Friday, June 20, 2008

The cease fire MUST hold

The cease fire has begun! One would expect dancing in the streets and peace parades, however no such thing is happening.

My closest friends on the Israeli side are extremely skeptic that the cease fire will hold more than a few days or weeks at the most. 6 months seems almost impossible.

My friends on the Palestinian side say the same.

Both feel the reasons for the cease fire are not sincere, that they are political and military and therefore it will only hold as long as it serves these interests.

I personally do not care whether the reasons are sincere or not. What is most important now is to do everything and anything to make the cease fire hold.

I am not allowing my self to be skeptic because this means sitting back and waiting to see what happens.

We need to takeing advantage of this fragile quiet to create a trust building process between people on both sides, a process that will prevent the sides from wanting to renew the violence.

The cease fire is only one first step. Next steps must include lifting the siege, solving the prisoners issues, solving the economical disaster in Gaza, restoring and building infrastructure on both sides, creating jobs, and building ongoing cooperation between the people that live only several kilometers away etc. etc. etc.

I am not alone in my efforts. There are Israelis and Palestinians that are starting to work together to create this process.

More information on these efforts and how people around the world can help will be posted here soon.

If you have Israeli or Palestinian friends let them know about this.

Let's make the cease fire hold!