Vriendendag 27 november 2011: enkele teksten

Vriendendag 27 november 2011

Op 27 november 2011 vond de vijfde vriendendag plaats. De bijeenkomst, die in het teken stond van de dialoog, ging door in een ontmoetingscentrum in Den Haag met de veelbetekenende naam ‘The Art of Meeting’. Peter Idenburg sr., oprichter van International Dialogues Foundation en enkele van zijn medewerkers, waren uitgenodigd geworden door Peter Idenburg jr. om tot het thema en  de gesprekken met de deelnemers en vrienden bij te dragen. Bij de opening werden ook ‘Drie vragen voor onderweg’ als een soort richtingwijzers even belicht.

De middag verliep in een sfeer van warme, wakkere betrokkenheid. Een aantal van de aanwezigen bereiden zich tevens voor op de reis naar het Heilig Land die in dit voorjaar zal doorgaan. Een groot deel van de werkzaamheden van International Dialogues  speelt zich dan ook  af in  de Palestijnse gebieden en in Israel, wat in hoge mate bijdroeg aan de intensiteit van de gesprekken in de  verschillende werkgroepen.  Vrede is niet mogelijk zonder gerechtigheid, klonk het meerdere malen. U vindt hier over een meer uitvoerige beschouwing in de tekst van de lezingen van zowel Peter Idenburg sr. als van Marta Jimenez Cantabrana and Patricia Martin Gomez. (zie verder)

Christine Gruwez besloot met enkele overwegingen die als kiemen uit de gesprekken waren ontstaan. Een ware dialoog begint bij een brandende vraag die een  kracht vertegenwoordigt. Deze kracht vraagt op haar beurt om een stem te krijgen, om te kunnen klinken en gehoord te worden. Het wil dia-logos worden. Opdat uit het dialogerende vormen kunnen ontstaan, telkens weer, waarin de kracht van eenieder uitgenodigd wordt tot spreken en zich kan uitdrukken.

Een gedachte van Stefan Zweig  wandelde mee , als een begeleidend motief: het leren onderscheid te maken tussen ‘Erfolg’, dat wat zich onmiddellijk toont als resultaat en ‘Wirkung’. Datgene wat werkt, zelfs blijkt al werkzaam te zijn, wanneer Erfolg uitblijft.

Drie Vragen voor Onderweg

1.  Is het mogelijk de eigenheid af te bakenen, grenzen te trekken ten overstaan van het andere/ de ander
–  en toch niet uit te sluiten?

2. Is het mogelijk  de ander in zijn eigenheid toe te laten,  op te nemen
—- en toch niet toe te eigenen?
Insluiten zonder op te sluiten?

3. Is het mogelijk om tot een pluralisme te komen dat  verankerd is in de erkenning van de onvervreemdbare eigenheid van ieder individu
— zonder te vervallen in gemakkelijke compromissen?

_______________________________________________________________

Een volledig verslag van deze opmerkelijke vriendendag vindt U in de Nieuwsbrief van de Vriendenkring, die begin maart zal verschijnen. We verwijzen ook graag naar een eerder verschenen tekst van Christine Gruwez in de Vriendenbrief van het najaar 2011: Dialoog als kunst.

Hieronder alvast enkele foto’s (Marie-Anne Paepe) en een verslag van de lezing van Peter Idenburg sr. en  van enkele van zijn medewerkers.

Peter Idenburg jr. opent de Vriendendag

 

Peter Idenburg sr. Christine Gruwez en Peter Idenburg jr.

Uitwisseling en gesprek

__________________________________________________________________

Tekst van de lezing van Peter Idenburg sr. International Dialogues Foundation

Dear friends,

Let me say how much I appreciate this opportunity to speak about my experiences with dialogue. It will be clear that this was because of my dealings with International Dialogues Foundation. I was asked to do it from the perspective of my personal experiences. This has an implication that I will do so on a personal title.

When I started to prepare this speech my mind was very much orientated on the conclusion I had drawn from the deadlock into which the negotiating process on the question of Israel-Palestine seems to have arrived.

