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UNSC must invest in grassroots Israeli-Palestinian peace, activist says

CM 30/09/2021


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The United Nations Security Council should invest in grassroots peacebuilding rather than passing resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, activist Meredith Rothbart told the 15-member body when it gathered in New York on Wednesday.
“I’m a Jewish-Israeli. I am a religious Zionist speaking to you from Jerusalem,” said Rothbart, who is the co-founder and CEO of the grassroots group Amal Tikvah that promotes civic society peacebuilding between Israelis and Palestinians.
“The UN has passed resolution after resolution,” Rothbart said. “But in order to build peace between Israelis and Palestinians, I ask you to consider investing in social peace.”

“Commit to investing in the infrastructure needed for real peace,” Rothbart continued. “Help us build a multilateral inter-entity” with investments that can transform small-scale projects such as those focused on climate change, food security, female entrepreneurship, or adjacent community centers, she explained.
It was no coincidence that she had been invited to speak by the Irish Ambassador because that country knows the “power of civil society peacebuilding,” Rothbart said.

Palestinian and Israeli women march, as part of an event organised by ''Women Wage Peace'' group calling for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, near the Jordan River, in the West Bank October 8, 2017. (credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)Palestinian and Israeli women march, as part of an event organised by ”Women Wage Peace” group calling for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, near the Jordan River, in the West Bank October 8, 2017. (credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

“It is clear to all who are observing our political reality that negotiations at the highest diplomatic levels would not result in substantive peace right now,” Rothbart said.
“The Oslo Accords failed because the agreement came from a secret process between elite leaders with no women, no religious leaders, and no representative of those wishing to disrupt the process with violence,” Rothbart explained.
“Let’s not do that again,” she said.
“We know that civil society peacebuilding is not only an affirmative step, but it also works and it is a required precondition for a negotiated peace agreement, especially in an intractable conflict,” Rothbart said.
The “intractable nature” of the conflict must be broken “into manageable parts” that can be tackled “one by one,” Rothbart said. “We must build a popular belief that peace is actually possible and that all people, Israelis and Palestinians, have an integral role and a responsibility in its pursuit,” she added. 
Palestinian activist Mai Farsakh, of The Jerusalem Legal Aid & Human Rights Center, also addressed the UNSC at Ireland’s invitation.
She focused her remarks on Israelis settlement expansion, outlining the harm it causes to Palestinians in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
“Israeli actions are undermining a two-state resolution and the possibility of peace in the region,” she said. “Setter violence plays a key role in maintaining West Bank settlements.”
“Such violence takes the form of verbal assault and intimidation, physical attacks up to murder, destruction of property [and] fencing off of land among other measures,” Farsakh continued.
“Israel’s restrictive and planning policies which Palestinians from affording or obtaining building permits,” she said. “This leads the majority of Palestinians and Bedouin in Area C of the West Bank and east Jerusalem vulnerable to homes loss.”
“The ramifications of home demolitions and violence have far-reaching ramifications on the mental healths of Palestinians in these areas,” she said.
Irish Ambassador UN Geraldine Byrne Nason, whose country held the rotating council presidency in September had invited both young women to speak.
“We have heard your voices,” she told them. “It is my view it is your generation and maybe your gender that holds the key for a brighter future for both Palestine and Israel,” she said.

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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