Young Palestinian sows seeds of peace where peace seems impossible
Mahmoud Jabari, who attended a Seeds of Peace camp, has learned to better understand both sides of the deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Twenty-year-old Mahmoud Jabari is a Palestinian photographer and journalist from the West Bank city of Hebron. He believes that youths will provide a way forward for the long-standing, seemingly perpetually stagnant conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Territories.Skip to next paragraph
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His hopefulness is a small island in a sea of dubiousness, mistrust, and frustration.
On Friday, Sept. 23, the streets of Ramallah were filled with thousands of onlookers fixated on television screens, where Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was broadcasted reading out a letter requesting formal recognition by the UN of Palestinian statehood to an applauding crowd of ambassadors in New York City.
But almost immediately, skepticism was voiced in the media.
The New York Times reported that international powers such as the US, Russia, China, and the EU, who formed a quartet in 2002 to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, had already formulated a plan to resume direct peace talks between the parties, with the aim of delaying a vote on the Palestinian request. Many leaders are nervous that a veto to the request could bring about violence in the streets of the Palestinian Territories, and further isolate Israel from its Arab neighbors.
It didn’t help to foment optimism when the Israeli government announced a plan to construct 1,100 new homes in a contested area near Jerusalem outside the 1967 official borders of Israel. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s New York Times op-ed lamented that a two-state solution seems less and less likely as the conflict drags on and while Israel continues building settlements in the West Bank.