The Middle East Program aims to contribute to bioregional, natural resource conservation, cultural heritage preservation, and peace-building efforts in the
Middle East. We accomplish this by fostering environmental leadership and mutual understanding among conservation leaders.
The program has developed an integrated program of mutually reinforcing methods for training, technical assistance, professional exchange and community-based planning projects. Over the years, the program has built a cadre of more than 120 conservation professionals fromI have two things to say to the QLF:
Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, and North America, who are working across geo-political borders with environmental solutions for the long term in natural resource stewardship. We hope to nurture reconciliation across a long-standing conflict and create partnerships with organizations, individuals, and governmental agencies in the region.
1. You must know that you endanger the people from Lebanon who join your program without knowing where they are going or without fully measuring the consequences of what they are doing: Lebanon is AT WAR with Israel. Any contact with the enemy is legally punishable and considered as treason. Some of the people who collaborate with you from Lebanon have their photos on your website, although it is unclear whether they are or were part of any Israeli-Lebanese collaboration.
2. Your attempt at creating equivalence between oppressor and oppressed and at building consensus (as you say in your publication "Consensus Building and Collaborative Conservation", filled with photos of collaborators having fun-fun-fun together) is risible and denotes (at best) of a shallow understanding of the politics of liberation and oppression. Consensus on what? On the fact that Israel is a colonial, usurping entity that practices a rule of terror and ethnic cleansing in Palestine and in the surrounding Arab countries? There is already a consensus on that: ask any of the 300 million Arabs (except the handful of carefully selected collaborators) and they will say it to you, loud and clear. Better still, I shall borrow the voice of the Palestinian youth (the hundreds of thousands who are not corruptible) who spoke today in commemoration of the nakba (you probably don't know what it is so go look it up):
(We) Reject the efforts of Israel and its apologists around the world, who aim to direct our efforts at convincing Israel of our inalienable rights rather than resisting its oppression through legitimate and legal means to obtain them; especially organizations that aim to convince us that that conflict is but a symptom of psychological barriers that can disappear through dialogue with the other. Such organizations they completely ignore the reality which is Israel’s oppression and systematic discrimination against the Palestinian people. Organizations like Seeds of Peace, One Voice, NIR School, IPCRI, Panorama, and others specifically target Palestinian youth to engage them in dialog with Israelis without recognizing the inalienable rights of Palestinians, or aiming to end Israel’s occupation, colonization, and apartheid. (my emphasis).They should add QLF to this list. But QLF is much more pernicious: it seeks to engage Lebanese people in clear breach of the country's law. But then again, the colonials never acknowledged any law but their own.