As proud as I am of Centre for Human Emergence – UK (CHE-UK) , as grand as our ambitions are – and partially redesigning the United Kingdom is pretty ambitious!! – as committed to them as I am and as daunting as the challenges we face are, it seems at times relatively ‘small beer’ compared to what the Center for Human Emergence Middle East (CHE-ME) is up to.
Our members don’t live in a semi-hot war zone, with the ever-present threat of real violence (whether terrorist activities – suicide bombers and rockets – or heavy-handed military responses such as in Gaza at the start of this year). The UK might be bothered about corruption in government, desperate to recover from what is being labelled as the worst recession since the 1930s, very unsure of itself as a multi-cultural society in certain parts of the kingdom and iffy in its relations with the EU whilst at the same time being uncertain as to the changing constitutional relationship between its 4 constituent countries. But CHE-ME is faced with a real and frequently violent conflict between one country (Israel) and the stateless land of a dispossessed people it occupies (Palestine), with that stateless land split both geographically and politically. CHE-ME is faced with 2 wars – Israel vs Palestine and Fatah (aka Fateh) vs Hamas – both in fragile ceasefires that threaten to boil over into murderous warfare at any moment.
So it’s a pleasure for me once again to draw attention to the work of Elza Maalouf and CHE-ME – which, it should be stressed, is strongly supported by Integral Israel. In the 5 years since Rafael Nasser first invited Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck to present to Integral Israel on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, enormous progress has been made behind the scenes – particularly in terms of building Palestinian capacity for self-government so that Palestine can be a full and competent partner to Israel in designing a viable and sustainable 2-state solution.
As Elza reports in her article for the Common Ground News Service, ‘6th Convention Fateh’s and the Building of a Nation’, the Convention has made clear recommendations to the Fatah-led government of President Mahmoud Abbas that a new national agenda needs to be designed based on economic development. Many of those who voted for positive change at the Convention had been through some form of training and/or briefing by Maalouf & Beck.
What it seems CHE-ME is beginning to bring about is a major shift in sections of the Palestinian consciousness. That shift is from the old anti-Israeli/Palestinians-as-victims ethos PURPLE and BLUE had got them locked into – which RED demagogues have so ruthlessly exploited for the past half-century and more – into the first stirrings of an ORANGE-driven entrepreneurial culture. The old Palestine, an alienated and divided society embittered with hatred towards Israel and split into its own warring factions, all but invited Israel to occupy and suppress. A new Palestine geared towards the well-being of its people and the economic prosperity of the region must be an attractive proposition as a trading partner for Israel.
The emergence of the ORANGE vMEME, as Beck lays out in his development of Muzafir Sherif’s Assimilation-Contrast Effect, breaks up the log jam of intractable positions by working towards a new and better future.
But, in her big picture perspective, Maalouf knows that Hamas can’t be left out of these developments. So, in her Common Ground article, she points out that the olive branch needs to be offered to Hamas. (Though their work to date has been mostly with Fatah, she & Beck have made some inroads into Hamas and know that there are potentials for change and voices of reason all too often missed in the Western media’s portrayal of that terrorist organisation.)
So, some wonderful news of progress in one of the world’s most troubled and dangerous regions!
For those interested in progress in the Middle East, may I also recommend Bitter Lemons, an EU-funded site dedicated to helping Israelis and Palestinians understand each other’s points of view on the issues which are seen to divide.