I have proudly voted Green in the past three elections because of the party’s courage in standing up for refugees, the environment and more marginalised people in Australian Society. I have also promoted the values of the Greens to many of my friends in the Jewish Community through articles such as this, and by assisting candidates in the seats of
The recent endorsement of the BDS by NSW Greens is making me reconsider my support for the Greens. While I commend the concern that you and all the members of our party have for the people of
My conviction comes from the fact that I have spent a number of years living in and writing about
There are more constructive and less divisive approaches that encourage Israelis and Palestinians to put their weapons down and start listening to each other's narratives. These may include support for one of the following organisations, with whom I have volunteered or supported in the past:
The “Combatants for Peace” movement was started jointly by Palestinians and Israelis, who had previously taken an active part in the cycle of violence; Israelis as soldiers in the Israeli army (IDF) and Palestinians as part of the violent struggle for Palestinian freedom. The group is committed to acting only by non-violent means so that each side will come to understand the national aspirations of the other side. It sees dialogue and reconciliation as the only ways to terminate the Israeli occupation, to halt the settlement project and to establish a Palestinian state with its capital in
Parents Circle - Families Forum (PCFF) is a grassroots organisation of bereaved Palestinians and Israelis. The PCFF promotes reconciliation as an alternative to hatred and revenge.
The vast majority of families in
The Sulha Peace Project, a grassroots organisation, inspired by the indigenous process of mediation (“Sulha”), aims to rebuild trust, restore dignity and move beyond the political agenda. The Sulhita program includes monthly gatherings for 24 Israeli Arab and Jewish adolescents (15-17 years old), chosen from a partnership of several Jewish and Arab schools around the country, to introduce the concept of reconciliation and train participants for future peace leadership.
These four organisations are only a few of many hundreds of others, actively working towards an end to the conflict through constructive and non-violent means. Participants in these organisations are often branded as naïve, utopian or even traitorous by the majority of their respective societies. I believe that if they had the financial and political support of the international community to promote their agenda that would be far better for the people who live there than the current situation where the bulk of funding goes towards partisan Israeli and Palestinian groups whose sole aim is to delegitimise the other.
What these grass root organisations now need is not disinvestment and discouragement but active support from the international community. People genuinely interested in peace and justice for all the people who live in
Finally the specific resolution makes a number of comparisons between Israel and the former Apartheid regime in
May also the people who genuinely care about the welfare of Israelis and Palestinians find a better way to bring the long awaited peace, security and justice for which these two peoples have so long hoped and prayed.