That was the reason that I decided to give my speech as subtitle in the title of ¨the Crisis of the Negotiation Process”. But let me first say something about what I like to call the turn of the decades”’.

I-PRECEDING THE EARLIER PART:

1-‘Turn of decades as an introduction’.
One of my favorite observations has been already for some time that there is a typical sequence of important events taking place at the turns of the decades. I remember that some 30 years ago (three decades) that I wrote to my friend and member of the IDF council about this observation. As I wrote to him from 1919 I made the observation that from 1919/1920 with the Russian revolution and the end of the First World War, was followed in 1929 with the economic crisis, which started with the crash a sequence, of turns of the decades has taken place with important consequences. Then in 1939 the Second World War started. In 1949 there was the start of the Cold War. So each turn of the decades that followed can be described by some major event/process. This sequence goes on with important events like in 1979 with the year of khomeiny, Deng Siau Ping and Pope Paul John II. Then the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 to arrive in 2001, to what can be described even as a turn of the millennium, of the fall of the Twin Towers and now one decade later we can notice two major events such as the Arab awakening and again the start of a major economic crisis of which we do not know yet the outcome.

2-Personal background. Youth (Indonesia)
The second point I would like to speak about for this chapter will deal with my personal background. Before I started with establishing the Research Institute of Oppressed Peoples (RIOP), predecessor of International Dialogues Foundation (IDF). First, I will say something about my youth in Indonesia (at that time Netherlands Indies) During this period I spent together with most Dutch people my time in the Japanese camp. I will not say much about it; only pay special attention to the end of the Second World War, which meant at the same time the start of completely new situation by the establishment of the Indonesian republic in 1945.

Here I want to say something about my parents during this period. My mother received after the war a decoration for her brave attitude against the Japanese oppressors. With regard to my father, I want to say something about the important role he played after his camp period as a major advisor of the Dutch governments.  Very soon after he had left the Japanese camp he drew the conclusion that the period of the Dutch colonial system was over. As one of the major advisers of the Dutch governments, in my opinion he played a constructive role in the decolonization process. Of course it had its fights, but which could have taken a longer time as in the case of the French colonial system. That it could be ended by the result of the Round Table Conference in 1949 by outcome of the negotiations between the Dutch and the Indonesians of the recognition of the Republic of Indonesia, mind as a result of the strong pressure, especially by the US that it would withdraw the Marshall help in case the Dutch should not accept the Indonesian claim for independence. (!)

3-Professional background.
With regard to my professional background I mention my teaching experience at the Free University in Amsterdam, which started in 1979. During that period there was an active involvement in politics as spokesman, of what was called AR Radicals, referring to the ARP one of the three Christian parties, which was a group together with Radicals of the other Christian parties stated to should choose for a cabinet with the Labour party. In a way I believe that our strategy was successful with our pressure in our own party the ARP.

In so far, as time was left, I worked at the free University by teaching International Relations and writing for my dissertation on Political Strategy and Tactics¨; and teaching the students, in a later phase in the seventies with students in a ´Project group´, as it was called at that time, on ¨Imperialism in Indonesia¨. This was not much appreciated by most of the colleagues and the University Board.

Independently I established the Research Institute of Oppressed Peoples (RIOP). After several earlier efforts, like on Indians in Guatemala in 1995 we organized what was maybe our most successful activity on Dutch Indonesian relatuions. With the President of Indonesia, Abdul Rahman Wahid and the then retired Dutch Prime Minister, Ruud Lubbers, who both played on important role in helping to restore the relations between Indonesia and The Netherlands.

II-1989/2001

Our first approach to the concept of “Dialogue” comes in 1989 when we organize a conference in the Peace Palace of The Hague which was quite successful because it was more or less the first time that Israeli politicians an representatives on the PLO talk in public about the subject. At that time the PLO was not considered an acceptable discussion party for the Israel government. In spite of this, some brave Israeli and Palestinian politicians agreed to take part on the public discussion. On the Israeli side, I should mention in the first place, Abba Iban and on the Palestinian side I should mention of the important support we have received from the PLO representative in The Hague, Afif Safieh. It was in the period that followed the negotiations started to take place, which resulted in the Washington agreement in 1993.

