The battle between Israel and Palestine is disastrous. Israel came under control of a larger area than was allocated to them in the UN partition plan. More than 700,000 Palestinians fled the war zone to the surrounding countries, to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The Israelis call this war the war of independence. The Palestinians call that same war Nakba, which means ‘disaster.’
Will there be a solution to the conflict?
Efforts have been made for decades to resolve the Israel Palestine conflict. These efforts are complicated by several factors. The Palestinians are divided between the extremist Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and the more moderate Fateh, which controls the West Bank. These Palestinian groups have also fought among themselves in the past. Moreover, there are even more Palestinian (radical) groups.
Steps towards peace have been taken with some neighboring countries. In 1978 Egyptian President Sadat made peace with Israeli Prime Minister Begin. Egypt is thus regaining the Sinai desert it lost in 1967. Other Arab countries react angrily to this agreement. There is also internal anger in Egypt: Sadat is even murdered in 1981 by soldiers who are members of the fundamentalist Islamic Jihad.
Historic handshake in 1993, Palestinian leader Arafat (r) meets Israeli leader Rabin for peace negotiations.
Later there are peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that culminate in the Oslo Accords of 1993. Palestinians are given the right to self-government under a Palestinian Authority of their own. But later attempts at lasting peace yield little.
Also in Israel, not everyone thinks the same about the future. Radical, strictly orthodox Jews do not want to know of any concessions to the Palestinians. Prime Minister Rabin, who once shook hands with Palestinian President Arafat, is killed by Orthodox Jew Yigal Amir as punishment for his rapprochement with the Palestinians.
Palestinian nationalism is gaining momentum
Negotiations for a solution were constantly stranded. Palestinian nationalism, which arose under British rule, was further fueled after the 1948 war. The Palestinians also wanted their own state. That is why several Palestinian military and political groups united in 1964 to form the overarching Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Inclusive and Equal Societies
The participation of young Palestinians in the political process that directly impacts their lives is crucial. In the West Bank, PAX works with the Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy (PCPD) on such things as promoting gender equality, preparing young Palestinians to participate in electoral campaigns and city councils, and holding municipalities accountable for their policies and commitments. inclusive politics.
The Palestinian community is religiously diverse. Freedom of religion and belief promotes tolerance, protects the space to exercise religion or belief in the form of worship, education, practice, and observance, as well as the right to have no religion or to protect non-religious beliefs. PAX, together with PCPD, tries to guarantee this freedom in a broader context of respect for fundamental human rights.
PAX works with progressive, pro-peace and pro-justice organizations and people on both sides. Together with MITVIM, the Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policy and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, PAX published the report Divided and Divisive, which analyzes current dynamics and challenges in the relationship between the European Union and Israel.