IS PEACE POSSIBLE?

IS PEACE POSSIBLE?

Is Peace and Reconciliation Possible? by Christy Anastas & Howard Stern The English author, C S Lewis, wrote that forgiveness is a great idea until someone has something to forgive. So when two peoples such as the Palestinians and Israelis, who have been at war for so long with so many losses on both sides, in a conflict driven by nationalistic pride or over claims of ancient covenant rights, forgiveness can quickly disappear. In its place remains unforgiveness, a cruel prison keeping people captive to historic injuries. For genuine and lasting reconciliation to occur there must be forgiveness. Forgiveness is the foundation upon which a house of reconciliation can be built. For true progress towards reconciliation to be made there must first be honesty about past failings, recognition of each other’s needs and rights, and a willingness to make compromise. People must see each other’s humanity. Both sides must understand, appreciate and respect each other’s needs for security, peace, cultural freedoms and the need to work together towards common goals, such as the prevention of terrorism. In the Palestine-Israel conflict there is a huge amount at stake for both parties. Both have much to gain or lose depending on how successful future negotiations are. However, such negotiations can only succeed if they focus on the future, and not dwell in the past. We must learn from the past, but not dwell in it, for we cannot change it, we can only affect the future. Today exists a window of opportunity that has not been present before. This opportunity is to be found among the generation of younger Palestinians and...
BETHLEHEM PROFESSOR SPEAKS OUT

BETHLEHEM PROFESSOR SPEAKS OUT

Translated article by Bethlehem University professor Published on Radio Bethlehem Website – 21/2/14. Palestinian youth, especially university graduates, have reached a high level of desperation and severe frustration. In my job as a lecturer at Bethlehem University I meet and mingle with many of the graduates, and this enables me to observe their desperation and frustration. Some of them have been in tears because of their horrible situation and their inability to find careers or even get a scholarship to complete their higher education. They all agree that nepotism and favoritism known as “Vitamin F” (aka connections) are prevalent in our Palestinian society. I was prompted to write this article in order to express the high levels of desperation, which our Palestinian youth are facing; it has pushed them to the point of saying “Hey professor even the groom needs connections.” (we need connections/favours to help us get jobs.) Is this the really the state we have got to in our community? For how long will we disregard the potential and destroy the ambitions of university graduates who are supposed to have a key role in building the society? With appreciation for all classes and different levels in our society, we can all compliment each other as a connected circle. But what worries me, and it is the concern of many others as well, is that this situation encourages the qualified, the intellectual, and people with experience to leave our country and invest in other countries; countries which we long to emulate, even if only a fraction of their capabilities and development in all areas of life. How long...