Where Olive Trees Weep:

Elena Mustakova
5 min readJun 9, 2024


A Perspective on Summit of the Future

In the multiplicity of voices shouting at and over each other about the injustices of the continuous tragedy unfolding in Palestine, a clear or viable path forward has yet to emerge. Perhaps that has to do with our pervasive 21st century shortsightedness that reacts to the symptoms, and may even trace some of their history, but does not discern the far-reaching and systemic psychosocial and spiritual realities that have led to such betrayals of our humanity. The children of Palestine have long had no future, but we must now realise that none of us have a future until we break the global cycle of traumatisation and brutality rooted in our addiction to power over others in the place of partnering[1].

In this context, the documentary Where Olive Trees Weep[2] opens an important window. It captures thoughtfully the multigenerational processes of traumatisation that have led to the heart retching atrocities we are watching unravel in Palestine once again. Through poignant interviews with psychiatrists, activists and experts in both Palestine and Israel, one begins to see how unhealed trauma plants deep roots in the psyche and carries the potential for violence to erupt even after generations. The documentary helps grasp how decades of desperation with the unbroken violence inflicted on Palestinians in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and Gaza, were the lead-up to the atrocities Hamas perpetrated on October 7, 2023. It also helps realise how, despite many partial efforts to heal the deep social and psychological traumas of the Holocaust, those once subjected to genocide ended up seeking refuge in a land forcefully taken away from others — and some of their leaders felt justified to slip toward genocidal policies to consolidate ownership of that land. Biblical claims on land as justification are yet another example of rationalising the injustice of power over others and the ensuing brutality against Palestinian homes, hearts, and families. In using our respective religious beliefs as justifications, we seem to forget that a spiritual tradition carries only as much authority as it protects human dignity, heals wounds, and breaks the cycles of dehumanisation and violence in civilisation, guiding it to become increasingly cooperative and united.

The documentary further explores how claims of Israel and various geopolitical alliances to be protecting human security amount to little more than calculated maneuvers with immediate short-sighted interests in mind. When Israel was created, neither the West, which supported the legitimate granting of nationhood to the ever-persecuted Jews, nor the Arab world, which understood the dilemma of the Palestinians native to that land, stepped forth with real wisdom to find a healing, compassionate and mutually respectful viable solution. The geopolitical tensions between Western democratic values and Arab cultural and religious values continued in an uneasy coexistence never seriously explored by either side with the aim of finding partnering ground. Civil society groups in both Israel and Palestine worked hard to explore and heal that tension and build common ground but remained unsupported by governments and marginalised. There certainly were multiple geopolitical efforts at negotiations, but in these efforts each side diplomatically pursued its own partial perspective, in the same way as often plays out at the level of the United Nations. A mature planetary perspective that builds on the values and strengths of each side to establish partnering ground never prevailed over politicking.

It is becoming increasingly apparent, based on the vast knowledge and experience in the social sciences, that processes of healing and viable and sustainable solutions require the facilitation of a trustworthy, wisdom-based body, independent of partial interests, to hold space for healing solutions to emerge from the deep and patient sharing of historical perspectives and lived experiences. In the absence of such a globally endorsed, neutral and wisdom-based body, capable of and entrusted with holding planetary healing spaces, all lesser efforts remain incomplete and not only fail to break the cycle of domination and violence but perpetuate deepening hostilities across circumscribed positions and undermine any possibility for real human security.

Listening to the astounding courage of the Palestinian and Jewish activists, one begins to realise that to do justice to this tragedy, the world needs to unite to decisively suspend the sale of arms in every direction, which feeds not just the tragedy of Palestine but the 27 wars currently brutalising millions of lives. To achieve that, two vast leaps in our collective decision-making are in order. First, we need to urgently create a collectively representative wisdom-based global decision-making body which consists not of member states but of global citizen-experts — an act of establishing a mature planetary civilisation. Such a body must be authorised to take control of all military supplies and suspend their further proliferation among nations. Second, this body would be mandated to create and control a global police force as the only entity authorised to use military force and for one purpose only — to immediately interrupt the rise of violence, oppression, or dictatorship in any part of the world. Such a governing body would help create and support sub-entities worldwide whose task is to maintain and facilitate regional and local processes for finding healing solutions to human tensions and conflicting perspectives. [3]

This documentary, which is yet another collective labor of love pointing to the urgent need for leaps in global solutions, comes out at the most pertinent of times — months before the convening of the Summit of the Future[4]. Each of us, and all of us collectively, have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity now to activate all our resources, networks, and alliances, in order to work through the vast number of NGOs involved in preparing a Pact for the Future to be presented to member states and the General Assembly at the Summit. We can use all our civil society resources to hold our governments accountable on the Road to the Summit[5], to make sure that no less than real solutions for human security are discussed and voted on at the Summit. This would be a caring response to the tragedy of so many lives lost and destroyed. It is time we step into our collective maturity and establish the spiritual principles of interdependence which alone can undergird a sustainable global civilisation of the future.

[1] For a deep historical analysis of cultures of domination and cultures of partnering, see Riane Eisler’s classic book The Chalice and the Blade.

[2] https://whereolivetreesweep.com/

[3] Such a proposal was first offered to humanity in the mid-19th century by the Bahá’í spiritual vision of a world maturing toward unity in all its diversity.

[4] The Secretary General of the United Nations has called for a Summit of the Future to take place on September 20th and 21st, 2024, the task of which is to forge a new global consensus that closes the apparent gap in global governance and addresses the meta-crisis of our planet.

[5] The Road to the Summit refers to the multiple processes currently under way, involving civil society and preparing the ground for the Summit; including the Pact for the Future, Declaration on Future Generations and Peoples Pact for the Future.



Elena Mustakova

Psychotherapist, social scientist, spiritual coach … living with depth, discernment, and ground, in meaningful relationship with shifting planet.