Hello, Peace! is a free phone service that lets you Israelis and Palestinians start talking again.
It began in October, 2002 as a project of The Parents Circle of bereaved Palestinian and Israeli families who have lost relatives from violence.
Click on 'Hello! Salaam! Shalom!' Dialogue: Peace Activists Set Up Phone Lines to Encourage Israeli-Palestinian Conversations to read the October Baltimore Sun article.
By December 28, 2002, over 48,000 calls were made between Palestinians and Israelis. The number exceeded 108,000 by March 1, 2003, 300,00 in February, 2004, 408,000 in December, 2004, and 806,000 in December, 2005.
You can help! All the information is at http://www.hellopeace.net/ .
1. If you are not in the Middle East, tell Palestinians and Israelis about Hello, Peace!
2. If you an Israeli or Palestinian in the Holy Land, make a phone call today. And call tomorrow, too!
Here is how:
What number do I dial?
Dial *6364 from any Bezeq or mobile phone. It's a toll-free number, so there is no charge for the call.
What happens then? You'll hear a voice message: "Hello, you have reached Hello, Shalom, Hello Salaam. If you wish to talk to an Israeli about reconciliation, tolerance and peace, dial 1; if you wish to talk to a Palestinian about reconciliation, tolerance and peace, dial 2.". If you want to talk now, you'll choose someone from a pool of names and phone numbers, and be connected to that person on the other side.
If you want to talk later, you'll leave your name, phone number, and the hours when you're available to receive a call.
How long can I talk?
You can talk as long as you want, up to 30 minutes.
Can I talk to an operator if I want to? You can ask to speak to an operator at any time.
Can I call more than once?
You can call as often as you want. And each call makes the conversation between Israelis and Palestinians grow that much larger. So more is better!
Why is it important to call?
When people are stuck in despair and separation, someone needs to take a first step -- someone has to be willing to reach out and begin talking again. More importantly -- Listening with compassion and without interruption. Maybe that someone is not our political leaders.
Maybe that someone is . . . you.
When you are talking . . .
Speak from your heart with simple hopes for that person, and for both peoples -- Israelis and Palestinians.
Here are some ideas:
"We are thinking about you. We want the best for you -- for both of us, Palestinians and Israelis."
"I'm not sure what else to say, except I want us to be good neighbors with no more violence by either of us."
"I know you are afraid, like I am."
"I regret all your pain and lack of hope. I know my people are not toally innocent, and we could both do more to make it better."
"Let's begin with our friendship, and let's continue it and get more people like us to listen to one another better."
When you are listening . . .
Keep your spirit of compassionate listening and Dialogue.
For a moment, suspend your own "beliefs" and "views," and just listen.
Simply hear and accept another persons stories -- how she or he experiences and views of life.
Listening is difficult. Our quality of listening must improve.
Seek to avoid . . .
Debate. ("I want you to see things my way, the accurate, right way.")
Needing to "win" and "be right". Instead, expand your own knowledge. Get a more whole view by learning from the other person.
If you hear something that upsets you (because it differs from your story and views) . . .
Listen with compassion, without "yes, but."
Accept and ponder the differing narrative of life as the other person experiences it.
Help the person to feel heard and understood.
Listening is one of the great acts of healing and of love. Listening can do magic, even small miracles. Sometimes big ones.
Begin a lasting friendship!
Remember, you are taking the first step -- beginning a new Relationship.
We cannot have lasting "peace," without lasting citizen-to-citizen Relationships.
New Relationships take time.
Open a new door to a new person. And open minds and hearts -- theirs and yours. And keep them open.
After the first conversation, call again. If you can, keep the Relationship alive.
Be the change you want to happen.