International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Israeli Conference on the Process of Restoring Local Justice

Upon the news of the cease fire, which currently seems intact in Gaza according to CNN, I read a relevant article on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in The Jerusalem Post. The situation reads as such: Following the ceasefire, a leading Islamic group in the Gaza Strip declared, in the form of a fatwa, that the violation of the current ceasefire between the Israeli government and Hamas will be seen as a sin. Meanwhile, Egypt has been conducting complicated talks between the two parties about the status of the ceasefire, and trying to resolve issues such as that of restrictions on the movements of fishermen and farmers in the border area.

Concurrently, as The Jerusalem Post discusses, a conference took place in Israel regarding the process of achieving transitional justice. Unconventionally, the conference officially and openly discussed the need for the suggestion to address the Palestinian refugee issue, as well as the recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. The conference, in focusing on these two core issues, presents a model way of thinking about establishing a gradual and well-grounded process of achieving justice on a local level. As is already widely known, while one demands the right of return of millions of refugees, the other requests the acknowledgement of its right to exist, as done in the Oslo Accords, not only as a sovereign state, but also as a Jewish one. However, the open discussion of these matters is, I believe, according to the principles discussed in class, provides the right building blocks into making progress. It is further suggested that situations in other countries that resolved conflict between different ethnic groups must be examined and taken as examples in creating a local plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is also implied by Horovitz, the leader of the program, that the evaluation of other conflict situations suggest the Palestinians could be ready to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, if Israel recognized the same for Palestinians and “the pain of their defeat in the 1948 war.” Although such reports are open to argument, in their focusing on the root of the problems, as opposed to current discussions such as water or border issues, seems to be a helpful approach and a different, bold outlook on the subject.

These ideas, based on the first program on transitional justice offered by a university in Israel, provide the opportunity to raise the right kind of awareness and educate individuals on the thorough needs of healthy process of restoring justice.

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