Summary of the February 8th, simulation
This Zoom simulation was the most attended ever. We are getting participants from the entire globe including Israelis and Palestinians. We dealt with new legislation: common passport, common police force, improving relations with Iran, Hezballah and other neighboring countries and redrawing the separation wall. They all passed by the Israeli and Palestinian parliament members. Hamas leader and the PA President vetoed the legislation to redraw the wall insisting on demolishing it altogether. The Israeli PM said that he will recommend demolishing it in 5 years if he sees an improved security with Gaza. At the end of the simulation, we had a lively conversation about democracy in the context of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. At one point Hamas leader and Germany’s Chancellor suggested that the IPC will have to solve the land dispute first before it could move to other issues. The president of the IPC replied that the common government was established to solve issues by having its own perspective, focusing on people first and not necessarily on land.
At the conclusion of the simulation, we received an email from Libby Traubman. She gave permission to publish. Dear Josef,
Thank you for your creative ideas and patience in hearing from the participants this morning. As I said in response to your question about the IPC plans, I appreciate the creative thinking and willingness to try something new. As you stated, neither Israeli nor Palestinian leaders have been able for decades to bring any sort of new thinking or potential solutions to the Israeli Palestinian Relationship (rather than Conflict!). As long as the focus is on “facts” rather than human need, nothing will ever be settled. Sadly, Israel has power over but is not only taking Life away from the Palestinians, it is also killing the spirit of the Israeli people too.
I heard all the reasons this won’t work from the people on the call, getting bogged down in old ways of thinking and business as usual. If we start with borders and boundaries, religious sites, citizenship, refugees, and other more political issues, it will be impossible to think new. Having been in Jewish Palestinian Living Room Dialogue for nearly 30 years, I have learned starting with issues rather than the people leads to a dead end. Who are the Palestinians? Who are the Israelis? See them as human and equal in their humanity. If all of the people working at a grassroots level, human to human, learning how to live together could be included in IPC, it would be a huge step in the right direction. There are more than 110 groups that make up ALLMEP and they are all dedicated to building a Life that works for everyone. Think of what that would do for tourism, not to mention making Life meaningful and joyful for all citizens, and safe. And ALLMEP is just one of many efforts to find solutions.
What people miss is that all of life is interconnected, interrelated, and interdependent. When our neighbors aren’t safe, we aren’t safe. When our neighbors aren’t in good health, we all pay the price. Right now between the Covid pandemic and the climate crisis it is hard to deny we are ONE and need each other to survive. I suggest painting a big picture of possibility. Invite participants to imagine the ideal future, one that benefits everyone.