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Gil Mildar
As the song says, a Latin American with no money in his pocket.

Reflections from the Kibbutz: Navigating the Path to Peace in the Middle East

Walking Caju, my dog, along the trails of the kibbutz, bordering Jordan, I find myself entangled in the complexities of the Middle East. The recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, adding yet another sad chapter to an already tragic storybook, prompts bitter reflections.

The 2021 Palestinian election attempt, as fleeting as desert flowers, hinted at a glimmer of hope. A renewed Palestinian leadership could signal a new beginning, perhaps even a semblance of peace.

As Caju chases a butterfly, my thoughts turn to Israel. Here we are, balancing the need to protect our citizens with the pursuit of a path to peace. It’s as delicate a balance as walking on the stones of the Jordan River.

The international community, with their advice and warnings, sometimes seems more lost than tourists in Jerusalem. They want to help, but do they truly understand the complex melody of this region?

Hamas, with its recent deadly attacks and kidnappings, looms like an unending storm. How to deal with a group that brings so much pain and despair, yet seeks a seat at the negotiation table?

Strengthening moderate voices in Palestine is a Herculean task. Yet, it’s essential for any hope of dialogue. Peace needs these voices, like the desert needs rain.

Heading back home, I ponder the West Bank settlements, a topic that divides opinions like a falafel split in half. It’s an issue that can’t be ignored in the quest for a lasting solution.

And the Gaza blockade, as complicated as a meze platter with its myriad flavors. Revisiting it could be a significant step toward easing tensions.

The relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is a complex dance. Sometimes, it feels like we’re spinning in circles, yet no one really wants to leave the dance floor.

The Palestinian elections, though canceled, were like a breath of fresh air. They showed there’s a desire for change, for new voices and ideas.

Israel needs to see these elections not as a threat, but as an opportunity for a new beginning, to renew dialogue, and perhaps, to build bridges.

International diplomacy must take on a more active role. Not just as an observer, but as an engaged participant in the peace process.

Israel has to look beyond militarism. Understanding Palestinian culture, dreams, and aspirations is crucial to finding common ground.

The Palestinian narrative is rich and diverse. Acknowledging it is the first step towards building mutual understanding and, hopefully, lasting peace.

The future of this region is intertwined with how we deal with the past. History is a stern but fair teacher, and her lessons are invaluable.

The youth on both sides carry new hopes and ideas. They hold the potential to transform this age-old conflict.

Technology and globalization can be tools for peace. Communication and understanding can blossom in a digital environment.

Local communities, with their incredible resilience, are an example of strength and hope. They show that even in chaos, peace can be found.

Non-governmental organizations and civil society play a crucial role. They can be the glue that binds the broken pieces of this complex puzzle.

Education is key. Teaching children about peace and tolerance is planting the seeds for a better future.

Economy too plays a pivotal role. Prosperity and development can open doors to new opportunities and peace.

Art and culture have the power to unite. They can be the universal language that transcends borders and conflicts.

The environment, a concern for all, can be common ground for cooperation and mutual understanding.

Women have a vital role in peace-building. Their perspective and contribution are essential to any meaningful dialogue.

Collective memory and historical narrative are delicate. How we remember the past directly influences our future.

The courage to face the unknown and the willingness to change are essential. The future is waiting to be written, and every step we take can lead to a new chapter.

As I get home, Caju runs to his favorite spot. I sit down and think: it’s time for a new beginning, for new conversations. Maybe then, we can finally find a path to peace.

About the Author
Gil Mildar is a 60-year-old Brazilian who made Aliyah a few years ago. He holds a Law degree from the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos in Brazil and a postgraduate degree in Marketing from the Universidad de Belgrano in Argentina. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to work in Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and now Israel. For the past 30 years, his focus has been on marketing projects in Latin America.
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