It was a period of hope for real negotiation approach for us. It meant that we should change our name of the Research Institute of Oppressed People into International Dialogues Foundation.

At the same period, new developments were taken place hardly noticed but the politicians involved in this process of what we call Islamic Revival. It was the period when we made several trip to Gaza where many of the Palestinians identified with the ideas of what it is called the Political Islam. It was something, which was not appreciated by the Israeli authorities.

I remember that when I was in Cairo and made a visit to our Dutch ambassador (put the name) who I was talking with about the situation. While I was sitting next to the ambassador, a telephone call from the Israeli ambassador in The Hague appeared. He was extremely critical about our initiative and was shouting that by this initiative Peter Idenburg was jeopardizing the whole negotiating process.

One of our, I might say, most successful activities we developed at that period was a conference under the title “Islamic revival and the west” with several interesting speakers participating in it. Among them were no representatives from Gaza because that was forbidden at that time. (find out the participants). After this kind of experiences is when we decided IDF to focus our activities more on the developments not only in Palestine but also in those countries where the Islamic revival and the process of political Islam was taking place.

There was from the perspective we had at that time, we drew the conclusion that the position of the Palestinians should be put into the context of our original approach namely being the problem of oppressed peoples. There were two countries on which we decided that special study was needed being, Turkey and Sudan. Our experience which Sudan, I believe here aside; because what has happened afterwards there was far beyond the subject I want to discuss to you now. The only thing that I will like to say about it here is that for us as International Dialogues Foundation we considered it as something very important but going far beyond our present activities, so that we only can conclude that we should leave this subject aside for the coming period.

The other subject was the Kurdish minority in Turkey, which feels oppressed by the Turkish government. The problem is that the aspirations of the Kurdish-speaking minority were not in line of the opinions of the Turkey authorities. The problem of the Kurdish minority was that their identity is not recognized as such. In the Turkish system, or political system, there is no room for Kurdish identity. They fell oppressed by the Turkish government because they are not allowed to use their own Kurdish language.

The Kurds identity is not recognized certainly not as a basis for the establishment of a Kurdish state. In general, what I want to say is that after several discussions in Turkey about the Kurdish identity, the Islamic party became more and more successful and open minded with the problem of the Kurds. Abullah Öcalan, former leader of the PKK, and still recognized as such by many Kurds, is now putted into detention, but still has his claims for the Kurdish state. We came to the conclusion that Erdogen approach could be much more effective for the embetterment of the position of the Kurds in Turkey. That was the reason that changed our view not about the problem but more about the approach to solve this problem that seems to us more fruitful and for that reason we concluded that the approach of the party of Erdogen also for the whole of the region seem to be much more fruitful.

Because of the reason developments that took placed to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the party of Erdogen showed solidarity for the position of the Palestinians, especially on the occasion of the conflict about the Israeli troops of the solidarity ship. That is for us a reason why we started to put more emphasis on the regional dimension of the Israeli Palestinian conflict in which countries like Turkey should play a prominent role, especial also in relation to the discussion about nuclear weapons of Iran.

III –2001 AND AFTER

Here we want to make a remark on the important role in it of the Palestine-Israel journal and their chief editors Ziad Abuzayyad and Hillel Schenker. When talking about dialogue I want to make the remark that we considered it as a model of dialogue that goes beyond talking dialogue, but in fact is doing of what the talking is about.

2001

-Where were you when the Twin Towers fell down?
-No cordial relations with the Israeli negotiators.
-Important new Israeli contacts: David Kimche and Menachem Klein.

2003

Discussion about Iraq. The Foreign Affairs official reproached us ‘America bashing´ Series of short conferences on relevant aspects of Participatory Democracy.

2004

Series of brief conferences:

1-Democracy and political participation
Programme and speakers:
-Cohabitation an Integration, by Jorgen Nielsen.
-Contribution for the forum discussion, by Ammar Abdulhamid.
-Towards a Participatory Society: A  European Arab Dialogue, by Tasher Masri.

