Palestinian state, maintaining that the  borders will  be set  along  the lines   of  the   Saudi  peace initiative with a  1:1  territorial exchange and calls   for   the   City   of  Jerusalem  serving  as   the   joint  capital  of  both states.57

2.  Beilen-Abd Rabbo  Geneva initiative: Israeli   and   Palestinian   ex-officials announced  on   October  2003   that they   had   worked  out   an   unofficial peace deal,  known as  the  Geneva Accord,  which they  offered as  a blue- print for  formal negotiations. It  calls  for  the  formation of  a Palestinian state in the  West  Bank  and  the  Gaza  Strip,  the  return of Palestinian refu- gees  to  that state, and  the  division of Jerusalem between the  two  states where ‘‘each  side  would govern its holy  sites.’’58

3. Independent initiatives:   (a) More  than 150,000 Israelis demonstrated on May 15,  2004  at  Rabin  Square, calling on  Israeli  leadership to  start talk- ing  with the  Palestinians and  demanding that Israel  pull  out  of Gaza.  (b) More  than fifty  Palestinian-Israeli intellectuals, initiated  and  signed on July  25,  2001,  the  joint Declaration for  Peace  ‘‘No to  Bloodshed, No  to Occupation’’ which stated in part:

We  refuse to  comply with the  ongoing deterioration in  our  situa- tion, with the  growing list  of  victims, the  suffering and  the  real possibility that we  may  all  be  drowned in  a sea  of  mutual hostil- ity….  We  implore all  people of  goodwill to  return to  sanity, to rediscover compassion, humanity  and   critical judgment,  and   to reject the   unbearable ease   of  the   descent into   fear,   hatred and calls  for  revenge…. In  spite of  everything, we  still  believe in  the humanity of the  other side,  that we  have  a partner for  peace, and that a  negotiated solution to  the  conflict between our  peoples is possible….

Which  road to take?

While the  Israeli  and  Palestinian masses dance to  the  tune of the  maxi- malist big  dream, radicalizing the  discourse, few  have  opted for  the  less taken road   of  the   minimalist Small  Hope  pacifying the   discourse. One such   voice   is  the   Israeli   Daniel  Barenboim,  the   well-renowned  Israeli musician, who  in inspiring words stated in his  acceptance speech for the Wolf  Foundation Prize  reflected the  theme of the  Small  Hope:

With    pain  in   my   heart,  I  ask   today    whether  a   situation   of conquest and  control can  be reconciled with Israel’s  Declaration of Independence.

Is there logic  to  the  independence of  one  people if  the  cost  is  a blow  to the  fundamental rights of another people?

Can   the   Jewish   people,  whose  history  is  full   of  suffering and persecution, allow  it to be apathetic about the  rights and  suffering of a neighboring people?

Can  the   State   of  Israel   allow   itself   to  indulge in  an  unrealistic dream  whose  meaning  is  an   ambition  to   bring  an   ideological resolution to  the  dispute, rather than the  aim  of attaining a prag- matic, humanitarian solution, based  on  social  justice?59

In  the  words of  Palestinian intellectual Sari  Nusseibeh: ‘‘It was  the Palestinians’ misfortune to have  been victimized by history’s greatest vic- tims, the  Jews.’’60


In his  Proverbs for Paranoids, the  American writer Thomas Pynchon writes that if  you  get  people asking the   wrong questions, you  don’t   need to worry about the  answers. That  is why  it  is important for  us  to  ask  our- selves  the  right questions: What heritage and  legacy  do we want to leave for  our   grandchildren:  Conflict, hatred,  bloodshed or  peace,  goodwill, prosperity, and  security? Why  don’t  we channel our  pain and  anger away

from  hatred and  toward peace and  conciliation? As in  the  parable of the Prophet Ezekiel, why  don’t  we  ‘‘revive  the  dry  bones of  peace, cloth it with flesh,   lift  it  from   dust   and   set  it  up  as  a  joint  concern’’? In  his speech before the  Knesset on  July  13,  1992,  Israeli  Prime Minister Yitz- hak  Rabin  declared, ‘‘It is our  fate  to  live  in  common on  the  same tract of  land  in  the  same country. Our  lives  are  conducted with you,  beside you,  and   against you….  For  forty   four  years   and   more now,   you  have stumbled about in illusion.’’61

