Jewish Journal

What Happens When You Hold Peace Talks in Ramallah?

by Jeremy Elster

January 27, 2014 | 8:05 am

In the Introductory Blog Post for Israel Social TV here at the Jewish Journal, we reported on a peace talks organized by the group Minds of Peace, which brings together delegations of Israelis and Palestinians to “the table” to reach agreements on final status issues. 

While the prior talks were held in Downtown Jerusalem in November, Minds of Peace was able to secure a negotiating congress in Ramallah for the first time after coordination with Israeli and Palestinian officials. Opening speeches began from Sapir Handelman and Ibrahim Enbawi, who spoke about the momentous occasion to discuss peace between Israelis and Palestinians in Ramallah and reiterated the organization's slogan that "ordinary people make peace". During the course of introductions by members of the Israeli and Palestinian delegations, a group of protesters formed outside the room. The signs and chants were in Arabic and one sign read "B.D.S." Soon, there were 200 people outside the hotel participating in the protest. The Palestinians, exemplifying the anger and general rejection of negotiations by the "Palestinian street", asked why negotiations should continue while their citizens sit in Israeli prisons, their lands are being seized by Israel, and the occupation continues. The word and concept generally applied to the sentiment against negotiating as equals, given the power imbalance between Israel and the PA, or making attempts to dialogue outside of a resistance framework to the Israeli state is called “normalization”.

For a detailed reflection on the day in Ramallah, read here: Minds of Peace and Protest

To see what happens when you hold peace talks in Ramallah and to learn more about "normalization", watch the video below…

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Jeremy Elster is a Southern Californian native and New Israel Fund/SHATIL Social Justice Fellow working as the International Communications Coordinator for Israel Social TV...

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