Peace Building under Occupation : peace as a value vs education for peace

Presentation, 2014

Peace Building under Occupation : peace as a value vs education for peace

The ongoing conflict is about occupation; a nation/state occupying another nation.

It is not about if the Israelis have a historical right or if they are the same ancestors of Moses or Abraham.

It is not about if the holocaust took place or didn’t.

Israel has managed to drive us out of the context of the conflict into making it a historical debate, that doesn’t concern the situation mainly.

And instead of fighting for our rights in ending occupation, we got entangled in proving our right in living in our own country , and denying or undermining irrelevant historical occurrences to our issue.

The fact that the Israelis /Jews were in the country 2000 or 5000 years ago, or the fact that millions were massacred doesn’t disempower our position.

If they have a right of a Homeland after 2000 years then we have more chances of a Homeland after 60 years.

The fact that they were expelled and massacred doesn’t mean that they should expel other nations and kill them.

I believe in the pedagogy of the oppressed as a design of a future education.

In order to build peace we need to build peace for us first.

Israel can only discuss peace with us when we are in full awareness and tolerance towards our strengths and our confrontations with our weaknesses.

Our strengths are made as well out of the shortcoming of history towards the Israelis.

Israel after all behaves (claims) towards itself as a democracy, and human rights are major in their approach. The moment we Palestinians start sounding like humans towards them they will start acknowledging their shortcomings towards us.

The only time we Palestinians can face the Israelis is when we can understand their background , their fear , their insecure areas. When we can admit that history also treated them unfairly.

In order to make them see us as (fellow) human beings, as equal human beings we need to see them as human beings as well.

In order to defeat them, we need to understand them. We need to analyze them in and out. We need to try to put ourselves in their place. We need to get to their mindsets .

We also need to understand ourselves properly. What happened, and where and why did things go wrong. Who is accountable to our situation.

We need to define our dictionary of concepts, ( peace, resistance, struggle, Terror,…) and learn when and how to use them .

We need to unite our discourse, not only in blaming the occupation , but in defining our cause .

The liberation of the oppressed is a liberation of women and men, not things. Accordingly while no one liberates himself by his own efforts alone, neither is he liberated by others. Liberation, a human phenomenon, cannot be achieved by semihumans.

(Paulo Freire)

 Peace and Occupation are two notions that cannot live in harmony together. In order to find peace, one needs to be liberated first .

The most successful liberation acts all along history, are those that started from liberating their own people.

The course of liberation is found when we begin as a nation to acknowledge our environs, to divulge our own errors, to fray self-depreciation, to comprehend that liberation does not come through a revolution of forces, but through tolerance, self-awareness, education and peace-building that includes mutual understanding and justice.

As long as we remain unaware of the causes of our condition, we fatalistically “accept” our exploitation.

Changing society starts by changing individuals, so that they could struggle to bring about social changes .

People are not fully free until they are in a struggle for justice.

Ending the occupation is a social act, not just a political one. Our politicians can never proceed as long as we as a nation are occupied from within.

Peace will start the instant we are able to liberate ourselves from

the cultural, tribal, ethnic occupation that has occupied our minds and hearts and prevented us from even facing our reality.

We can never grow to become a liberated nation as long as we are prejudiced to our gender issues, as long as we are wedged with our tribal thinking, as long as we are intolerant , as long as we don’t address children as future leaders and women as equals.

Ending the Occupation starts when our people start nourishing themselves into a more tolerant, educated, liberal, knowledgeable, self-aware nation.


The struggle begins with men and women’s recognition that they have been destroyed. Propaganda, management, manipulation — all arms of domination — cannot be the instruments of their re-humanization. The only effective instrument is a humanizing pedagogy in which the revolutionary leadership establishes a permanent relationship of dialogue with the oppressed. (Paulo Freire)


    1. we have ‘Abbas’ …. as an approach)))) . what i learnt from the Oslo experience ( that I dont like) is that people (paelstinians) really want peace. I grew up believing that this can never be an option ,especially growing up with the aspirations of the first intifada. but the reaction \behavior of the people (regular) was a proof that peace definite wins. at the end people just wanted to live normally . But the major problem was and still remains , that there is occupation. u cannot build a state under occupation , and hence peace cannot be achieved under oppression . u can normalize people into a state of accepting opression . but this cannot last . it is true that the more aggression agaisnt us as people results eventually in more violence. i cannot say that id we palestinians are given the chance we will kill the israelis . but i know well , that the approach of both the israeli government in its oppression and hte PA in its passiveness are not taking us into a Gandi era. we r more of waiting to a Che Guevara )))

Leave a Reply