2-Participation of women.
-Leila Jordan Cotran: some aspects of the new Marocan family law.
-Maha Najjar: women struggle for a progressive family law under occupation.
-Women and Democracy, by Khadija al-Salami (film)

3-Role of Media
It was organized by IDF in cooperation with IKV Pax Christi and communication for Development.

4-Corporate Social Responsibility
-Introduction workshop, Gerben Meihuizen, IDF.
-The state of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Arab countries, Hani Hourani, UJRC.
-The legitimacy of NGO as the custodians of basic norms, Anton Vedder, University of Tilburg.
-Position paper: Saudi Aramco. Corporate social responsibility, Steave Seager.
-Building partnership for a suitable future, Habiba Al Marashi, cahir person Emirates Environmental group, UAE CSR in the Arab world, Robert Goedegebuure, MSM.
-Social responsibility of the enterprise-which partership?, Anas el Hasnaoui, Espace Associatif.
-What is the meaning of CSR, Egbert Wessenlink, Pax Christi CSR in the Middle East.
-An industry perspective, Iman Hill, Shell.
-Ethics from an Islamic Perspective, Abdul Rahman Al Salimi, Ministry of Endowments Religious Affaris, Oman.
-Re-Construction of Iraq, notes by Thabet Al-Taher.
Responsibility towards whom? Remarks by Thabet Al-Taher.
– The Jordanian Businessmen Association Perspective on CSR by Hamdi Tabba, Jordanian businessmen Association..

2005/2006

Youth and Metropolis; “Layers of Identity”

Under the title ¨Layers of Identity¨ we organized a conference on the position of Migrant Youth. With this conference were added in combination two dimensions to our activities. In the first place the role of Youth, but what also appeared to be real turn not only for us, but also, what we did not really were aware of, that they were taking position in what more and more has become dominating the whole political disclosure by its evident anti Islam orientation, but also by its xenophobic tendency to keep away everything that is considered anti our own national identity. What makes it extra difficult in our efforts to promote the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue is that it seems to be directly related to forms of direct influencing the Dutch policy by Israel on this matter.

2007/2008

“To be in speaking terns¨

What really had a great impact on our general orientation was the conference ¨to be in speaking terns¨. Under this title we referred to the policy by James Baker with regard to the position that should be taken on Iran. Especially in the present situation there is every reason to remain following the Baker line.

The proposed action can be considered to be the logical consequence of a series on consequences IDF has organized since 2007 with the conference ¨to be in speaking terns. The focus of these discussions was on the regional security in the Middle East region, paying especial attention in Iran.

The title of this conference was a reference to the so-called Baker Report in which the American government was advised to try seriously to come on speaking terms with the Iranian government. Among the speeches being delivered at that meeting was the speech delivered by professor Anoush Ehteshami of Durham University UK on state conceptions in the various countries. He emphasised the importance of the analysis of the regional power structure.  From this point it should be noticed that the Middle East region, as the really strong states should be considered Israel and Iran, with Turkey as a third. In any effort to arrive at sustainable situation these realities should be taken into consideration.

Another remarkable outcome of this conference was that by organising simulation of peace conference for Israel-Palestine by students from five Dutch Universities the basis was created of an active student network, which provided support to the conferences, which followed.

Justice and Peace in Israel and Palestine Programme

December 2008

Prospects for Obama’s presidency
As a main outcome of this conference should be mentioned the decision to choose the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a first step to a further to be developed program of activities, focussing on the obvious contradictions with the political Islam. Preparatory consultations followed Menachem Klein of the Bar Ilan University and Mouin Rabbani, who for a long time had been working for the International Crisis Group. In December 2008 a roundtable was organized which dealt with the question of what could dealt with the question of what could be expected from the election of Obama as president of the US. The speakers were Menachem klein, Mouin Rabbani and Geoffrey Aronson, research director of the Foundation of Peace in the Middle East Washington DC. Each of them presented a specific point, which was going to play an important role in the period that followed. Klein emphasised the ‘ethnisation´ of the conflict, which was to create a situation in the former Yogoslavia. Mouin Rabbani put his question mark on the perspectives for a short term solution of the conflict, also with Obama as president, because of the structural limitations he could expect, caused by the options of the majority of the American population and its institutions. Aronson emphasised the possibility, which could be expected of a shift to the East (Afganistan-Pakistan) of the American pre-occupation as presenting the major threat to their security interests. Each of these ideas was going to play an important role in the discussions of the roundtables, which followed.

