A little knowledge is dangerous. It makes you skeptical and with good reason. I just returned from Israel , I met with Gershon Baskin, 2 Palestinian people‘s representatives, an ex- Minister of Palestinian Communications, Basher Al – Masri ( developer of Rawabi) and Michael Friedson, the co- founder & editor of Media Line. I was not alone, I was on An American Technion Geo Political Mission to Israel with 16 other members who support The Technion . I had no American Newspapers in Israel and barely had time to read The Jerusalem Post or Haaretz. Now that I’m home I’ve read The New York Times and find it hard to take their news as gospel. For instance, they noted a bombing raid by Israel on Friday in retaliation for Gaza rockets fired onto the Southern Territories? Was this separate from the bombings on Monday? And where was the reporting of Syrian missiles bought from Russia and on route to Lebanon? The Israeli’s destroyed them on Friday morning? It was reported by the BBC in Haifa early Friday morning. The news we read in America must be viewed skeptically. It surely does not reflect what’s happening in Israel and the Palestine territories. According to Media Line there is a ” cone of silence” surrounding the Peace talks. No leaks. However, after speaking to the group cited above, we can discern the following: 1. If Peace is to occur, BiBi Netanyahu will be responsible. No one thought he would release these 26 ” terrorists”. He did it to take away excuses for not concluding a Peace deal.. 2. The Palestinian people are fed up with their leadership and don’t believe they are interested in a Peace deal for a Palestinian State. 3. Some people think the PLO is corrupt and fractured. 4. After my visit in January, when the PLO claimed no interest in Gaza, they now want a negotiated deal that includes Gaza? without Hamas? The goal keeps changing.
5. Rawabi , which I visited in January, has grown to a much larger project and their goal, imposed upon them by the PLO has changed as well. Bashar Al-Masri claimed that he wanted Rawabi to be a destination point for all Arabs, like TelAviv, a cultural center with beautiful buildings affordable for most middle class Arabs. Since the PLO has not made the required infrastructure connections , Rawabi can not be a viable City. It’s size is now 10 times what it was in January and the plan has changed from being international to being a modern local Mecca for West Bank residents.. Forcing the abandonment of an already thriving city, Ramallah? No one knows the outcome of this development, but if all the players don’t act to make Rawabi a viable City, the developer and Quatar will lose big time and so will the Arab population.
There’s more to discuss about the Israeli Palestinian Peace, but I’d like to digress and offer my two cents on another topic, Iran. Turkey wants to be part of the talks with Iran and the super powers don’t want to consider their entry. It seems to me, that any country in the Middle East, including Israel, should be invited to join the discussions with Iran. Since most of us agree that communication breaks down barriers, let all effected join in the talks, so that they may establish independents talks and a dialog. The Middle East has remained polarized for too long. People mourn the loss of their animals, how much greater is the loss of your children , your spouse, your cousin . With dialog comes understanding and eventually ” normalization” of ties that bind us together. One can only hope. It is within our power to choose the road to peace and the acceptance of the other. We have much to concern ourselves as humans. Not the least of which is our Planet.