The season for peace and watermelons is short

I always thought that it were the Palestinian schoolbooks that were biased concerning the history of Israel and Palestine. And that Israelian schoolbooks were more neutral. That appears not to be true, it is the other way around. Israelian schoolbooks hardly mention the Palestines or Arabs, and as far as they do they are mentioned only as terrorists or very primitive rural people. They preach racism and hatred. Palestinian books as far as maps are concerned are even more selective than the Israelian books, but they are not militaristic and don’t romanticize their own violence, as the Israelians do. This is the outcome of an investigation of Nurit Peled, the authority in the field of textbooks in Israel. Needles to say that since she published these results she is banned from all conferences and meetings about textbooks in Israel. (source: NRC/Handelsblad, April 22/2013)

I don’t think that Palestinians are ‘better’ than Israelis, but I do know that schoolbooks in Palestine territories are financed and therefore checked by the European Union, whereas the Israelis, who receive a lot of help from the United States can do as they please. That is also true for other activities, such as building the wall outside the border, building communities in Palestinian territory, violating international law, or protecting colonists who exert violence against Palestinians in occupied territory.

In the past history there have been  short periods of real peace negotiations resulting in short flares of hope. But these periods came and went without results. And no peace initiatives are to be expected, neither form the European Union, nor from the the United States. Both entities have the power to exert real pressure on Israel to move (the Palestinian Authority, as the underlying party, is willing enough), but they will not use their power, which is strange, because as far as I can see this is certainly not in their own interest. As they say in Arab: no peace initiatives and no watermelons. The season for peace initiatives and watermelons is short. (Uri Avnery). As I discussed elsewhere, (in my recent book), the momentum for a two state solution has passed. So the hope for peace at the moment is gone.

However, hope is never gone for those who do what their hearts and ands find tot do. Like they do in the HopeFlowers School in Bethlehem ( and in Hajar School in the Negev: Education as it is meant, education for peace. So let’s follow their example, and do what our hearts and hands find to do.


(I apologize for mistakes in my English. Blogs are cursory – not stuff for correction by a native speaker)





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