When peace is a dirty word

Rasha Sansur

Experience of the peace process in the Middle East has encouraged Palestinians to draw on their own resources, rather than relying on those from outside

If you go to a conference in Palestine, and one of the main speakers tells the Palestinians present that the goal of his or her organisation is to promote peace, you will see eyebrows raised, heads turning, feet shuffling. You will also hear some sceptical murmurs: Did they say peace? What do they mean ‘peace’?

Instead of waiting, and applying for a large grant from traditional donors to support food security, in the community philanthropy Al Ouneh model, people come together to support food sovereignty.

This is not surprising considering our experience. Peace talks with Israel have brought international aid but this aid is conditional. It does not allow us to set our own priorities and use our local resources and, while the peace talks charade continues, Israel has vigorously continued its colonial project: building settlements, grabbing land, spreading terror and violence. As a result of this peace industry and conditional aid, we have suffered the effects of a captive economy as fluctuating diplomatic relations affect the flow of this aid, resulting in budget cuts and job losses.

Next Special feature to read

How to unlock a just peace

Melanie Meinzer