17/10/2008

The peace into action

Past weekend, the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) held its annual plenary Assembly in Jordan. In addition to the future of the institution, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the theme of the parliamentary debates. The statement issued by the Assembly touches on many sensitive issues such as settlements, the Palestinian economic situation, and so on. Upon reading it, we can nevertheless feel a sense of déjà vu, already read, already heard. Very nice words, but when will actions follow?

The Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary still speak about Annapolis, highlighting the efforts and encouraging their continuity. Is it intended as a diplomatic compromise or as policy of the ostrich? The leaders of the two countries continue their dialogue, but they are no longer supported by their people. The situation becomes schizophrenic between what is said and the reality. So, support to the development plans of Palestine is surely a good thing, but before that the international community must push each side to respect its commitments. It also needed to make contact with the real actors of peace, those who make the effort to move beyond the prejudices to build peace with, and not against the Other.

A simple example happened last weekend in the outskirts of Ramallah. Some Israelis and Palestinians gathered to harvest olives, hand in hand (Yad beYad) because this is the name of their group. Such actions exist and are quite numerous, but are not often in the media.

No real peace can be gained without an understanding and mutual respect. If the EMPA, or Europe wants to help build peace, it must act beyond the constraints and political calculations, with those among Israelis and Palestinians that really want it.

 

N.J.O.