In their introduction to Creating a Culture of Peace, Gershon Baskin  and Zakaria al-Qaq  write: ‘‘It is quite a considerable challenge to  ask  how  do we  influence, mold, create, lead  our  own   societies to  create a  culture where our  children, the  next generation of Israelis and  Palestinians, will really   be  able  to  live  in  peace. How  can  we  play  a  role  in  paving that road   so   the   challenges that  will   face   the   next  generation  will   be smoother and  easier than the  ones  we face  today?’’62

If  we  have   a  strategy to  achieve peace, what  would it  look   like? A peace strategy should have  five main targets: to  inspire people to  look to  the  future rather than the  past,  and  not  to  allow  the  past  ‘‘to negate our  ability to  build new  roads,’’  as  Shimon Peres  writes in  his  book  The New Middle East,63  to  bolster popular support for  the  peace initiative, to foster cooperation between the  two  negotiating sides,  to create a culture of  peace that  holds non-violence64  as  an   only   instrument  to  resolve conflicts, and  to  build a coexistence base  that provides security for  both. No  doubt, security is  a  legitimate need for  both sides  and  no  security guarantee should be asked of one  party at the  expense of other. Security concerns  should  be  equal, mutual,  and   reciprocal  on   both sides.   Uri Savir,  in his  book  The Process, stresses the  significance of the  security con- cept  in  Israeli  psychology, ‘‘For Israel  the  critical issue  was  security; for the  Palestinians it was  political and  national pride.’’65

Significantly, it is not  enough to  base  peace upon political and  eco- nomic agreements,  as  was  the   case  in  the   Oslo  Peace   process or  the Egyptian-Jordanian-Israeli peace  accords;  it   must  be   founded  upon  a culture of  peace based   on  understanding,  respecting and   appreciating each  other’s values, perspectives, history, culture, tradition, religion, and aspirations.66 As Israeli  Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin  wrote, ‘‘In order to bring an  end  to the  state of war  in the  reality of the  Israeli-Arab conflict, there must be  change in  the  psychological components, the  perceptions and  interests, not   only  of  governments and  diplomats, but  also  of  the peoples involved in the  conflict.’’67

This conflict can  be settled peacefully if both Palestinians and  Israelis try   to   negotiate  their  differences rationally  and   sensibly, understand each  other, listen to  each  other’s arguments, defend their views  stead- fastly  but  without violence.68 To move  away  from  this  culture of conflict, war,  and  violence, both Palestinians and  Israelis ought to  get  closer to each   other, not   further away   from   each   other. Konrad   Adenauer  was known for  his  dry  humor. During his  visit  to  the  Hebrew University of Jerusalem,  some   students  used   the   occasion  to   voice   their  protests against Germany. Adenauer’s escorts urged him  to  pass  on  quickly, but he  refused, saying:  ‘‘Don’t we  want to  get  closer to  each  other?’’69  They need to  grasp   the   opportunity of  peace; it  may  not   come back   again! Peace  is not  a utopian dream but  the  hope at the  end  of the  tunnel.

In  Jewish  culture there is the  recognition that the  child  at  the  Pass- over  festival may  deliberately, naively, ask  questions that would be  seen as  inappropriate if they  came  from  an  adult. Let me  then be  that child and  ask  the  following questions: Do  key  terms such  as  ‘‘peace,’’  ‘‘secu- rity,’’  ‘‘conciliation,’’ ‘‘coexistence,’’ mean the  same thing to  both  Pales- tinians and  Israelis?   Do  both people want peace, security, coexistence, and  conciliation70  or  continued war,  conflict, and  bloodshed? Wouldn’t it  be  much better to  negotiate the  establishment of  a  Palestinian state rather than to  take  it by force?  And  what is the  future of such  a state if established on  the  basis  of force,  hatred, and  enmity? Aren’t  both Israelis and  Palestinians better off in  denouncing the  Big Dream in  favor  of the Small  Hope?71

Back  in  1986,  Uri  Avnery  ended  his  book,  My  Friend,  the  Enemy,  on a  pessimistic note. ‘‘The  chances of  peace are   at  their  lowest ebb,’’  he wrote. ‘‘Both in  Israel  and  amongst the  Palestinians, powerful forces  are arrayed against it.  Both  superpowers seem indifferent.’’72   Nevertheless, he  did  not  give  up  and  continued his  crusade with the  other Israeli  and Palestinian peace activists guided by Abba  Eban’s  observation that ‘‘men and  nations often behave wisely  once  they  have  exhausted all  the  other alternatives.’’73   Thus,   this   is  a  cri  de  Coeur   of  a  Palestinian who   had suffered  exile   and   his  right to  pursue  happiness as  a  normal human being in  his  homeland. Finally,  let  me  close  on  an  optimistic note with these inspiring words of Indian writer Satish  Kumar:

