Wasatia: The Path to Reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Prof. Mohammed Dajani Daoudi - Palestinian supporters of the global boycott campaign and denormalization of relations with Israel do not encourage peace, reconciliation, and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. Rather, they have deepened the current political and diplomatic stalemate and have further entrenched Palestinian and Israeli negative conceptions of the "other." The better option is the path of wasatia, a religious term in Islam for the middle path of temperance and reconciliation. Wasatia is the only straight path forward for Palestinians to achieve state sovereignty and for Israelis and Palestinians to achieve peace, coexistence, prosperity, and good neighborly relations. While there are those who have misapplied the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet) to justify anti-Semitism, a number of verses in the Koran describe Jews warmly: "Children of Israel, remember the blessing I have bestowed on you, and that I have exalted you above the nations." [Cow Sura, verse 47]; "Children of Israel, remember that I have bestowed favors upon you, and exalted you above the nations." [Cow Sura, verse 122] Wasatia is the name of the movement I established in January 2007. Our aspiration is not only to create a moderate Palestinian Islamic movement that calls for peace, mutual understanding and good relations among Muslims, but also set the climate for a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Israel. The writer is professor emeritus of political science and founding director of the American Studies Institute at Al-Quds University, and a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. In 2014, he took 27 Palestinian students to Auschwitz for an educational experience about the Holocaust.

2018-06-20 00:00:00

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