PEACE MUST START WITH THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES

If we cannot get along together how can we expect to have peace? Negotiations are meaningless if the people themselves do not back the process.
Hebron is a perfect example of what I am talking about, for decades the settlers and the Palestinians have been a thorn in each other’s side. The settlers provoke, the Palestinians respond, the Palestinians revolt, the settlers attack…. it’s an ongoing situation that is standing in the way of peace ever becoming a reality.
In the case of Hebron, if the Israeli government is serious about peace talks, the surrounding Jewish settlements must be dismantled and the Israeli forces must leave the area. Because of the special status Hebron has to both peoples, concessions must be made to allow Jews access to the holy sites there, but under the control of the Palestinian Authority in whose land those sites are situated.
Only when these goals are accomplished, will the Palestinians be able to control their own areas, eventually leading to statehood….. but it must be Israel that allows this to happen. There will not, cannot be, peace until that day.
Areas in Jerusalem are experiencing similar difficulties… again for the same reasons. The same solution must be applied to those areas in question. The status of Jerusalem must be on the negotiating table. If not, nothing will change.
Both sides have to be prepared to negotiate from a position of strength and equality… not as Occupier to Occupied. The Occupation must end NOW as a prerequisite to any peace talks. There is no other choice as can be seen in the following two disressing articles… ONE from the Electronic Intifada, the OTHER from the magazine section of today’s Jerusalem Post.

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