Lead me  from  death to life,  from  falsehood to truth. Lead me  from  despair to hope, from  fear  to trust. Lead me  from  hate to love,  from  war  to peace.Let peace fill our  heart, our  world, our  universe.74


‘‘Scholars expand peace in the world’’
‘‘Talmeedai chachameem marbeen shalom ba’olam’’ Hebrew Bible, Book of Proverbs

1.  To the  question, ‘‘Do you believe that ultimately there will  be peace between Israel  and the  Palestinians?’’ only  18.3 percent of the  Israelis asked answered ‘‘yes, within a few years,’’  30.4 percent said  ‘‘yes, but  only  in the  distant future,’’ and  47.7 percent responded,‘‘not in the  next 100 years,’’  with 3.6 percent responding ‘‘don’t know.’’  [Israeli  daily Ha’aretz, ‘‘We have  lost  our  optimism’’ (September 15, 2004), pp.  B11-B12.]

2.  Kenneth Boulding, Stable  Peace  (Austin:  University of Texas  Press,  1978), p. 3.

3.  The West  Bank  and  Gaza Strip  have  a combined land  area  of about 6,000  km2  with a population of around 3.3 million, a Gross  National Product (GNP) of US$5.8 billion and  a per capita GNP of US$1,824.  The Palestinian diaspora is estimated at 3.5 million people. The economy of the  West  Bank  and  Gaza  Strip  is predominantly service-oriented. Trade constituted 13.6 percent of the  Palestinian Gross  Domestic Product (GDP). The economy is heavily dependent on  Israel:  over  85 percent of trade is with Israel.  Moreover, about one- third of the  labor force  worked in Israel  until the  institution of the  closure policy  by Israel (120,000–140,000); earnings  from  these workers amounted to more than one-quarter of the income of the  West  Bank  and  Gaza Strip.  Remittances from  Palestinians working in the Gulf countries have  been another important component of disposable income, although this source of revenue has  been substantially diminished since  the  Gulf War  in 1991.

4.  See Avi Shlaim, ‘‘The Oslo Accord,’’ Journal of Palestine Studies XXIII(3) (Spring  1994), pp.  24-40.

5.  Also known as the  Cairo  Accord  or Oslo I Agreement.

6.  Also known as Oslo II Accord  or Taba  Agreement.

7.  See: The Palestinian-Israeli Peace Agreement: A Documentary Record (Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1993).

8.  See: Uri Savir,  The Process: 1,100 Days that Changed the Middle East (New York: Random House, 1998).

9.  See: George  Giacaman and  Dag Jorund Lonning, After Oslo: New Realities, Old Problems (London:  Pluto  Press,  1998); Uri Savir,  ‘‘Why Oslo Still Matters.’’  New York Times Magazine (May 3, 1998), pp.  50-54.

10.  Shulamith Harevern, The Vocabulary of Peace: Life, Culture, and Politics in the Middle East (San Francisco: Mercury House, 1995), p. vii.

11.  Jeffrey  Michaels, ‘‘National Vision  and  the  Negotiation of Narratives: The Oslo Agree- ment.’’ Journal of Palestine Studies 24(1) (Autumn 1994), pp. 28-38.

12.  Sunday Times (London)  (June  15, 1969), as quoted in David  Hirst,  The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East (London:  Faber  and  Faber,  1977), p. 264; see also:  Amal  Jamal,  ‘‘The Palestinians in the  Israeli  Peace  Discourse: A Conditional Partner- ship,’’ Journal of Palestine Studies XXX(1) (Autumn 2000), p. 36.

13.  H. D. S. Greenway, ‘‘Leaving Gaza,’’ International Herald Tribune (April 27, 2004), p. 7.

14.  For a comprehensive and  in-depth study of the  Hamas movement in Palestine, see Khaled  Hroub, Hamas: Political Thought and Practice (Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 2000); Ziad Abu-Amr,  ‘‘Hamas:  A Historical and  Political Background,’’ Journal of Pal- estine Studies 22 (Summer 1993), 5-19.

