Tuesday, September 9, 2008
We had dinner in Jerusalem with Noa Epstein who is an activist for an Israeli NGO called Peace Now. This organization advocates for Israeli peace with its neighbors. Just before the war between Israel and Lebanon, Peace Now organized something like 400,000 people who protested against the war. They are Zionists- they believe in Israeli’s right to exist. Now they are supporting a 2 state solution bc they feel that with a one state solution there will be no Israeli state. This is bc the Arab population in Israel is sure to surpass the Israeli population in Israel and the Israeli government ruling party is chosen by a majority population, meaning the Arabs will control the state. Peace Now also believes that the Israeli settlements are a huge detriment to peace and are against the expansion of them, which I agree. If a two state solution is implemented than some kind of land swap can be negotiated if Israel wants to keep some of their settlements. U gad a great conversation with Noa, but the thing I really took with me is something he said before he left us. He reminded us that though the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a huge problem and affects many, it is by no means the most pressing or most horrible conflict going on in the world today. He cited Darfur as an example. I think that is an important point to keep in perspective.