Generation of potential

An angry Palestinian teenager, throwing stones at Israeli soldiers, a very common image in international media. Especially with the unstable year Jerusalem has had, this is the image we often see of young people. However, there is much more to them than this. There are young Palestinians who throw stones, but also ones who resist through cultural activities or through running. There are young Palestinians who choose to move abroad in the hope of an easier future, ones who turn to drugs and petty crime to make a living and ones who try to inspire others to use creative forms of resistance. Unfortunately, this diversity is hardly addressed and we are only presented with a one-sided image.

In addition to this, the perspective of young Palestinians is missing from politics, decision-making and the international dialogue. As is often the case with marginalised communities, policy-makers talk about young people instead of with them. In December 2015, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security, aiming to “increase inclusive representation of youth in decision-making at all levels”. It is time to include young Palestinians in attempting to create a peaceful future for Palestine, as peace should be of all generations. This starts with listening to them, to their views on their situations and their resistance, on being young and on the future. In this series of blogs, based on conversations with them, I hope to show different images of young Palestinians. They are all born and raised in different neighborhoods in the eastern part of Jerusalem, where I spoke to them. Hopefully these stories will inspire attempts to unlock the potential of this generation.

Tessa de Jonge, April 2018

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