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Thursday, January 1, 2004

My Geneve Accord

The ad in the local newspaper said:

Discussion with Dr. Ron Pundak: The Geneve Accord.

The address - a small ground floor apartment turned office in the center of Tel-Aviv.

It's amazing how the more awfully violent the situation explodes here, the more grass roots endeavors spring forth: A miriad of volunteer organizations, of creative ideas.

I cannot but wonder how come the gap between the goverment and the citizens is not closing but getting wider and wider. It's a mistery to me, until I realize how difficult, actually scarry, it is for one in a powerful position to change.

In that modest apartment I've met tonight for the first time with "Windows" - an extraordinary organization, active for ten years already.

They reach out to 10-14 yrs old kids, Palestinian and Israelis, and develop some semblance of dialogue. From time to time they publish a bi-lingual (Hebrew and Arabic) journal, written and edited by the children themselves.

Before the second Intifada they used to hold redaction meetings, but now with all the closures and violence all around, they work side by side on both sides of the no-border/Separation Wall.

The Israelis adult volunteers also collect in-kind contributions, mainly food and clothing, and hand those over to their colleagues, at one of the Army Barriers.

And they are holding meetings and lectures.

Tonight the ensuing discussion touched on The Big Question: Can we have a true accord while the social and economic issues are, to say the least, ignored?

Well, it was too big a question to be solved on the spot yet not one to be slighted.

For me the great gift was a most lucid definition expressed by Dr. Ron Pundak:

You can start on a road and solve problems as they come your way.

Or, you can define the goal and move toward it.

The Oslo Agreement took the first road.

The Geneve Accord has taken the second one.

"First define the goal and only then move toward it."

Isn't this just the way a Peace Accord with one's own self should be reached?

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