To mark World Conflict Resolution Day, Professor Neil Robinson FMCA convened a conference in Stafford for family mediators across the UK, local and international peace builders and anyone interested. Sumud Palestine was invited to offer a 12-minute presentation and I was glad to oblige.
Dr Mohamed Keshavjee, a member of the World Mediation Forum, gave the opening address on ‘A changing demography and the need for a new mediation perspective.’
There were some distinguished participants and in the afternoon individual and family mediators were invited to examine other settings where mediation could ameliorate conflict. I had not felt that Sumud Palestine fitted into this scenario. The current escalating conflict demands a political solution and any form of mediation or conflict resolution would feel like “pissing into the wind.” With the aid of pictures demonstrating all the constraints on normal life for Palestinians, I concluded that while I knew there were Israeli and Palestinian individuals and groups holding fast to the value of mediation and dialogue, I could not see that this had much relevance other than helping those individuals and groups to hold onto their common humanity and keep their hope alive and this, of course, is not to be sneezed at.