A Fresh Approach to the Arab-Israeli Conflict

This is a Guest Post by Richard Martin

“Sixty years on, the conflict still festers. We have estimated that some $15 trillion dollars has poured into the region from the worlds coffers since 1950 and yet the conflict is still unresolved. Since the 1973 War we have witnessed a repeat cycle of US Government initiatives, peace treaties, Oslo, Camp David, hand shakes, Nobel Peace prizes. And yet the hatred and mistrust goes on.

Much of this money goes to the estimated 50,000 NGOs and CBOs in a region the size of 100,000 acres and where only about a dozen have had any real direct contact with each other.

 So what to do? 

In 2004, I founded Children of Peace inspired by the work of South African reconciliation and the women’s peace movements in Northern Ireland. Launched in London (UK) in 2005 the charity was established to build trust, friendship, understanding between Israeli & Palestinian children and their communities, through the arts, education, health & sports regardless of gender, faith or community.

 The charity is completely non partisan – refusing to take sides. Too many people demonise one side or the other. This is unhelpful and simply exacerbates the conflict – encouraging one side and alienating the other.

Above all, it’s when people meet each other – breaking bread together – that the walls of suspicion, bigotry and mistrust start to melt away. Every day contact changes perceptions.”

Read the whole post at the Playa Wire