One Thing Peace Groups Are Good At: Savaging Each Other

It’s pretty hard to argue that any movement for peace in Israel-Palestine has been successful. It’s obvious that the situation today is worse than it has been in a long time, perhaps ever, and little progress is visible on the horizon. But there is one thing that peace activists of all stripes on this question have proven themselves amazingly adept at–savaging one another.

The latest example is the cancellation of simultaneous concerts in Jericho and Tel Aviv that was to be a part of the “One Million Voices” campaign put on by the organization known as One Voice. The dual concerts were to be free, with participants being asked to add their signatures to the One Voice statement. This would not have been a requirement, but it was an obvious effort to help One Voice reach its goal of one million signatures on their statement (they have a little less than 600,000 at this time).

The One Voice platform is clearly a two-state one, and, while the group professes only to be pushing for negotiations, it’s clear that their stance is based on the sorts of agreements that are on the diplomatic table–the Clinton Parameters (which the group mentions in its own overview of their mission), the Taba talks, the Geneva Accords, etc. It is not surprising that many activist groups would disagree with this platform, as a growing trend in Israeli-Palestinian activism is to embrace a one-state solution, and even many who are not committed to that path bristle at these agreements as being insufficient.

But whether or not groups agree, the rhetoric employed all around on this issue has been terribly divisive. The status quo on an issue like this is always difficult to change, and the fact that various individuals and groups find it much easier to attack others working on a peace program, albeit a different one from what they would desire, only serves to strengthen the occupation and ensure that Palestinians will continue to live in misery, violence and dispossession while Israelis continue to live in perpetual fear. Continue reading