Jews, Palestinians working together to bring peace to the Middle East

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the larger Arab-Israeli conflict have cast a dark shadow over the Middle East. This conflict has cost human lives and drained vital resources. It has denied millions of people in the region the opportunity to prosper and grow away from the threat of confrontation, occupation and violence.

We know how this can and must end: a two-state solution ensuring that two states, Israel and Palestine, can live in peace and security, with both sides accepting and recognizing the national and legitimate rights of the other. This is not a zero-sum game — the fates of both peoples are permanently intertwined, and neither can truly flourish while the other suffers.

The time when one side can afford to deny the presence of the other is long gone. The stark truth is that there are two peoples living on the same land and dividing it between them is the only way to bury this long conflict once and for all.

As the official Palestinian representative to the United States and the head of a major pro-Israel American Jewish organization, we have embarked on a joint trip to the West Coast, scheduling major public appearances in Seattle, San Francisco and San Jose. We hope to demonstrate that we can work together further to promote the cause of peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

In this endeavor, we are partners. While we do not underestimate the challenges created by the differences in our backgrounds and affiliations, we strongly believe that our objective is worthy of the support of the largest segment of the American people — regardless of ethnicity or religion.

We understand that these conversations are difficult and controversial for many. Mistrust and animosity between Israelis and Palestinians, and their aligned communities in the U.S. and around the world, have festered for decades.

In our public conversations, we want to avoid the perennial game of assigning blame and scoring political points. We fully understand that the historical narratives of both sides are embedded in the psyche and culture of the conflict. But telling the stories of our own struggles, grievances and concerns should not, and must not, negate and nullify the other side.

These discussions allow us to recognize our common humanity and interests. They are vital if we are going to move forward toward an acceptable solution that both sides can claim. For this to happen, we will need to learn from the past, without allowing it to be an impediment toward progress. Our main focus must be on the future — and how we can finally reach an arrangement that will satisfy the national aspirations of both peoples.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>