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Peace without Politics

March 27, 2012

I recently attended a women’s non violent communication workshop and was left amazed at the insights the women had to offer. The two and a half day workshop was held at the crossroads of two worlds, a safe, environmentally friendly meeting place where Palestinians and Israelis could come together in peace and learn from each other and work together on environmentally sustainable projects. Last weekend the workshop was held for women and next weekend there will be a men’s workshop. During the first day and a half I wondered if the discussions would reach the point where the women could communicate their feelings regarding the situation in Israel/Palestine. By the middle of the last day, they did. As a volunteer I felt privileged to witness the passionate conversation that commenced under the guidance of one of the nonviolent communication trainers. Palestinian and Israeli women both revealed the need for safety and their feelings of fear in regards to each other. Women on both sides had lost loved ones to the endless fighting. Women on both sides recognized the need for change and acknowledged each other’s pain. I only wish politicians could listen more to the people they serve and think less about how to get reelected. I truly believe that if there were more opportunities for the people of Israel and Palestine to communicate freely with each other and to recognize each other not as enemies, but as neighbours living in a state of media fuelled fear and uncertainty then there would be less tit for tat fighting between the two and more open discussions about peace.  If a true peace is to exist in this part of the world, it needs to come from the people. It needs to come from their hearts. Signing a peace treaty is only the start, but a piece of paper will do nothing to quell a person’s fear of the unknown, especially when they have been brought up their whole lives to fear the other. Israelis and Palestinians need to meet each other as friends and not only see each other on TV as enemies.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2012 15:42

    It was the women of Northern Ireland that finally put aside the religious differences in the interest of the commonalities they shared that got that area to really have a permanent cease fire….and soon after the economy improved and advancements and improvements in the lifestyle for all got better…the women CAN lead it!

    Did you get to sit in on the men’s discussion? I bet it was not as hopeful…but I would love to be wrong.

    • April 18, 2012 17:33

      During the men’s weekend there were no women present, but I know that attendence was much lower and their discussion did not go as in depth as the women’s. I definitely believe that the women of Israel and Palestine can achieve peace through more workshops like the one I attended and even just through meeting each other and recognizing each other as individuals and equals and not always as enemies.

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