June 2009

Regional Dimension
In June 2009, a roundtable on Security in the Middle East was chaired by Willen van Eekelen, former Minister of Defence and former Secretary General of the Western European Union. It was organized with the active support of the student group, which earlier had organized a discussion meeting with a visiting group of students from Iran. A learning experience was that the participation of simultaneously visiting Israeli students was not appreciated by the Palestinians, and the reason for them to withdraw form the meeting. A shadow on the meeting was the situation of Iran, where the heavy wave of repression took place. One of the major conclusions was that the principle of ¨to be in speaking terns¨(with Iran) should not be able at the expense of strong contacts and support for the Iranian opposition.

A very constructive outcome of this roundtable was that by the participation of (in equal number)´ independent and committed´ experts from Israel and Palestine, a steering group could be established. Members of this steering group were Menachem klein, Mouin Rabbani and Moshe.

Maoz, Walid Salem and the two editors of Palestine-Israel journal Ziad Abuzayyad and Hillel Schenker. Another important new element was the active role as chairs of the discussions, which were played by members of the advisory committee such as former Ministers Hedy d´Ancona and Jan Pronk.

November 2009

“Conditions of a Palestine State”

With the preparation of the roundtable on ´conditions for Palestinian state formation in November 2009 the composition of the steering group showed its value by procedure used for the preparation of the meeting, which took place by discussions online. In particular the introduction by Menachem Klein was fundamental, by its emphasis on the weak position of the Palestinian Authority, while Hillel Schenker payed attention to developments in the US and Suggested to explore the possibilities of mutual consultations with of J Street.

In the closing session chaired by the Wim Deetman, former Mayor of The Hague and chairman of the Advisory Committee, it was decided to play special target groups in the Netherlands for intensification of information and consultation. As such students, migrants, members of the Palestinian and Jewish communities in the Netherlands were put explicitly on the agenda, under the title of ´creating awareness´. The roundtable of June 2010 ¨Jerusalem: coalitions for Justice and Peace¨ showed the convergence of the specific elements in this process as has been described here.

As I suggested in the title it introduced two important new elements, which were introduced by it. At first sight Jerusalem as subject to be discussed, as a distinct subject foes not seem to be particularly new.  However by putting it as such on the agenda it easily functions as a dangerous precedent from the perspective of the Palestinian aspirations. It suggests the possibility of narrowing down the discussion to a discussion in terms of pieces of land to be yielded by the Jewish state to other countries, whether it is Egypt, Jordan or whatever other claimant.

The other new element and in our opinion really new and promising is the perspective of coalitions, as it is represented in this program, not in the traditional way as coalitions or alliances of nation-states. Although this form will remain to be the realistic and hard core form for coalitions.

June 2010

¨Jerusalem: Coalitions for justice and Peace”

Reporting in cooperation with the Israel-Palestine journal.

In 2010 the actions of IDF were completely focused on the organization of the conference ¨Jerusalem: Coalition formation for justice and Peace¨. The conference took place on the 18th and 19th of June 2010, in the Christus Ttiumfatorkerk in The Hague. Sixty participants attended the event. As formulated in the executive summary by editors of PIJ, Hillel Schender and Ziad Abuzayyad, the goal of this conference was to discuss the ways in which international coalitions can play a role in  reaching a just and fair resolution regarding the status of Jerusalem in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The following recommendations were made:

