Paralysis over Palestine: Questions of Strategy
This essay by a prominent Israeli activist grows out of concern that advocacy efforts in support of the Palestinian cause have remained stuck at the protest-informational stage of combating disparate manifestations of the occupation. What is needed, the author argues, is a strategy to mobilize the vast range of civil society groups-Palestinian, Israeli, and international-to forge an effective lobbying and advocacy force that can lend the Palestinian leadership public support and a measure of parity with Israel. Intended as a starting point for debate, the essay explores the possibilities of a "middle range" strategy that would articulate the essential "red line" elements crucial to any just and sustainable settlement, provide a coordinated strategy of advocacy, and explore a range of "endgames," including a regional approach to resolving the conflict if the "two-state solution" is found to be impossible because of irreversible "facts on the ground."
Jeff Halper, an anthropologist, is the coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD; www.icahd.org), part of Israel's critical peace movement (sometimes referred to as "left of Peace Now"). Working closely with a wide range of Palestinian organizations, faith-based and human rights groups, and international NGOs, ICAHD is actively engaged in virtually all levels of conflict resolution, including advocacy, lobbying, protest, resistance, information-passing, and active campaigning.