Sunday, June 10, 2007

Steps toward ME peace: what might help?

From Common Ground News
On a positive note, the research also shows that Israelis are open to changing their attitudes toward Palestinians and could be convinced that they are partners for peace and willing to make compromises. Clearly, as the study shows, if Palestinians took steps to help Israelis to view them as partners, those steps would have significant impact on Israeli public opinion. Teaching peace in schools and mosques and going out to demonstrate for peace, make the strongest impressions on majorities of Israelis.

When presented with a scenario where the Palestinian Ministry of Education removes all textbooks from the curriculum that incite against Israel and replace them with textbooks educating for acceptance of the State of Israel and the importance of living with it in peace, nearly 70% of Israelis said it would increase their trust that the Palestinians want to make concessions for peace.

When presented with the following: A number of influential Palestinian religious leaders, including in Hamas, declare on Palestinian television in Arabic that according to Islam, Jews have the right to live in their historic homeland and Palestinian Muslims must accept this, almost 60% of Israelis said it would increase their trust in that the Palestinians want to make concessions for peace.

Likewise, 63% of Israelis said that if more than 100 Palestinian public leaders from the fields of culture, academia and religion were to call on Palestinians publicly to recognize Israel and make peace with it, it would raise their level of trust that the Palestinians want concessions for peace. A similar number said that they would trust the Palestinians more if they were to hold mass demonstrations where they call for historic compromise with Israel, two states for two people, an end to the occupation and an end to the conflict.

* Gershon Baskin is the co-CEO of the Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information ( This article is distributed by the Common Ground News Service (CGNews) and can be accessed at

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