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A truth and reconciliation commission for Palestine/Israel: Healing spirit injuries?

Wing, Adrien Katherine
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems. 17(1): 139-164.

The Palestinians may want to consider the possibility of using a device that has been used by many other countries for societal healing – a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) – to deal with the spirit injuries that have affected them over the decades. … Margaret Popkin and Naomi Roht-Arriaza have identified four main goals of commissions: 1) contributing to transitional peace by creating an authoritative record; 2) providing a platform for victims; 3) recom-mending changes to avoid a repetition; and 4) establishing who was responsible and should be held accountable for vio-lations of human rights. … According to South African TRC Chair Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “it was enormously therapeutic and cleansing for victims to tell their stories and the perpetrators had to confess in order to get amnesty… . … If the commissioners include a wide variety of individuals such as young women, who do not have status within cus-tomary norms, it is not likely that more conservative Palestinians would embrace the commissioners’ authority. … The issues involving Israelis described above in the first scenario could definitely be part of the third, or binational, cham-ber. … Some societies have created TRCs via a presidential decree and others passed a parliamentary statute. … Israel has long felt that the United Nations is biased as anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian, while many Palestinians have felt the United Nations has failed to protect their rights from Israeli aggressions. (Author’s Abstract)


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