15.  Dilip  Hiro,  Sharing the Promised Land: A Tale of Israelis and Palestinians (Brooklyn, NY: Olive Branch Press,  1999), p. 311.

16.  In the  early  1960s  Tunisian President Habib  Bourguiba told  Palestinians in Jericho to take  what is being offered to them and  demand more later. They threw tomatoes and stones at him  and  accused him  of being a traitor. Egyptian President Anwar  Sadat  asked them to join  him  at the  first  Camp  David  Summit and  they  branded him  as a traitor to the Arab cause.  They  loved  Arafat,  who  signed the  Oslo Accords  acknowledging the  State  of Israel  but  at the  same time told  them that their right of return is sacred and  holy,  implying that the  5 million refugees would return to Haifa,  Jaffa, Bisan,  Akka,  etc.  We keep missing one  opportunity after another because ‘‘we live in the  BIG DREAM that one  day we will return to the  homeland and  the  Israelis would just  disappear in thin air  because we are right and  they  are  wrong.’’

17.  N. N. Rouhana and  D. Bar-Tal. ‘‘Psychological Dynamics of  Intractable Ethnonational  Conflicts: The  Israeli-Palestinian Case,’’  American Psychologist,  53(7),  1998, pp.  761-70.

18.  For a book  that outlines official  and  unofficial Israeli  and  Palestinian policies on  the fate of the  refugees, see: Elia Zureik, Palestinian Refugees and the Peace Process (Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1997); also,  Salim  Tamari, Palestinian Refugees Negotiations: From Madrid to Oslo II (Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1996).

19.  Mohammed Dajani, ‘‘Press Reporting During the  Intifada: Palestinian Coverage of Jenin,’’  Palestine-Israel Journal 10(2), 2003,  pp.  39-46.

20.  See Gadi Wolfsfeld, The News Media and Peace Process: The Middle East and Northern Ireland (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution,  1995).

21.  See Muhammad Hallaj,  ‘‘Israel’s War  on Palestinian Education.’’ The Return 2(6) (Febru- ary 1990), pp.  31-34.

22.  The Center for Monitoring the  Impact of Peace,  2000,

23.  Berl Wein, ‘‘Illusions,’’  Jerusalem Post (October 26, 2000).

24.  ‘‘Hillary  Clinton: Link P.A. Aid to End Antisemitism,’’ Jerusalem Post (September 26, 2000).

25.  Spokesman for Israeli  Settlers quoted by Christian Lamb,  ‘‘Intifada: The Next  Genera- tion,’’  Sunday Telegraph (October 15, 2000), p. 26.

26.  Charles Krauthammer, ‘‘Is the  Israeli/Palestinian Peace  Process Dead,  and  if So, What’s Next?,’’ November 6, 2000,

27.  See the  well-researched report prepared by Georgetown University Professor Nathan Brown  for Adam  Institute  entitled,  ‘‘Democracy, History and  the  Contest over  the  Palestin- ian  Curriculum’ (November 2001).

28.  IPCRI Study,  Analysis and Evaluation of the New Palestinian Curriculum: Reviewing Palestinian Textbooks and Tolerance Education Program, 2003.

29.  Israeli  daily  Ha’aretz (January 2, 2001).

30.  Israeli  daily  Yediot Aharonot (August  3, 2000).

31.  Robert Malley,  and  Hussein Agha. ‘‘Camp  David:  The Tragedy  of Errors,’’  The New York Review of Books 48(13) (August  9, 2001), pp.  59-65; reproduced in Journal of Palestine Studies 31(1) (Autumn 2001), pp.  62-75; and  ‘‘Camp  David  Proposal of July, 2000,’’ Negotiations Affairs  Department, Palestine Liberation Organization,

32.  For a clarification from  the  Palestinian Ministry of Education on  the  education system, see: ‘‘The Palestinian Curriculum and  Textbooks,’’ Palestine-Israel Journal Viii(2), 2001,  pp.115-18.

33.  Maureen Meehan,’’ Israeli  Textbooks and  Children’s Literature Promote Racism  and Hatred Toward Palestinians and  Arabs,’’ Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Special Report (September 1999), pp.  19–20.  See also:  Y. Bar-Gal, ‘‘The Image  of the  ‘Palestinian’ in Geography Textbooks in Israel.’’ Journal of Geography 93, pp.  224–232;  D. Bar-Tal, ‘‘The Rocky Road towards Peace:  Societal Beliefs  Functional to Intractable Conflict in Israeli  School Textbooks,’’ Journal of Peace Research 35, pp.  723-42.

