Stephen Hessel’s pamphlet ‘Indignez-vous’ calls for a mini-revolution against social injustices in Israel. Clarification may be necessary. But peace in Israel is possible.
Hessel opposes the occupation of Gaza and the construction of the wall. He protests the treatment of the Palestinian people. This, however, isn’t about contesting the existence of the state of Israel.
People may use the issue of Gaza and the publication of this widely read pamphlet in support of Syria or Iran’s opposition to Israel. Indeed, whether you consider the State of Israel legitimate or not, many do and for a good reason, none the least the suffering of Jews during the war or the claims to the ancient holy land.
Segregation and Separation
It’s unfortunate that Israel has followed the political path of segregation and separation, too reminiscent of the very concentration camps from which the Jewish people fled. Relations with countries surrounding Israel aren’t peaceful and the peace process founders even today.
The Wall is symbolic of mistrust, as was the Berlin Wall between east and west. At a time when Russia’s president is to visit Palestinian representatives in Gaza this week, what hopes are there for rekindling this process and for finding a solution for deep and lasting peace? The wall would be demolished as part of a solution although it cost two billion dollars.
Indeed one wonders even how it has been possible to build such a wall while at the same time negotiating. The Arab-Israeli conflict goes back to 1967, the Six-Day War and 1948, the very creation of Israel, but it’s too easy to fall into this ‘traditional’ conflict pattern between two peoples. Peace is possible.
Peace in Israel Is Possible
Living together in harmony is possible. Not perhaps, while Israel maintains its current policies, but neither in a situation claiming the extinction of the Israeli nation. No-one has yet found the balance of peace. Israelis may feel that their land is under threat from claims to property by displaced Palestinians.
The solution lies in the balance between these two claims, but even the intervention of so many presidents and nations since Jimmy Carter hasn’t brought about a long-term solution. Why not? What is the fundamental blocking point that the world’s diplomats not been able to solve: the coexistence of two peoples.
Where is the model? What guidelines did the Israelis establish in the region based on understanding and cooperation? What lessons can these peoples learn from the Irish Conflict?
The worst lesson possible is that terrorist conflict can last for over a generation. Peace is possible through negotiation, exchange, talking, patience and a fundamental desire. Peace benefits all: this is the hope for Israeli and Palestinian peoples.