International Affairs Panel: What it means to be Pro-Israeli, Pro-Palestinian and Pro-American

International Affairs Panel: What it means to be Pro-Israeli, Pro-Palestinian and Pro-American

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Andrea Barron
July 19, 2012

Summer 2012 interns at TWC were given the opportunity to attend an unusual event on the Middle East, hearing from four very different voices than those regularly heard at Washington forums.

 

Ori Nir, spokesman for Americans for Peace Now (APN), and Hussein Ibish, senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), had the same message for the audience: the two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian and pro-American! The message was the same from both sides: this does not have to be a zero-sum game and everyone can benefit from the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip based on 1967 borders.

 

Students said they were surprised that Nir and Ibish had such similar views. Kalen Taylor, a recent graduate from Lyon College in Arkansas, said: "It is great to see the two-state solution may still be possible, even if it is encountering obstacles along the way. Attending this event made me feel that Israeli-Palestinian peace is still possible, especially if rational people like Ori Nir and Hussein Ibish can agree on so many different issues regarding the conflict."

 

The audience was even more amazed when they heard the perspectives of the other two panelists: Walid Issa, a Palestinian student, interning at APN, and Or Amir, a young Israeli panelist, interning at ATFP. Walid grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp near Bethlehem while Or was an officer in the Israeli Defense Force. They are currently participating in a joint internship program between ATFP and APN, two organizations working together to promote youth involvement in solving conflicts between Israel and Palestine. The program was created with the very message articulated by the panelists in mind: one can be both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian simultaneously.

 

*The Washington Center is non-partisan and does not take a position on any political issue. This panel was presented to give our students one perspective on an important international affairs issue.

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