34.  Different views  on  the  wall  are  reflected in the  following articles: Prof. Ephraim Ya’ar and  Dr. Tamar Hermann, ‘‘A fence, yes—but not  in Jerusalem,’’ Ha’aretz (Friday,  April  18, 2003); Gabriel Danzig, ‘‘No to Unilateral Separation,’’ Jerusalem Post Internet (May 23 2002); Jerry Levin. ‘‘Supposing everything west  of the  Mississippi was  Palestine,’’ From  the  inside Looking  Out  – Hebron Report 12. Mid East Realities, 2002;  Mark  Lavie, ‘‘Separation of West Bank  and  Israel  Proposed,’’ US-World News (August  17), 2001;  Nadav  Shragai, ‘‘Dividing Jerusalem,’’ Ha’aretz (April 19, 2003); PLO Negotiations Affairs  Department,  ‘‘Israel’s Separation: Bad Fences  Make  Bad Neighbors’’ (June  6, 2002); ‘‘Unilateral Separation,’’ Econo- mist (September 4, 2001).

35.  On my way from  Dearborn, Michigan to the  airport in early  December 2004,  my driver turned out  to be a Palestinian from  Beit Hanina who  immigrated to the  United States 30 years  ago. I asked him:  ‘‘Can you answer me  honestly if I ask  you this  question?’’ He said,  ask.  I asked openly: ‘‘If today  you are  granted your  right of return allowing you to go back  home with a free  ticket to Palestine, would you go to live there in your  old home?’’ He responded with a question: ‘‘But let  me  ask  you,  will  I have  the  same freedom and  lib- erty  that I enjoy  here?’’  I answered: ‘‘You will  have  as much liberty and  freedom as any Arab living  in an  Arab state, no  more, no  less.’’ He responded: ‘‘Then,  no,  thank you.  I will rather spend the  rest  of my life here. It is my duty  to my children to offer  them a better life than the  one  I have  had  back  home.’’  Part  2 of The Palestinian Exodus, 1948-98,  ed., by Ghada  Karmi  and  Eugene Cotran (Reading:  Ithaca Press,1999), deals  with the  question of solutions to the  refugee issue,  specifically looking at the  right of return, compensation, and  reconciliation. In Chapter 9, Rashid  Khalidi  discusses his  bold  and  controversial pro- posal  for the  resolution of the  Palestinian refugee problem based  on  abandoning notions of ‘‘absolute justice’’  in favor  of working toward a solution founded on  principles of what he  calls  ‘‘attainable justice’’  (pp. 238-39).

36.  Elia Zureik, ‘‘Palestinian Refugees and  Peace,’’  Journal of Palestine Studies XXIV, 93(1) (Autumn 1994), pp.  16-17.

37.  See Edward Said, Peace and Its Discontents (New York: Vintage Books,  1996); ‘‘Palestinian Versailles,’’  Progressive (December 1993), p. 22; ‘‘The Lost liberation,’’ The Guardian (Septem- ber  9, 1993).

38.  For a book  that attempts to develop a method for using religion to resolve conflicts, especially the  Palestinian-Israeli conflict, see: Gopin  Marc,  Holy War, Holy Peace: How Religion Can Bring Peace to the Middle East (New York: Oxford  University Press,  2002).

39.  See: European Centre for Conflict Prevention. People Building Peace. 35 Inspiring Stories from around the World (Utrecht: European Centre for Conflict Prevention, 1999); Galama, Anneke, and Paul van Tongeren, ed., Towards Better Peacebuilding Practice: On Lessons Learned, Evaluation Prac- tices and Aid & Conflict. Utrecht, Netherlands: European Centre for Conflict Prevention, 2002.

40.  See the  book  published in 1946  by Maria  Montessori, the  pioneer of peace education, entitled, Education for a New World.

41.  D. Bar-Tal, ‘‘The Elusive  Nature of Peace  Education,’’ in G. Salomom and  B. Nevo,  ed., Peace Education (Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 2002), p. 28.

42.  I. Harris, ‘‘Conceptual Underpinnings of Peace  Education,’’ in G. Salomom and  B. Nevo, Editors, Peace Education (Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 2002), p. 22.

