Lital Shemesh is a 29-year-old successful, female, Israeli journalist who recently participated in a seminar with other young Israelis and Arabs in hopes of igniting optimism for peace. She returned from the seminar disappointed and disillusioned.
She is a rising star in the Israeli media who openly expresses her political aspirations in the Knesset. She worked as Editor-in-Chief for Yedioth Youth Magazines, reported for the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Hot CableTV News channel, and is CEO and Founder of a web-based girls magazine “Pinkish – Everything that Girls Love.”
In her first attempt at a video blog in English two years ago, she says, “I really want… a peaceful quiet country to live in, and I really want peace to come.”
But her conclusions from the peace seminar are a window to understanding current trends in Israeli society: Israelis are realizing that the negotiations with the Arabs are destined to fail from the outset, so why waste the time?
Her summary of her experience at the peace seminar appeared this past Thursday (May 2, 2013) on the Walla news site:
Peace? From the Palestinian Standpoint, There is a Past, No Future
by Lital Shemesh
I participated in the Dialogue for Peace Project for young Israelis and Palestinians who are politically involved in various frameworks. The project’s objective was to identify tomorrow’s leaders and bring them closer today, with the aim of bringing peace at some future time.
The project involved meetings every few weeks and a concluding seminar in Turkey.
On the third day of the seminar after we had become acquainted, had removed barriers, and split helpings of rachat Lukum [a halva-like almond Arab delicacy] as though there was never a partition wall between us, we began to touch upon many subjects which were painful for both sides. The Palestinians spoke of roadblocks and the IDF soldiers in the territories, while the Israeli side spoke of constant fear, murderous terrorist attacks, and rockets from Gaza.