US Secretary of State John Kerry recently said that progress in the peace process was up to the people of Israel and the Palestinians.
President Obama during his visit to Israel repeated this. He said during his address at the Jerusalem International Convention Center that ‘peace must be made among peoples not just governments’.
During the same address however, Obama repeated stereotypes about the reality in the West Bank. For example he claimed that settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished and that Palestinians are restricted in their ability to move around the West Bank.
Views like those of the American president are generally based on biased main stream media reporting about the West Bank and on Palestinian propaganda. Not a day goes by without another report about supposed ‘settler violence’ or ‘Palestinian victim hood’.
When examined, many of these reports prove to be distorted or simply not true.
As a result of Palestinian propaganda and biased media reporting, a simplified and even distorted picture has emerged about the reality in the West Bank. Some even believe that this reality is comparable to the Apartheid system that existed in South Africa. This false claim has subsequently led to efforts to boycott Israel or Israeli products.
In the West Bank however, there exists a different reality. In this reality Israeli Jews and Palestinians Arabs have been able to overcome the wider conflict and have succeeded to establish normal relations.
President Obama said that this is the way peace begins. In his words: ‘not in a carefully designed process, but in the daily connections that take place among those who live together in this land’.
Missing Peace is in the process of recording these daily connections in the West Bank on video. We decided to film the Rami Levy supermarket in Gush Etzion along highway 60 between Jerusalem and Hebron.
The supermarket is one of the many places in the West Bank where Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs work together or are involved in trade. We interviewed the owner of the supermarket Rami Levy, who has a clear vision on co-existence between Arabs and Jews in Israel. We furthermore interviewed some employees and customers in the supermarket.
You can watch the trailer of the Missing Peace documentary here: