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Issues of the Day Murder in the West Bank Further Distances the Prospects for Peace
 

The murder last Thursday of a thirteen year-old girl sleeping in her bed followed on Friday by the drive-by slaying of a father of ten whose wife and two teenage daughters were injured in the attack can only be termed cold-blooded murder. That they took place in the West Bank by Palestinians against residents of Jewish settlements does not detract from their criminality and cruelty.

 

Moving forward toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is long overdue and the status quo is corrosive for both sides. However, bloodletting in the name of national struggle perpetuates injustice, fans extremist passions and erodes belief that a solution is possible.


President Abbas Promotes Libel

 

Making matters worse was President Mahmoud Abbas remark, also on Thursday, at the European Parliament that rabbis are promoting the poisoning of Palestinian water wells, which was later tepidly retracted by the leader of the Palestinian Authority. 

 

Such libels advanced by the Palestinian president strengthens the naysayers to peace on the Israeli side. Is there a partner for peace among the Palestinians?, is a legitimate question asked by many mainstream Israelis who are inclined toward a two-state solution if they believed one was feasible. 

 

It is not easy to convince them that there are voices of peace on the other side of the conflict in the context of a weekend that included four terror attacks and rocket fire from Gaza that struck an empty kindergarten building.


Dialog and Peace Education

 

Those outside the region who wish for an end to the conflict would do well not to promote one-sided propaganda but to work for peace education and coexistence programs meant to bridge both sides to the Israeli-Palestinian divide.

 

Constructive programs are promoted by myriad foreign friends including Libby and Len Taubman whose Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group in California has been running for more than two decades.


There are no shortage of coexistence groups in Israel who regularly partner with Palestinian ones. If you are interested in peace, support dialog and changing hearts and minds, not murderous deeds. 


© Yosef Gotlieb, . All rights reserved