Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Seeds of Peace

One of the saddest ramifications of Hamas' election victory last month is the extra work that the Seeds of Peace summer camp will have to do to get Palestinians to attend. According to today's Bangor Daily News (story not found online):

If necessary, the selection of Palestinian attendees for the summer camp could bypass the government formed by the Islamic militant group by going through private schools, said Janet Wallach, acting president of the association.

One excellent result of the camp's short existence comes from the perspective that some former Palestinian attendees were able to offer:

Hazem Zanoun, a Palestinian Seed and a senior at the University of Southern Maine, believes most Palestinians who voted for Hamas were focused on domestic issues, not its call for the destruction of Israel...

Fadi El Salameen, another Palestinian Seed, also is optimistic that Hamas will become more moderate.

"It's a political question: If I recognize your existence, what do I get in return?"

The aims of the camp are extremely noble, and in the long run the safety of our country depends greatly on the efforts of it and similar groups. Personal interaction tends to have a mollifying effect on tribal hostilities, be they racial, ethnic, religious or nationalistic in nature. Considering the innumerable ways that
leaders of nations seemingly conspire to promulgate war, we ordinary folks need all the Seeds of Peace we can get.



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