Back from Israel-Palestine

In an article appearing in the French language edition of the Huffington Post on June 25, Marie-Nadine Prager, Secretary General of Socialism & Judaism, Vice President of EuroCité and a member of JCall France, shares her impressions upon returning from our voyage to Israel-Palestine.

“To see and to understand the other—without being taken in by propaganda or giving way to cynicism—is a challenge in this conflict opposing two memories full of suffering, each with its own divergent account of this century of coexistence. It is with this purpose that the organization JCall took a hundred Europeans there, essentially but not exclusively Jews from the Diaspora with a heartfelt desire to further the peace process. For once, we saw those whom most Israelis never see, those whom the prosperous, modern and comfortable life of Tel Aviv renders entirely invisible: the Israeli Arabs, the Palestinian and Jewish inhabitants of the West Bank, the political representatives of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, and the few who have made peace with their Arab neighbors a real utopia.

Following on its “Call to Reason,” JCall has set a goal: to further the process of the conflict’s resolution with one clear option: two peoples, two states. This is the only option that in the current state of affairs preserves the future of the Zionist project of a Jewish and democratic state. It is delicate for a Diaspora Jew to speak about the conflict. Either tempted by extreme prudence—stemming from the fact that we do not share the daily life and fate of those who live there—or inflamed by the success of a welcoming country where many of us have friends, cousins, and even children, Diaspora Jews tend to offer unqualified political support, or worse to adopt outrageous positions when faced with those whose incomprehension of the Jewish experience can be upsetting.

Yet this trip did convince me that a decisive and massive mobilization on the part of the Diaspora is legitimate and desirable. Legitimate because it is necessary to support the diversity of Israelis voices and the numerous peace activists seldom heard in their own country, such as Hagit Ofran, head of the Colony Observatory in Shalom Arshav; and desirable because the status quo is a very tempting option for the Israeli population, that has found some balance in a collective political paralysis that prevents any vision of the future…”

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