The New York Times reported that international powers such as the US, Russia, China, and the EU, who formed a quartet in 2002 to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, had already formulated a plan to resume direct peace talks between the parties, with the aim of delaying a vote on the Palestinian request. Many leaders are nervous that a veto to the request could bring about violence in the streets of the Palestinian Territories, and further isolate Israel from its Arab neighbors.
It didn’t help to foment optimism when the Israeli government announced a plan to construct 1,100 new homes in a contested area near Jerusalem outside the 1967 official borders of Israel. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s New York Times op-ed lamented that a two-state solution seems less and less likely as the conflict drags on and while Israel continues building settlements in the West Bank.
At the level of world leadership there seems to be stalemate. But at the grass-roots level, a variety of organizations are working to tackle inequality, anger, and generations-old mistrust or prejudice between Palestinians and Israelis.
Seeds of Peace is an international summer camp in Maine that brings together youth and adult leaders from areas around the world marred by conflict to learn resolution skills and develop empathy for each other. Over the past18 years, participants have come from Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Egypt, Cyprus, South Asia, and the Balkans.