The Center for Women & Democracy Delegation to Israel and the Palestinian Territories came away changed in the depth of our understanding of the conflicts and complexity of this amazing part of the world.
From day we met women leaders who shared with us a picture of an Israel divided of course between Jews and Palestinians, but perhaps even more profoundly between minority populations of religious conservatives and everyone else.
National polls in Israel increasingly show that more than 50% of Israeli citizens are progressive and perhaps even favorable to enacting a two-state solution to resolve long simmering issues between Israelis and Palestinians.
Many Israeli and Palestinian women leaders told us that President Donald Trump represents to them a wild card that could push forward the two-state solution that was outlined with help from the Clinton Administration in 1998. The feeling that Trump could make a difference in what has seemed an intractable problem grew after the president’s favorable meetings with his Palestinian Authority counterpart Mahmoud Abbas, which occurred during our delegation.
While our CWD delegates expressed reservations about our president’s potential of making peace, our speakers reminded us that for a decade their conservative Prime Minister Netanyahu has held up peace processes, and that perhaps Trump’s biggest value to Israel will be pushing Netanyahu toward a solution.
This ancient part of the world is more complex and diverse than most of us knew before we set foot there. Throughout our visit, our delegates had the sense of witnessing history unfold.