This document is a
working draft of proposals for joint Israeli and Palestinian actions for peace,
prepared by peace activists. It is not the policy of any group, and is presented
by the authors and by MidEastWeb as a basis for discussion and for initiating
programs that further coexistence. Interested readers should contact:
United Leadership of Shared
Responsibility for Repair
Empowering the Muted Voice of Both Nations
Muted Voice: Among Jews and Palestinians, the main voices
express hatred and anger towards the other nation. Other voices are generally
being muted. Expressing empathy towards the needs and rights of the other
nation is interpreted as ignoring the needs of one’s own nation.
Promoting Empathetic Leadership:
In other places (a known example is South Africa), breakthrough and conflict
transformation were achieved when a leader has expressed empathy towards the
needs and rights of the other side, without making any concessions.
Surprisingly, these leaders often come from the side that has perceived itself
as oppressed and powerless (e.g., Mandela, Tutu). When the formal leadership
is not mature for such empathy, a popular movement for shared understanding
and responsibility is required.
In both nations, most of the people feel hopeless, powerless and have no trust
in the other side. They perceive the current situation as impasse. Especially,
the large group of individuals who understand the need for a just solution for
both nations feels frustrated and paralyzed – as its voice being muted.
Need to Act: This large group looks for activities that
express their muted voice. They want a process that would empower them to
affect the situation, give hope and restore trust.
We believe in a united Palestinian-Jewish
group that acts to express the muted voice. This is the voice of
shared responsibility for a repair that fits the needs and rights
of both nations. This voice must be heard as empathetic to the vast
majority of the people of both nations.
popular process that can affect the media, the public opinion
and the political leaders.
Emphasis on needs and rights,
instead of “solutions, “opinions”. Any solution in the current situation would
sound pathetic and will cause marginalization of ourselves in the public.
Emphasis on what we can do,
instead of giving “advice” to the leaders of the other side, or of “my side”.
They do not listen anyhow. Focusing on giving advice to the political leaders
at this time is a symptom of the paralysis.
only call to leaders
will be to take the role of empathetic leaders who understand the needs and
rights of both sides.
Messages and slogans must appeal to the vast majority of both sides. Although most Israelis want to end the
occupation, the slogan “End the Occupation” is perceived as anti-Israeli.
Although most Palestinians do not believe in killing random civilians, the
slogans “End the Terror” and “End the Violence” are perceived as
anti-Palestinian. More sophisticated messages are required.
role of the Jews
in the group is to support the Palestinians of the group in their appeal to
their people. It should be well understood why this group contributes to the
role of the Palestinians
in the group is to support the Jews of the group in their appeal to their
people. It should be well understood why this group contributes to the Jewish
mutual support must be deep enough to allow the group to be expanded – it
should be a positive feedback process.
Recruitment: in the Jewish side, the initial target
population is the large group from the left and center (and also some from the
right) who will not join activities that are perceived as purely
pro-Palestinian, but at the same time is not sharing the hatred to the
Palestinians in the Jewish public. In the Palestinian side, the initial target
population is the large group who understands that non-violent and
“Tutu-Mandela approach” activities can achieve more in terms of Palestinian
Methodologies: 1. Symbolic actions (vigils, ceremonies,
co-activities, etc.) that express the muted voice of shared responsibility as
well as the ability to act and transform the situation (in opposed to the
general feeling of impotence hopelessness). 2. Community groups who work to
change their local situation by forming partnership of residents from both
nations. 3. Bi-national groups that share profession or specific interest and
work in partnership to achieve a specific win-win synergic goal.
practical short-term challenge:
in the short range, it seems comparably easy to recruit an initial group of
Jews and Palestinians to this movement. However, in order to expand the group,
mutual support will be required. Each one will have to ask: “how can I help the participants from the
other side in their recruitment?” This requires fast proofs
of the efficiency of the group’s approach, at least in a small scale, in
helping the needs of both sides.