More inspirational news on the co-existence front – this in today from the European Jewish Press:
HELSINKI (AFP) – Israeli and Palestinian teenagers, meeting in Finland, put their names Wednesday to their own blueprint for Middle East peace, one that envisions two separate states and the eradication of terrorism.
Inspired by the international diplomatic roadmap that calls for a sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel, the youngsters’ proposals are to be sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas.
The six Israelis and six Palestinians, aged 14 through 16, who hail from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ramallah, spent a week laying out their five-point document.
“We believe in peace which will be achieved through the two-state solution… stopping the violence, and eradicating the terror organizations,(and) economic cooperation as a tool for mutual understanding,” they said in a statement.
They added: “Education as an important tool in the peace process and the growth of a new generation of peace supporters.”
The young Israelis and Palestinians had come to the Finnish capital for a “children’s parliament” with the sponsorship of the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.
Amos Atzmon, 16, from Jerusalem, told AFP: “My parents are very open-minded. When I was younger, they kept telling me: ’If you do not like it, change it’. That’s what I’m doing here.”
Christina Yousef, 14, from Ramallah, said: “My opinion towards Israelis has changed. I realized their thoughts are the same as ours”.
Israel’s ambassador to Finland, Shemi Tzur, and the Palestinian delegate to the Nordic nation, Nabil Al-Wazir, were on hand for Wednesday’s signing ceremony.