Rawabi. The city on the hill with so much promise for Peace and civilization. A visionary concept of Bashar Al-Masri, a destination point for Arabs and Jews on the West Bank. A city concept for individual families, no generational tribal attachments, a place for modern Arabs to come and relax and enjoy theater, shopping, schools, soccer, etc. A destination.

A well conceived and planned oasis for Arabs from all countries in the Middle East.
Bashar Al-Masri’s credentials were good. He had built 13,000 apartments in Morocco and has been funded on the West Bank by Qatar, and others.

In January 2013 , 4 buildings were visible. There was no infra structure. Today, “40 buildings” are under construction. The complex has developed from housing 5,000 over time to 40,000. But the vision has been changed by the Palestinian Authority who have the responsibility of linking the infrastructure.

Rawabi is no longer meant to be a destination point for Arabs and Jews . Instead the PLO want this settlement to house West Bank residents. No matter , that they already have homes and thriving businesses in the West Bank. The PLO envisions this town for their people. They have not consulted their people and one young Palestinian man, that I met, is angry with the leadership of the PLO , he wants Peace. He is prepared to take the route of MLK / non violence , to achieve peace. Unfortunately, no one is asking his opinion, though they should.

Meanwhile, I think I understand why, Rawabi was prominently displayed in the film “Omar” , which I found abhorrent. The film portrays Palestinian terrorists taking the life of Israeli soldiers. The reason? The West Bank is an occupied territory? This happens everyday, people are desperate , they are terrorized and so they murder Israeli’s. Really? I’ve been to the West Bank, admittedly not all the cities and settlements, but in Ramallah people seem to be living and thriving and attending schools and their cost of living is less then in the State of Israel. When you are entering into peace talks, do you have to promote Murder?

Will Rawabi cease to exist, if the current PLO leadership controls the dialog of hate? It is not known. The way toward Peace has taken many years, the people are willing and ready to accept Peace. It’s a viable choice?

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