-Address the question of Jerusalem immediately.
-Halt and revise isolation and Israelification of the East Jerusalem.
-Apply 1967 borderlines in Jerusalem.
-The religious dimension in Jerusalem.
-Apply pressure on Israel.
-Assert independence from American policy.
-Develop relationships between existing parties.
-Creating awareness.
Participants in the discussion:
-Dries van Agt (former Dutch Prime Minister and chairman of The Rights Forum)
-Hesham Youssef (chief of Staff of the Arab League)
-Laurens Jan Brinkhorst (former Dutch Vice Prime Minister)
-Muriel Asseburg (head research Department Middle East and Africa)
-Bisharah Awad (President Bethlehem Bible Colleague)
-Meir Margarit (Member of the Jerusalem Municipal Council)
-Nada Aurangzeb (Mashriq, Islamic Students Association in the Netherlands)
Members of the steering group in addition of being participants in the discussion:
-Ziad Abuzayyad (Co-Editor Palestine-Israel journal, PIJ)
-Menachem Klein (Professor Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv)
-Moshe Maoz (professor Emeritus Islamic and Middle East studies Hebrew University, Jerusalem)
-Walid Salem (Director Society of Democracy and Community Development, Jerusalem)
-Hillel Schenker (co-editor PIJ)
-Mouin Rabbani (Independent Consultant in Ramallah)
Discussion Chairs:
Paul de Waart (Emeritus Professor International Law Free, University of Amsterdam)
-Gerben Meihuizen (chairman board IDF)
-Bram Rutgers (IDF board)
-Clemens van Nispen (IDF board)

IV “New dimensions- new Coalitions”

Dimensions: twofold

A. Spatial/ geographic:

1- National (also based on aspiration for a national state, including border conflicts like in the north and the west and certainly in Jerusalem)

2-Regional, grosso modo the Middle East, Israel including also Iran, Turkey and the gulf states.

3-Global dimension, including the major powers like China India and Russia and the rising major powers, including certainly the EU.

B. Some subjects mentioning the organizations, which should play a special role

1- Security and Diplomacy with the dominant role of governmental institutions such as Clingendael.

2-Legal Dimension, such as Rights Forum

3-Civil Society NGO, such as IKV Paxchristi.

4-Economic relations, environment and water, such as organizations are important research institutions and business sector.

5-Special attention for the implications of new developments like:

-Arab awakening

-Economic crisis

-Environment

-Global dimension

-Human dimension

A priority for IDF should be to develop ideas and seek partners for it.

C- Conclusions

Tekst lezing  Marta Jimenez Cantabrana and Patricia Martin Gomez

Dear “Friends”,

We have been asked to be here today and talk about the concept of dialogue from a youth perspective. When we first heard of the title for this conference “Living with Dialogue”, we thought of the way to integrate the Israeli-Palestinian issue in which we have been personally and professionally linked.  We thought a good frame for this topic would be the importance of dialogue and mutual understanding to advance in steps for peace. We had the opportunity to exchange ideas with Areej, a Palestinian living in Baqa El Gharbia. When she was asked for an opinion about “peace”, this is what she said:

“Here, where I live, peace became a funny word: we waited for it, we tried to work for it, we tried to “coexist” with the Israelis, but, sadly it did not work out. And it will not work out as long as they have power. Every time I hear the word peace I feel like, “god! they need to change this word”. Peace will come to this land when justice will find a way in it, as long as there is not “real” equality between Israelis and Palestinians, peace will not be achieved.”

This, indeed, as recently published by Stuart Littlewood the “word “justice” is conspicuously absent from the mouthings of Western politicians on the Middle East. It has vanished from their vocabulary and from their purpose. Instead “peace process” is endlessly trumpeted, and the lopsided dead-end “negotiations” that go with it” This is totally related to Dr. Peter Idenburg`s theory, Justice and Peace and not the other way around.

So we have asked ourselves, what do we need in order to achieve justice for the peace to come?

Dialogue should be the instrument to provide to different individuals and groups with a common ground in which the improvements for reconciliation will be made.

But what is reconciliation?  Reconciliation goes beyond moving away from the past and does not implicitly means to forget, but to have the courage to forgive. No one should hold bitterness towards their enemies, as they too, can be merely instruments of a system which oppress indiscriminately.  (Xanana Gusmao, 2005)

One of the facts that has been characterising this “peace Process” is that Western Societies have been and are trying to attain solutions in the Palestinian and Israeli conflict without creating an efficient dialogue on the basis of a Culture of Peace.

