People are asking about the Middle
East: "Where are the adults among Jews and Arabs?"
Here are some. Palestinian and Jewish Israelis are constantly being brought together by the work of Givat Haviva to redefine POWER -- the power of Listening, Dialogue, Story, Changing, one person at a time.
Thursday, February 28, 2002 was a meeting between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Yet it models what could be -- should be, can be, must be -- between all Palestinians and Jews.
After this dialogue, a senior Israeli military office said: "I am leaving Sakhnin today a different person than I came this morning."
And another departed with optimism, since he found that "there is someone to talk to."
Thanks to Mohammad Darawsh (email@example.com) for this news. --L&L
Students of the National Security College Hold Study Day in Sakhnin
A group of about 40 students from the National Security College held a study day and tour of the Arab city of Sakhnin on February 27th, organized and sponsored by the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at Givat Haviva and the Sakhnin Municipality.
The participants, senior officers in the Israel Defense Forces and security services as well as government officials holding key positions, met in small groups with city residents for discussions on the topic: Agreed Conditions for Common Citizenship, toured the city, were hosted in residents homes, and heard remarks from local leaders Mr. Mustafa Abu Raya, Mayor of Sakhnin, and Mr. Hana Sweid, Head of the Ilabun Local Council.
The purpose of the day, as defined by Course Commander Col. Moshe Kenan, was:
Personal and group experience in dialogue with Arab citizens, in order to deepen knowledge of the Arab minority in Israeli society, and in order to improve the ability to deal with Israeli identity.
The enthusiastic concluding comments of the participants show that the goal was fully realized, and even beyond. S., a senior officer, said: I am leaving Sakhnin today a different person than I came this morning. Another participant noted the great importance of meeting between people on a human level and the direct dialogue, which are so different than the picture painted by the media of the Arabs and their extremist positions.
One of the participants noted that he departs with optimism, since he found that there is someone to talk to. A colleague said, in contrast, that he is leaving with pessimism, since he realized that the events of October 2000 created high walls between Jews and Arabs which it will be very difficult to lower. However, all the speakers emphasized the need to widen the circles of dialogue, direct meetings and comprehensive discussions on the problems between Jews and Arabs in the country, and noted they had learned much more during this one day than they had from hearing lectures and reading books and newspapers.
Director of the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at Givat Haviva, Dr. Sarah Ozacky-Lazar (firstname.lastname@example.org), concluded the day by thanking Sakhnin Mayor Mustafa Abu Raya for his continuing willingness to host Jewish groups in the city and Mr. Gazal Abu Raya, who organizing the entire program, and promised the audience that the Center will continue to work as hard as possible to bring the two communities together, for meetings, frank deliberations and comprehensive dialogue between the two sides.
Riad Kabha, co-director of the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at Givat Haviva said: "This is part of our effort to influence decision makers in the Israeli governmental system."
The Jewish-Arab Center for Peace of Givat Haviva is on the Web at http://www.dialogate.org.il .