Israeli and Palestinian children, each one of them created in the divine image, deserve a peaceful and secure future. Several attempts to reach a negotiated two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have failed to yield the desired result. Frustration has mounted throughout this period on both sides and throughout the international community. However, it remains in the best interests of both Israelis and Palestinians that a two-state solution is achieved, with the Jewish and democratic state of Israel next to a sovereign Palestinian state. The creation of two states is the only way to ensure Israel’s security while acknowledging the great need for Palestinians to fulfill their national aspirations.
In order for any negotiated settlement to work, the parties must have the necessary infrastructure for peace. This requires a significant investment in peacebuilding programs in order to foster relationships across all segments of both societies – political and civil society leaders, educators, children, and families, etc. This necessary work of peacemaking transcends the politics of the day. It looks not solely to the governments on either side or their leaders – but to the societies and individuals who must ultimately coexist as neighbors. The Israel Action Network applauds and supports a broad network of individuals and organizations that do this heroic work day in and day out – helping Israelis and Palestinians to become familiar with the narratives of the “other,” to see the humanity in those who would otherwise be cast at enemies, and to work together against all odds to achieve this fundamental goal. This person-to-person peacebuilding work may not be sufficient to achieve long lasting peace, but it is surely necessary to sustain it.