43.  For an  assessment of the  likelihood that the  Palestinian education system would succeed in teaching the  civic virtues necessary to democracy, see Andrew Rigby, Palestinian Education—The Future Challenge (Jerusalem: Palestinian Academic Society  for the  Study  of International Affairs  (PASSIA), 1995).

44.  For a paper on  psychological obstacles to Israel-Palestinian reconciliation, see Israeli and Palestinian Identities in History and Literature, ed., Kamal  Abdel-Malek and  David  Jacobson (New York: St. Martin’s Press,  1999).

45.  See: M. Abu-Nimer, Editor.  Reconciliation, Justice and Coexistence: Theory and Practice (Lanam, MA: Lexington Books,  2001); Lederach, J.P. Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace  Press,  1997,  and  by the  same author, The Journey toward Reconciliation. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press,  1999.

46.  See: Kamal  Abdel-Malek and  David  Jacobson, Editors, Israeli and Palestinian Identities in History and Literature (New York: St. Martin’s Press,  1999).

47.  Hizkias Assefa,  People Building Peace. 35 Inspiring Stories from around the World (Utrecht: European Centre for Conflict Prevention,  1999).

48.  Rashid  Khalidi,  ‘‘Truth,  Justice  and  Reconciliation: Elements of a Solution to the Palestinian Refugee  Issue,’’ in The Palestinian Exodux-1948-88, eds. Ghada  Karmi  and  Eugene Cotran (Reading:  Ithaca Press,  1999), pp. 221-43.

49.  Munther Dajani, ‘‘A Predicament in Search of an  Innovative Solution,’’ in The Palestinian Refugees: Old Problems—New Solutions, ed., by Joseph  Ginat  and  Edward Perkins (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press,  2001), pp.243-44.

50.  Quoted in Fouad  Moughrabi, ‘‘The Politics  of Palestinian Textbooks,’’ Journal of Palestine Studies, Issue  121 (Autumn 2001).

51.  Nur  Masalha, ‘‘The Historic Roots  of the  Palestinian Refugee  Question,’’ in Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return, ed., by Naseer Aruri  (London:  Pluto  Press,  2001).

52.  See: D. Tutu,  No Future without Forgiveness (New York: Doubleday, 1997); E. L. Worthing- ton,  Jr. Dimensions of Forgiveness: Psychological Research and Theological Perspectives (Radnor, PA: Templeton Foundation Press,  1998).

53.  Lisa Collier  Cool, ‘‘The Power  of Forgiving: Best way to heal  a heart,’’ Reader’s Digest (May 2004), p. 86.

54.  Antonia Dimou, ‘‘The Road  Map  Peace  Plan.’’  DEFENSOR-PACIS,  Defense Analyses  Insti- tute, Issue  13  (July 2003),  pp.  78-86.  For  the  text  of  the  Road  Map  see:  ‘‘The Road Map,’’  Palestine-Israel Journal 10(2) 2003,  pp.  115-19.  For  a  book  that traces, portrays, and explains the  American search for  Mideast peace, see  Dan  Tschirgi, The American Search for  Mideast Peace (New  York:  Praeger, 1989).  Tschirgi follows  a  chronological approach  of the  period from  1967  to  1988.

55.  See: Scott  Macleod, ‘‘Arab Moves for Peace.’’  New Statesman 109 (March  8, 1985), 18-19.

56.  At the  end  of the  1967  Khartoum Summit, the  Arab heads of state agreed in their con- ference communiqué, ‘‘…to unite their political efforts on  the  international and  diplomatic level  to eliminate the  effects of the  aggression and  to insure the  withdrawal of the  aggres- sive Israeli  forces  from  the  Arab lands which have  been occupied since  the  5th  June  aggres- sion.  This will  be done within the  framework of the  main principle to which the  Arab states adhere, namely: no  conciliation with Israel,  no  recognition of Israel,  no  negotiations with it, and  adherence to the  rights of the  Palestinian people in their country.’’

57.  Munther S. Dajani, ‘‘Achieving  Security and  Cooperation in the  Arab Israeli  Conflict: A Home  Grown Peace  Initiative (The Nusseibeh Ayalon  Declaration),’’ Rivista della Cooperazi- one Giuridica Internazionale, VI(18) (December 2004), pp.  7-14.

