Tag Archives: Israel-Labor

Disappearance Of Israeli Peace Voices Damages Peace Endeavors

There are several ignored sectors of Israeli society whose voices are now generally ignored when such ventures as the Annapolis conference emerge — the peace movement and Israeli Arab citizens. Left wing groups such as Labor, Meretz or the Arab political parties in Israel apparently are not able to come together and constitute a voice for peace and reconciliation with the Palestinian Authority. Labor MP Ophir Paz-Pines, noted that “instead of being a real step forward for the peace process, Annapolis has become a conference on the status quo.” Ophir-Pez took part in the Clinton Camp David summit which included Arafat and Barak and whose breakdown resulted in institution of the second intifada. One outcome of Arafat’s terrible mistake in walking away from peace and instituting violence has been to take the wind out of the Israel peace movement which has remained dormant these past seven years. MP Zehava Gal-On of Meretz says, “The Left is divided over how to treat Annapolis. Some want to ignore it by not going, others are simply scowling from afar.”

One of the sad commentaries on the Annapolis meeting is the failure of the Omert government to actively involve members of the Israel-Arab community as active participants. In fact, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni even suggested to Israel-Arabs they might feel m ore at home in a Palestinian state than in their current homes. Arab leaders have to become sensitive about their capacity to aid the process of peace by reaching out to Israel peace activists and ceasing actions which only hurt the power and influence of these factors in Israel society. The second intifada was a disaster for Israel peace groups and the actions of Arafat must not be repeated.