Peace education, or an education that promotes a culture of peace, is essentially transformative. It cultivates the knowledge base, skills, attitudes and values that seek to transform people’s mindsets, attitudes and behaviors that, in the first place, have either created or exacerbated violent conflicts. It seeks this transformation by building awareness and understanding, developing concern and challenging personal and social action that will enable people to live, relate and create conditions and systems that actualize nonviolence, justice, environmental care, gender equality and other peace values. (Navarro- Castro & Nario-Galace, 2008)

It is important to change the attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate conflict relationships and to develop mutually acceptable strategies to address the main conflict issues. Peacemaking goes far beyond reaching a political agreement. It is more about creating the conditions in which people feel safe and trusted, and able to trust.  In such an environment, it is more likely for a truthful dialogue to happen.

Several studies demonstrate that as children, experiences with conflict profoundly affect both our reactions and perceptions to conflict when we are adults. We believe that those children who at an early age experience feelings such as constant fear from the ‘other’, betrayal or odium might develop an intense resentment that perpetuates throughout their lives, making it more difficult to engage them in an efficient dialogue.

As Areej points out:

“Dialogue happens when we get our full rights and that includes equal rights”

New spheres of dialogue have arisen in the last decade; we have experienced its impact recently with the events of the Arab spring and its western version with the “Outraged Movement”. This so-called “network society “counts with new means available through the powerful possibilities of the net such as the immediateness and interconnectedness. As Mahmoud Khalifa, an Egyptian young we recently had the chance to meet writes: “Many opinions say that the online social networks provided e-communities helped to promote the anti governing systems ideas, and to call and organize the demonstrations, and to disseminate news from the heart of the events. Members of Facebook played a great role in information flow and circulation during the demonstrations days”. (Khalifa, 2011) As well, the outraged has found in these media the channel to expand its voices. These social media could be seen as technologies that enable the empowerment and participation of citizens in the agora of the twenty first century. The determination of the system to control these channels of free expression and dialogue shows their relevance and power.

Young people are an increasingly important group that cannot be ignored, for instance they have an enormous capacity for action and social change. 50% of the world’s inhabitants are under the age of 30 and the majority of social media users are young people between their 20`and 30`. (UNOY Peacebuilders) We, as integrants of the younger generation, strongly believe that the youth are not only the future, but they already entail, develop and shape the present.

We could speak of these citizens’ movements spread across the world, from the Arab Spring to the Occupied Movements in Spain, The Hague, or the United States as a humanitarian revolution, where solidarity, cooperation and empathy for the injustices elsewhere have been shown at its greatest.

If peace means the elimination of all facets of injustice. Why do not we start by looking for justice first and then built peaceful societies? Therefore, let’s start by exercising an efficient dialogue. Let’s stop talking and talking about peace as a beautiful ornament and start cultivating/implementing a culture of peace by facilitating the ground and trusted environment for the peace to become realistic and applicable. To achieve peace, we need to teach peace (Cora Weiss, The Hague Appeal for peace).

Let us build the bridge of human and social justice, peace, equality, and respect. (Alternative Information Center, 2011)

Thank you very much

Marta Jimenez Cantabrana and Patricia Martin Gomez

Bibliography

Alternative Information Center. (15 de 02 de 2011). Alternative News. Obtenido de http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/camp/3298-aic-international-field-seminars-bridges-instead-of-walls

Cora Weiss, The Hague Appeal for peace.

Khalifa, M. (s.f.). The role of Information Technology in defeating the Arab regimes: Facebook 2-0 Arab Presidents. Cairo, Egipto.

Navarro- Castro, L., & Nario-Galace, J. (2008). Peace Education: A path way to a culture of peace. Quenzon City, Philippines: Center for Peace Education.

UNOY Peacebuilders. (s.f.). Obtenido de www.unoy.org

Xanana Gusmao, K. R. (2005). “A vital Force”. En E. C. prevention, People Building Peace II: Succesful Stories of Civil Society (págs. 26-27). Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publisher. Inc.