Essential Pittsburgh
6:44 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

2 States for 2 Peoples: A Local Town Hall on a 2 State Solution for Israel & Palestine

Mattan Peretz and Obada Shtaya, grassroots activists with the OneVoice Movement
Credit Shania Low / OneVoice Movement

On Monday night, the Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh hosts a town hall meeting in support of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Territory.

The meeting is part of J Street’s 2 Campaign, a nationwide effort to localize conversations of a two state resolution.

Obada Shtaya, a Palestinian grassroots activist for OneVoice said right now more of his countrymen are in favor of an approach that calls for two separate states because they’ve grown weary of the ongoing conflicts.

“Recent polls have shown that the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza are into the 2 state solution," Shtaya explained "Especially after living in a long period of of war. All the wars before the first intifada, and then the first intifada and the second intifada. So people now are sick of the war and that led them to get to the realizations that it’s okay to compromise in order to get to peace.”

Mattan Peretz, another activist for OneVoice, is a native of Jerusalem. He said he supports a two state solution because the current situation is unsustainable.

“I feel that the biggest problem and the biggest challenge is that Israelis got really disconnected from the situation, uninformed and ignorant about it. So the main thing is first of all get them informed and aware about the situation. Open them up to new ideas. Let them meet with decision makers and leaders, even from the Palestinian side so they can actually see that there’s a Palestinian partner.”

Peretz said American support for peace negotiations, especially from Secretary of State John Kerry, have gone a long way in furthering those peace efforts.