Mediation for ReconciliationReconcilation and Community

A discussion of National Unity Initiatives from the point o view of a selected group of youth

A discussion of National Unity Initiatives from the point o view of a selected group of youth within the joint project that aim to enhance the community role in the internal reconciailiation, Pal Think for Strategic Studies has organized on the 18th of February 2008 a seminar to discuss all available initiatives which call for national unity, through the point of view of a selected group of young men and women who play some active roles in society, including members of Student Councils, and Youth Organizations.

The session was moderated by Mr. Rajab Abu Sirrya started the discussion with an introduction about the current Palestinian situation.

In his discussion, he talked about a group of events the Palestinian people is going through, especially in Gaza Strip, and the reasons which have led to the fragmentation of the national front, as well as means of improving all the present initiatives which were proposed in order to bring back national unity, but rather have ended up in some desk drawers.

The meeting was very friendly despite of the apparent differences of opinions and affiliations and everyone has agreed that accord between Fattah and Hamas is a must.

Participants have then talked about violence and the effects it has on family ties, as well as social and economical results. Many of the young men present have criticized the proposed initiatives and the fact that all parties have refused them so far.

Some have talked about the occupation and the fact that we are still under occupation and that our minds have also become occupied which is a harsher reality. Furthermore, calls for a more active role of civil organizations in awareness, educating and warning against the dangers of internal fighting and conflicts were made.

Participants have also talked about how the current decision making is not Palestinian but rather regional and revolves around many points, and that there is a great need to get the public moving in order to solve the situation and participants have also agreed that national and civil organizations need more awareness and more work in order to become effective in bridging the gap between the Palestinians. At the end of the seminar, participants agreed on several points, mainly:

– The importance of communicating between the civil organizations in order to find formulas for solving the current crisis.

– There has to be a source of influence which can exert some pressure and end the state of stalemate with both sides.

– -Finding a way to transfer what goes on in the discussion rooms to the average citizen in order to change the public’s way of thinking and reach security.- The importance of promoting national unity from the base to the top through advertisements and youth campaigns.

– Peaceful mass protests to deliver the views of the people to the decision makers.

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