This piece by Shaqued Morag, Executive Director of Peace Now, first appeared as a Ha'aretz article and APN has
turned into a brochure.
I grew up in an era when peace was not a fantasy but an option. When I was nine, the first Oslo
agreement was signed with the Palestinians. That year, the song that won Israel’s Festigal, the children’s song
festival, was titled “Peace is a Useful Word.” A year later, Yitzhak Rabin signed the peace agreement with Jordan.
It was clear that this was what prime ministers were supposed to do. When I was 11, the Oslo II agreement was
signed. Shortly thereafter, Rabin was assassinated. At my school in Kfar Malal, they continued to educate for
peace. We came every year to Rabin Square for the memorial, welcomed the withdrawal from Lebanon and later from the
Gaza Strip, and continued to believe in peace. Because there is no other way.
But what was known to every child in the 1990s, that occupation is temporary, and that peace should be
sought, has become much less clear over the years. While “Candlelight Youth” of 1994 grew up to be a
high-tech generation, the settlers’ Hilltop Youth settled in Israeli positions of power to make the temporary as
permanent as possible. Illegal outposts began to pop up deep in the West Bank, in areas that were not supposed to
be part of Israel after the peace agreement. Today, their number exceeds 100. What is being sold to us as a
“political deadlock” is actually a very dynamic situation, where facts are set on the ground by a minority that
does not wait for Israeli citizens’ approval.