Dear colleagues in Jewish-Palestinian relationship building,
Deep listening and making human connections will be important to discover and correct social, economic, and political root causes of violent and even terrorist acts -- symptoms of a curable disease of humankind.
We help humanity live in safety and cooperation, with every moment we can spend practicing and mastering dialogue in our homes, schools, and communities.
In this moment of unprecedented searching together, may each of us be a part of healing relationships -- healing the world, yishfee el alam, tikkun olam,
With appreciation, Libby and Len
Published in the Hartford (Conn.) Courant Sunday, September 30, 2001
Listen To Terrorists
By Elizabeth and Lionel Traubman
`How do you deal with terrorists?" an educator e-mailed us, grasping for what to tell her students.
We are not professionals, not experts. But we are part of a 9-year-old Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group on the
We are 30 women and men - Muslims, Jews and Christians, Holocaust survivors and 20th-generation Palestinians. In our experience, "an enemy is someone whose story we have not heard."
And so with "terrorists." Everyone needs to be heard; listening is one of the great acts of love and of healing.
But from marriage to international relationships, we experience people being neglected and disregarded. Discredited and dehumanized. Not invited to the table. Voices in the wilderness, they see themselves as labeled inferior, outside, less than human, invisible. It drives people crazy and creates hate and fury. It makes them feel hopeless and do desperate things.
Their hearts harden.
Part of the meaning of these tragic days - we saw it in the neglect and resultant violence at
If we participate in globalization, then we cannot dissociate ourselves from others' crises and needs. We cannot allow keeping other human beings invisible to us.
We have seen in
It is about compassionate listening to "their" stories, beginning to see one another as human and equal, and starting to want the best for one another.
And initiating acts of good will in
We know of no other way to begin: being human, opening minds, softening hearts. Discovering who we are - neighbors forever.
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