upon the advice of a fellow member i have decided to post one of my previous posts here in order to see if any constructive views could be added.
It's interesting to read your views in this thread, although I'm a Lebanese woman and not sure I'm welcome here. Nevertheless, upon readingother sites, I wish to add a few words of my own opinion.
Peace is a state of being that all communities should strive for, a state in which everyone works and lives in harmony and co-operation. Sounds reasonable. However, is it really necessary? I hear people saying peace is not an option nowadays, Israelis and Palestinians do not want peace, and so peace is not desired. Let's check this..
The situation as it is now is not acceptable. A life of fear, anger and hate professed on both sides. Let's examine the different solutions as they are perceived from different points of view. Some Palestinians suggest to continue armed resistance and to build up military power and force Israel to withdraw its occupation. To answer this I point to Israel's extensive military experience and technology, and also point to statistics of recent years concerning territories, casualties and their knock-on effects on the economy. Armed resistance means completely destroying the land, with little or no progress to freedom.
Some Israelis suggest to transfer or, better stil, eradicate the entire Palestinian population. However, to answer this I must say that wherever the Arab/Palestinian may be, ambitions will not be surpressed and their desire to fight for their cause will only increase with time. No fence or border will ever protect Israel from this, and she is shown this time and time again. Transfer only means perpetuating Palestinian actions against Israel. Continued clashes will worsen the Palestinians' life and thus strenthen the armed resistance and guerilla warfare.
Of course, only a peace agreement will eventually lead to true safety. Any other 'solution' means either hiding behind an illusion of safety or perpetuating the dangers through endless conflict, where no side can 'win'.
The question remains, how shall we decide what is the desired fair peace? Who gets what and why? Many ould clearly say the right thing to do in order to judge this is to go to history books and see exactly what happened, and rule according to this information. That is the right thing to do in my opinion as well.
But is it really that simple?
There is no history. This is easily seen from the vast information on the web, where all points of view are mixed, not bound by any border. Studying the available histories can create some confusion. There are extreme differences between histories as each side portrays it. Can we reach a mutual decision about one, true history? There is in my books and maybe that has a lot with me being lebanese. But then to ba fair and true I tell myself that the roots of why the Jews feel a connection to the land is irrelevant. The feeling is enough.
Some Israelis might say "We are fighting a war, Palestinians don't want peace, they're not ready for self-governing, will never abandon the way of violence."
Some Palestinians might say "We are being occupied by a vicious, ruthless army, and though the Israeli government claims to be 'peaceful' they really want surrender NOT peace."
On both sides you will find people saying "They seek to destroy us." Even agreeing on the present is not simple. Except maybe, hat things should not continue as they are.
Obviously, there is a clash concerning territories and governing, concerning rights and obligations, concerning limits and borders. However, I believe that there is a middle point that both sides can agree on, and once this common ground is found things will be different. How different? Peace? Love? Happiness? I doubt it. BUT there will be TOLERANCE. I may hate my neighbour playing loud music long into the early hours BUT I could tolerate it for a while, and then maybe have a quiet word if things persist - agreeing that as long as s/he chooses an appropriate time I'd be ok with it. We could write up a timetable and stick to it..sounds trivial but I think the principle is quite relevant and reliable.
Nevertheless, even then there will be a long road ahead. But the change could mean that things could finally start moving in a positive direction. Obviously change will not be easy and it will be frustrating, but the way things are today they seem to be going downhill, deeper into an abyss that will be impossible to get out of. Leading to more destruction, more bitterness and more death. Then less understanding and consequently bigger gaps to bridge.
To have a durable condition of safety and peace there cannot be a situation in which neighbouring people have extremely different living conditions. - Where some have a relatively prosperous life and others a life of poverty with distinct cruel differences. A rich nation neighbouring an extremely poor one. Why not? because sucha difference will create financial dependence, and will rvive, strengthen and justify resentment and friction between the two sides. Moreover, if the difference is extreme, it will lead to the poorer side giving birth to extreme actions..here's where the suicide bombing takes effect. Also, it will lead to the richer side giving birth to ideas of superiority, and contempt to exploit.
So, it is an objective to create prosperity throughout the region, to build up the Palestinians' quality of life, be it industry or schooling. The current situation only serves to cripple what is left of the Palestinian economy. So an immediate step to final peace must be to stop ruining the Palestinian economy. Nonetheless, more steps are needed, many more, and the financial aid can only be gained through a peace agreement, by international financial aids to support peace.
It is agreed by most people concerned with the conflict, that the solution will be two territories, one to Israelis, one to Palestinians. The difficult thing to agree on is the line between those two territories.
So how can a border line be agreed by everyone? We should remember that both Palestinians need space to work, live and cultivate land.
Agreement must be based on mutual recognition.
Agreement must be based on equality between the sides.
These are necessary in order to form any sort of foundation for equal and just negotiations, negotiations leading to a border-agreement that will not be a source for further dispute.
The fate of Jerusalem, the right of return and the settlemets are all controversial issues. Countless different opinions, demands and arguments. The different solutions propsed must be reviewed by both parties. To either, some solutions may seem acceptable and other solutions may not BUT few solutions will seem like outright insanity! What is likely to happen is not a single negotiation will immediately be tagged as acceptable by both parties. However, as in any negotiation, ONE of the solutions can and will be agreed upon.
Big stones can be moved and it will take time, effort and long, painful talks. Difficult but possible.
The past is a good teacher. It has taught us that a peoples' self-determination cannot be surpressed and must not be dictated.
The past teaches us that a situation in which behind a fence people live in hunger, fear and humilation is not tolerable and only nds in both sides' sacred blood being spilled.