58.  Geneva Initiative: Peace Is Possible (Ramallah: The Peace  Coalition, 2004). The 54-page Geneva document details the  creation of a Palestinian state encompassing 97.5 percent of the  West  Bank  with shared sovereignty over  Jerusalem. The Palestinians will  waive  the right of return for some  3.8 million refugees under the  initiative.

59.  ‘‘A Renowned Israeli  Musician Condemns the  Israeli  Occupation and  Detonates His Prize  to the  Palestinian People,’’  May 11, 2004  (IPC + Agencies)-[Official PA website] Baren- boim remarks were  met  with a standing ovation by the  audience during his  acceptance speech for the  Wolf  Foundation Prize,  which he  received at the  Knesset on  May 9, 2004. The renowned musician has  decided to donate his  $50,000  prize to the  Palestinian people aiming at encouraging the  Palestinian music. Daniel Barenboim (60) was  born in Buenos Aires in 1942  to parents of Jewish  Russian descent. He started piano lessons at the  age of five with his  mother. In 1992  he  became General Music Director of the  Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin.  In the  autumn of 2000,  the  Staatskapelle Berlin  appointed him  Chief  Conductor for Life.

60.  Quoted in: Merle  Thorpe, Jr., ‘‘Notes of a Bit Player  in the  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,’’ Journal of Palestine Studies 91, XXIII(3) (Spring  1994), p. 42.

61.  Yitzhak Rabin,  Speech to the  Knesset (July 13, 1992), quoted in,  Amal  Jamal,  ‘‘The Pal- estinians in the  Israeli  Peace  Discourse: A Conditional Partnership,’’ Journal of Palestine Stud- ies XXX(1) (Autumn 2000), p. 39.

62.  Gershon Baskin, and  Zakaria al Qaq. Editors. Creating a Culture of Peace (Jerusalem: IPCRI, 1999), p. 2.

63.  Shimon Peres,  The New Middle East (Longmead: Element Books,  1993), p. 3.

64.  In 1988,  the  Yitzhak Shamir government deported Mubarak Awad, a prominent  Pales- tinian Jerusalemite non-violent activist during the  first  Intifada, and  thus preventing him from  laying  the  foundation of non-violence philosophy within the  Palestinian society.

65.  Uri Savir, The Process (New York: Random House, 1998), p. 114.

66.  Jerome Segal,  an  American Jewish  academic, in his  thoughtful book,  Creating the Pales- tinian State: A Strategy for Peace (Chicago:  Lawrence Hill Books,  1989) takes a historic intellec- tual  journey that culminates in his  advocacy of a two-state solution as the  only  way to achieve peace in the  promised land.

67.  Yitzhak Rabin,  ‘‘Peace in the  National Order  of Priorities,’’ in Israeli-Arab Negotiations: Political Positions and  Conceptual Frameworks, editors, Tamar Herman and  Robin  Twite (Tel Aviv: Papyrus, 1993), p. 15 {in Hebrew}  quoted from:  Amal  Jamal,  ‘‘The Palestinians in the  Israeli  Peace  Discourse: A Conditional Partnership,’’ Journal of Palestine Studies XXX(1) (Autumn 2000), p. 37.

68.  See: UNESCO and a Culture of Peace: Promoting a Global Movement (Paris: UNESCO, 1997), p. 5.

69.  Konrad Adenauer for Reconciliation and Peace: Remembering the Past to build the Future (Jerusalem: Konrad  Adenauer Stiftung, 2001), p. 14.

70.  The possibilities for peaceful coexistence between Israelis and  Palestinians are  illus- trated in Mine Enemy, by Amalia  and  Aharon Barnea (New York: Grove  Press,  1988).

71.  One  good  example is Israeli  Prime Minister Menachem Begin:  In 1948,  Menachem Begin broke with David  Ben Gurion because he  could  not  agree to giving  up  any  of the sacred soil of Greater Israel,  that include Jordan. In 1978,  Begin ceded back  the  Sinai removing all Jewish  settlements, though Sinai  is where Moses spoke to God and  came down with the  Ten Commandments.

72.  Uri Avnery,  My Friend, the Enemy (Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill & Company, 1986).

73.  Abba Eban,  ‘‘Building  Bridges,  Not Walls,’’ The Guardian (September 10, 1993).

74.  Satish  Kumar, Prayer  for Peace  (1981).

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