A violent display of racism by extreme nationalist supporters of storied Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem coupled with recent Ethiopian Israeli protests against discrimination and the government's handling of the capture of two Israelis by Hamas has moved racist attitudes towards dark-skinned Jews and Israeli Palestinian up the government's agenda.
It has become clear to those of us working in the field that engaging in superficial co-existence projects with no foreseeable end merely creates false hopes of peace and impressions of possible safety and security. For co-existence initiatives to be useful, it is vital that both sides recognize and work for human rights and share the values of equality, peace and justice.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Israel is located smack dab in the middle of one of the world's biggest political hotspots. But it does take a few to keep this tiny country along the eastern Mediterranean safe and secure, and that seems to be why Israel is bouncing back big time in 2015.
The AVPE effort is not a substitute for Palestinian independence -- since it recognizes that only with independence can the full potential of the Palestinian economy be realized. At the same time, however, AVPE knows that creating jobs, finding markets and growing the private sector can't be set aside for another 20 years.
Israel's Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) has demanded that notoriously racist club Beitar Jerusalem, the bad boy of Israeli soccer, retract recent statements that it would maintain its policy of not hiring Palestinian players because of opposition by the team's militant, racist fan base.