/ / /

haGalil onLine -


Spenden Sie mit PayPal - schnell, kostenlos und sicher!

Search haGalil


Newsletter abonnieren
Bücher / Morascha

Koscher leben...

Aktiv gegen Nazi-Propaganda!
Jüdische Weisheit


"Being you without self-confidence is person without peace":
About peacecamp 2007

July 2nd-12th, Reibers, Lower Austria

Before and after peacecamp 2007, which took place from July 2nd to 12th in Reibers, Lower Austria, participants were asked to answer 4 questions related to the theme "imagine peace". While their answers remained vague and impersonal before peacecamp ("The main obstacle to peace are the politicians"; "In order to promote peace one should exchange the politicians"), answers after the camp reflect a sense of personal responsibility and the possibility of exerting an influence on one's social and political reality ("I will tell people that prejudices are wrong and that it is not impossible to live together in peace").

During 10 days, sportive, creative and cultural activities offered opportunities to explore modes of cooperation and to establish a dialogue between members of four different cultures, Hungarians, Austrians, Jewish and Palestinian Israelis.
Psychoanalytic large group sessions allowed to explore conflictuous issues and to look at the conscious and unconscious elements which stand in the way of cooperation in the political reality of these groups and people. "We were supposed to imagine peace", said one participant at the end of the encounter, "but we did not imagine peace – we lived peace". And another one asked "We all lived together in peace for 10 whole days, so why can't we all live together in peace?"

The first group-discussion was ruthless and almost violent: "When I hear the word "Palestinian" I immediately think of suicide bombers, of blown up busses, of terror" said one of the Jewish-Israeli participants. Silence, dismay, helplessness and rage were part of almost all group-sessions. But at the airport, before leaving, there were sadness and tears, tears about having to separate and to leave after having grown together and established real closeness with one another. "When somebody in Israel tells me that all Palestinians are terrorists, I will tell them that this is not true, that I have shared a dormitory with 8 wonderful Palestinians and that I got on well with them".

The transitions from angry confrontation in group-discussions to a peaceful and constructive sense of togetherness at culture evenings and workshops were impressive. Without them, the two last-day-performances - the open day in Reibers and the festival4peace in Vienna's Augarten - would not have been possible. "We fought in the groups-discussions but were friends in the bedrooms". L. does not want to feel guilty about having her own state, S. feels threatened by N.'s necklace with the Palestinian flag over Israel, but N. does not understand why this should be a threat to her Jewish co-citizens: she cannot identify with the Magen David on Israel's flag nor with the Hatikwa, nor with the crosses which hang on all the walls of our peacecamp-youth-hostel. The Arab group points out a sense of equality which they experience at peacecamp:" We eat the same food, we sleep in the same rooms, we do the same things". The fact that they thank us again and again for this experience of equality evokes some doubts about the way they may feel in Israel, of which they are citizens, just their Jewish co-citizens.

How was it possible to leave the debates and confrontations in the groups and not to carry them into bedrooms and workshops? "We have decided", tells us one Arab participant. "We have decided to fight in the discussions and to be friends in the bedrooms". Is it possible to make such a decision and to stick to it, to leave all the unresolved and complex issues within the groups-setting and not to carry it into all the other activities? "Yes – this is what we have decided: We wanted to imagine peace".

One participant pointed out that peacecamp created a kind of new reality, in which one could confront difficult issues, because all could feel safe, protected and taken care of in the very same way. Another participant described how the rules stated for the group discussions created a sense of mutual respect, which enabled participants to confront complex issues which would be left within, and not destroy, the groups.

And B., who liked to be provocative at times and to sweeten bitter debates with hoax and jokes, came up with a really wise answer to the question for the main obstacles to peace: "The most obstacle is the trust. Being you without self-confidence is person without peace".

Evelyn Böhmer-Laufer
July 2007-07-17

This was Peacecamp 2007 for me 05-08-2007

Werben in haGalil?
Ihre Anzeige hier!

Advertize in haGalil?
Your Ad here! ist kostenlos! Trotzdem: haGalil kostet Geld!

Die bei haGalil onLine und den angeschlossenen Domains veröffentlichten Texte spiegeln Meinungen und Kenntnisstand der jeweiligen Autoren.
Sie geben nicht unbedingt die Meinung der Herausgeber bzw. der Gesamtredaktion wieder.
haGalil onLine

haGalil - Postfach 900504 - D-81505 München

1995-2006 © haGalil onLine® bzw. den angeg. Rechteinhabern
Munich - Tel Aviv - All Rights Reserved