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No More Enemies in Israel and Palestine

8 August 2011 2 Comments

Deb Reich

Deb Reich
Israel

The Internet age has given us a kind of global nervous system for all humanity. We are certainly becoming one extended human family; one community. In that reality, everyone’s human rights are inherently interactive and interconnected – starting with the reciprocal right of all human beings on this planet to refuse to be enemies.”

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I see new reason for hope in all the places where peace has eluded us for so long – places like Palestine, and Israel, where I live. Here, the term “peace” has become almost emptied of meaning after all these years of fruitless struggle to find it. What can our goal be now?

More than a few of us Israelis and Palestinians (especially women, I think) cling to a vision of something creative and innovative that we are determined to midwife together, across the divide.  Our vision does not belittle anyone’s aspirations for self-determination in this land. Instead, we seek to build on our commonalities in a new way. This new way would let all of us fulfill our dreams for our children, in partnership, in a new atmosphere of total equality, in a free and democratic country or confederation or co-nation. I have written about this elsewhere as “parallel sovereignty.” In a major research project at Sweden’s Lund University Center for Middle East Studies, the idea was called “parallel states.” There are lots of such blueprints out there – reaching for a new design that serves the needs of all, instead of serving mainly one side at the other’s expense. We want to see each other as added value, as co-teachers and co-learners, as co-designers in the project for a better way. What has been missing is an over-arching, shared perspective that could make all this more feasible.

Deb and Maha

My new book, No More Enemies, offers such a perspective. The Internet age has given us a kind of global nervous system for all humanity. We are certainly becoming one extended human family; one community. In that reality, everyone’s human rights are inherently interactive and interconnected – starting with the reciprocal right of all human beings on this planet to refuse to be enemies. We cannot realize this basic human right in isolation, but only in tandem – together with our former “enemies,” whom we will come to value as partners instead.

I envision that the “No More Enemies” paradigm will certainly take hold during my lifetime – but that timeline is too vague. My Palestinian friends, like Maha and her nephews Mohammed and Yousif in Gaza City, are anxious to be free now, today; while they are still young enough to enjoy it.

Meanwhile, plenty of my Israeli friends seek justice and equality for all, not just for their own “side”: you will find them at Neve Shalom~ Wahat al Salam, a shared Jewish-Arab village in Israel; and at the Parents Circle/Families Forum with their bereaved Palestinian counterparts, speaking to Israeli and Palestinian audiences at schools and clubs, hoping that no other family will have to experience that pain; and at Machsom Watch (“women against occupation and for human rights”); and at Ir Amin (advocating for a shared Jerusalem for all faiths and nationalities).

I know so many Israelis and Palestinians who already understand that we are all one side now. There’s no time to lose! If we all work at this together, we can leverage a shift in the underlying paradigm and make this vision a reality: humanity’s big project to co-redesign the way we run our world. No More Enemies! There is a lot of work to do, and there is reason for hope. It’s up to us: all of us.

Find out more about Deb’s work at: www.NoMoreEnemies.net.

The views and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Peace X Peace.

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2 Comments to “No More Enemies in Israel and Palestine”
  1. irit says:

    Thank you Deb.
    Indeed , many of us , here in Israel, believe in and do for peace.
    Let’s hope for a real big positive change.

    Congratulation for your new book.

    Irit

  2. Yes there is great urgency for peace!

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