Palestinians cancel peace event because of Jewish participation

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

Organizers of an event promoting peace in the region were forced to cancel what they had titled the "Bethlehem Walk" after local Palestinians strongly rejected the participation of Israeli Jews.

The event, which was scheduled for Friday, was to be a quiet march through the streets of Bethlehem in an effort to encourage "change and acknowledge basic common grounds and sow the seeds of understanding and acceptance."

In their public invitation, the organizers suggested that by walking quietly through the streets of the historic city, participants would "develop calm, balance and confidence when faced with the challenges of reality."

But Palestinian activists were outraged that Israeli Jews were actually going to be part of the march, and insisted that the Jewish presence would "desecrate our holy city and sites," according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.

The Palestinian activists said the Bethlehem Walk had become a medium for "normalization" with Israel and the Jews, which they strongly oppose.

The incident is a sad reminder that while there are some on both sides who truly seek peace and coexistence, the bulk of Palestinian youth have been educated to hate Israel and to view its Jewish citizens as bloodthirsty usurpers. As those youth reach adulthood, they have formed a new generation with which reaching a genuine peace will all but impossible.

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