Saturday, October 10, 2009

Common Interests

October 24th is an international Day of Action hosted by climate change group Their name stems from the scientific consensus that the environment can only sustain 350 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Currently, we're at at 386 ppm and increase by 2 ppm every year.

As part of the campaign, Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians will gather at the Dead Sea and form a human chain to write out the numbers 3, 5 and 0. They will then take aerial photographs to create an image of '350' to not only highlight global warming, but also its effects on an already water-strapped Middle East.

For me, the important message goes far beyond climate change. Here we have an important issue that requires the cooperation of both Israelis and Arabs. Global warming threatens everyone equally and doesn't pick political sides. As a result, we get joint actions like this demonstration at the Dead Sea that brings together the disparate sides.

Every time Israelis and Arabs come together to confront common problems, they build just a little more trust between them. Step by step, momentum builds. Institutional and personal exchanges broaden. And eventually, the prospects for peace brighten.

As long as the Israeli-Arab relations revolve solely around the conflict that divides them, nothing will change.

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