The Israeli evacuation from Gaza was a historic milestone – particularly remarkable because ultimately fears & incitement gave way to empathy towards heart-wrenching human suffering. Despite efforts of some militant groups, in the end unity prevailed over partisanship, and civility prevailed over violence.
This could become a pivotal turning point towards ending the occupation and fighting terrorism.
Alas, only days after, terrorist fringes have renewed their campaigns, bent on derailing the process for conflict resolution or perversely bolstering their local positions.
Prodded by terrorists and forces of militant absolutism, Israeli and Palestinian politics could very well veer the region into hawkish directions.
But “third way” or centrist coalitions are also an emerging possibility. Polls confirm that substantial majorities of the Israeli and Palestinian populations endorse non-violent negotiations.
Whether societies vocally demand moderation, concretely discourage extremism and actively provide a constituency for centrism will influence the upcoming elections and the fate of the region.
*** OneVoice activists – on the Israeli and Palestinian sides -- concretely pushed for moderation over the last few months with powerful anti-incitement drives that need to outlast and outmaneuver radical efforts if we are to prevail ***