You can neither have hope nor peace without justice. Who is justice for? Is it just for Jews or for all? If Palestinians don’t have justice, there can’t be hope for them, or for anyone else in this land. All their hopelessness – not just 50 years back, but 70 years back – compels us to reform our idea of what it means to live here. We cannot resolve the problem in the same condition as it was created. The belief that two peoples on the same land can be divided has caused 70 years of strife, struggle and occupation. To emerge from that, we need to create a new way of thinking, where we can live together in one land recognized as both Israel and Palestine. I hope that in ten years time, a Federal Republic of the Holy Land comprised of the States of Israel and Palestine on the same land becomes a reality. A republic with two different parliaments held together by a senate representing both Palestine and Israel equally.
Telling the Palestinians that they can have only 22 percent of the territory will cause more struggle, more injustice, more resentment and continued lack of peace. Instead, we must be part of a process with the Palestinian people where we address historical grievances and wrongdoings in an authentic manner which incorporates the traditional principles of Sulha and Conflict Transformation. We have to find a new way to solve the problem which teaches us how to live together.
The current situation is not sustainable and it is inevitable that change will take place. But it requires a change in rhetoric and a new model where conflict is transformed into opportunity. Conflict transformation begins on the ground among the masses and works its way up. Education is crucial in order to effectively change mindsets and reach a critical mass of support for nonviolent change. We are not there yet and we will encounter setbacks along the way. But I am convinced that our peoples can be brought together and create a brighter future for all. Better times will come!