israeli-palestinian conflict

It seems the entire internet is extremely pessimistic about the new round of John Kerry-brokered peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. But seeing as most people online don't have a decent grasp on the Israel-Palestine situation, I decided to find out what the real world thinks about the issue. And since I live in Palestine, it was pretty easy to find people who will be directly affected by the outcome (or lack thereof) of the negotiations.

There are plenty of reasons to be cynical about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The personalities and the politics involved do not immediately inspire confidence. Nevertheless, I choose not to be negative, partly because it is always easy to sit on the sidelines and take potshots. The more important consideration is, because peace is so essential to the lives and futures of the peoples of the region and to American interests in the Middle East, that any good faith effort deserves support and a chance to succeed.

With official relations between Palestinians and Israelis still poisonous after a century of conflict, any constructive dialogue is newsworthy. But these aren’t security forces talking about joint military patrols, nor is this discussion connected to the sudden resumption of peace talks after a three-year stalemate. The group, brought together by Cisco Systems, is speaking their common language: tech management.

Sharing a love for music – and head-banging – two Israeli and Palestinian rock bands have joined forces to take a “message of coexistence through rock’n’roll across Europe,” The Guardian reported on Monday. The Israeli band “Orphaned Land” and Palestinian group “Khalas” both believe that music is above politics, religion and conflict and should bring people together.

The US is to host talks with Israel and Palestinian negotiators in the next week following a breakthrough in the drive to revive the moribund Middle East peace process. John Kerry, US secretary of state, called the move a "significant step forward". The agreement, announced on Friday evening after four months of intensive diplomacy, fell short of a hoped for face-to-face meeting between leaders of the two sides.

Aerial shots of Jerusalem filled the big screen, along with a giant concrete wall built along the Green Line. We saw security checkpoints at the entrance to Israel but in a very different context than the typical portrayal of checkpoints. These giant walls and security measures were seen as safety, salvation, and stimulated a positive feeling in the audience.