Leave it to the girls

December 4, 2012 by Dalia Ayalon Sinclair.
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Panelists debating on “The Partition Plan – The Great Divide” held recently at the NCJWA Celebrating Israel 2012 agreed  that we would have reached a solution to the Middle East problem if women had been involved in the negotiations.

Eleanor Hall, Vic Alhadeff, Dr. Patricia Jenkings and Dr. Ron Weiser

Over 200 people attended NCJWA Celebrating Israel 2012 annual event organised by National Council Jewish Women of Australia, NSW Division, and  co hosted by ZCNSW and NSW Jewish Board of Deputies,held on 29 November 2012, on the eve of the UN General Assembly’s vote to accept Palestine as a non member observer at the UN.

“The Partition Plan – The Great Divide” debate was a key feature of the event. Moderated by journalist and ABC presenter of The World Today, Eleanor Hall,  the panel which included Israel Advocacy experts Vic Alhadeff, CEO NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and Dr. Ron Weiser AM, Hon Life member ZCNSW, and Human Rights activist and representative of the Evatt Foundation, Dr. Patricia Jenkings, and Dean of School of Law at Macquarie Uni.  Prof Natalie Klein, focused on resolution 181 passed by the UN General Assembly in 1947 calling for the establishment of a Jewish State alongside an Arab State. Israel’s acceptance of the resolution led to the establishment of the State of Israel and the refusal of the Arab leaders to accept same led to wars, refugees and conflicts to date.

Led by Eleanor Hall the panel addressed the main obstacles in negotiating a solution to the Israel Palestine conflict and looking at ways to bring this forward.

“Israel has the right to defend itself. I believe that the psychological and structural barriers that have been there for 65 years could be overcome by a strong leadership working together” said Dr. Patricia Jenkings.

“The problem with the entire issue is that Palestinians wish to gain recognition without having to negotiate” said Ron Weiser “In the later conflict the moral majority of many countries stood behind Israel’s right to defend itself understanding that Israel’s action is a matter of survival. Same moral majority should apply for the Palestinian to accept resolution 181 which recognises the right of a Jewish state to exist. ..Whatever happens at the United Nation is less relevant then what happens in the field. Arab leaders should focus on taking care of their own people”

Prof. Natalie Klein stressed that “A state is defined by its population, its territorial borders and recognition. That recognition was given to the Jewish people in 1947 and since then Israel with its uncertain borders was the topic of discussions at the UN”. Prof Klein described the complex process of accepting statehood by the UN General Assembly and although after 65 years, Palestinians, led by a Hamas Government, is being recognised by over 130 member countries at the UN as a non member observer, it may take some  time before full recognition as a state can be achieved.

Vic Alhadeff, who has recently returned from Israel where he had experienced at close range the latest barrage of rockets into Israel expressed concern that “The increased status of that the Palestinians gained at the UN will not take us closer to finding a solution. Both parties at both ends of resolution 181 have yet to accept the right of each other to live with their borders” Vic Alhadeff stipulated that throughout the history of the UN there were over 400 resolutions recorded against Israel which served as  a barrier to finding solutions.

“The major obstacle to peace is the right of return to the Palestinian People. We cannot end up with two states one for the Palestinians and one for the Jews where Palestinians have a right to return as its citizens.” said Ron Weiser “It is all about having a conversation. Social Media has a great role to play in negotiating a solution.”

A question prompted by NCJWA NSW Division’s Immediate Past President  whether women would have been more successful at negotiating a solution to the conflict received a unanimous “yes”.

“If there were far more women presidents and prime ministers we would have had a solution” said Vic Alhadeff who also pointed out the discrimination against women particularly in Arab countries and China and stipulated that it is expected that the UN will help resolve these issues.

“Historically smart women were not given the same opportunities as men. Structurally we still have state and church representatives predominantly led by men whilst women are more occupied in the private domain taking care of their children and education. Several structural biases need to be changed and this can be done through education.” said Prof. Klein.

“When Golda Meir was prime minister of the state of Israel she was referred to as the best man in cabinet” said Dr. Ron Weise

The panellists had the opportunity to answer many questions from the audience.

Israeli songs by Sarit Michael and Martin Yafe were a great addition to the celebration followed by further discussions over supper.

Comments

2 Responses to “Leave it to the girls”
  1. What a load of nonsence! This has nothing to do with gender! The whole ‘debate’ has been hijacked by those with a non-Israelite agena. Get out there and see for yourselves what is happening in the real world and in real time.

  2. john says:

    If only both sides could produce a Golda!

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