Grassroots Visions of Peace
Despite the limitations of diplomatic channels, Rabin and Arafat played important roles in presenting the new idea of peace to their citizens and audiences, and in nourishing support around it. Other politicians, on the other hand, played an important role in ‘selling’ to their audiences the convenience of conflict, alerting them to the costs of generosity when negotiating with an ancient enemy. While these top-down narratives of peace and conflict took shape through the interplay between main developments on the ground and internal and international media coverage, other subjects worked in the field to prepare the cultural changes that peace entailed. These were the peace promoters, individuals who, in their various roles, worked to develop new perspectives in local institutions and communities through grassroots activities in the field. More often than not, they did so against the will of their representatives and without media coverage. The present and following chapters are dedicated to their efforts and visions. While Chapter 4 focuses on the direct relation between media and grassroots peace promotion, the present chapter uses the voices of peace promoters to highlight factors that can transform dominant narratives justifying the conflict, and those that can weaken, or render ineffective, alternative ones.
KeywordsMiddle East Peace Process Palestinian Authority Israeli Policy Conflict Transformation
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