People to people, parliament to parliament and partner to partner are the three types of connections needed to begin a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Monday.
Edelstein presented his philosophy, which he called the “Three P2Ps,” during the special Knesset session in honor of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Real peace, he explained, must come from the bottom up – people to people – meaning unmediated connections in the field and civilian cooperation, such as industrial zones in which Israelis and Palestinians work together.
“The few examples of such cooperation bring hope for the future,” he said.
As for the second necessary connection – parliament to parliament – Edelstein described “good, helpful relations and cooperation” with other legislative bodies around the globe.
“Unfortunately,” he added, “we do not have relations with most Arab countries’ parliaments. The Knesset under my leadership is open to true cooperation with all parliaments in the region, but without P2P we can’t build a strong basis for a joint future.”
The final essential P2P connection, the speaker explained, is between partners, because one needs a partner to make peace.
“Today, unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority and its leadership are not a partner,” he said. “As long as the wild incitement, including use of Nazi symbols while encouraging the younger generation in schools and PA kindergartens [to hate Israel]; as long as there is anti-Semitism in Palestinian media and town centers with the PA ’s support, even though they are supposed to be a partner, we cannot seriously talk about a peace process. This shows a lack of a partner.”
According to Edelstein, all three P2P parameters are necessary to build a strong basis for relationships, move the process forward and give true peace a chance.