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Monday, 16 May 2011

Simon Hughes and the road to reconciliation

So I was at this event yesterday and a guy from Peace Now gave me a flyer for an event organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues, on imagining a shared vision for Israel/Palestine in 2031, to be chaired by the Lib Dem co-chair of this all-party group, Simon Hughes. The Group hopes that "by focusing on the rising generation's vision of the world in which they want to live, fresh thinking might emerge that could help create a future for Israel/Palestine where violent conflict no longer dominates." Eight Israeli, Palestinian and Anglo-Jewish young people are involved; the first meeting will feature an Israeli journalist, an Israeli student, a past president of Oxford University Jewish Society and a potential new British immigrant to Israel. This really has to be applauded. Things like this will not, on their own, bring about peace between Israelis and Palestinians. But they are at least a step in the right direction and at least somebody is trying. 


  1. Gila Rabinowitz18 May 2011 at 19:28

    Having attended the committee meeting last night I can say that it was certainly a productive exercise in hearing the views of four Jewish advocates for peace in Israel and Palestine, 2 of whom were Israeli students on the Olive Tree program at City University. All were advocates for the two state solution and all shared their vision and the way they envisage reaching a state of peace in the region.

    Various points were made that struck as true and relevant, namely that it is the geopolitical circumstances in the region that influence and shape culture and politics and that they would want to see 2 states that are not defined by conflict in the future. Another fair point was made that it takes societies tie to adjust to new peace agreements and that this is something that ought to be taken into account at every stage. One of the spokespersons commented that they would want to see an "amicable divorce not a forced cohabitation" which I think is a productive way to work towards a sustainable peace agreement and to see one through.

    Jeffrey Donaldson, MP for Lagan Valley was in attendance at the meeting and shared his views based on the Northern Ireland Peace Agreement and the conflict in Northern Ireland which certainly mirrors the conflict in Israel and Palestine in many ways. His view was that rather than shaping attitudes of citizens and then forming a Peace Agreement, the way forward was to construct and implement a peace agreement which would then construct and change people's attitudes.

    Overall a highly informative and productive session that, whilst it did not focus on specific details, did focus on the vision of British Jewry for peace in Israel and Palestine.

  2. Thank you - I'm glad to hear that it was a success.