In July, 1992 a handful of American Palestinians, Jews, and
supportive "others" first gathered in a San Mateo, Calif. living room
to see if we could do the "impossible" -- listen with compassion to
one another, and find common ground and a way of relating over time that had
escaped most previous endeavors in North America and the Middle East.
This July, 2002, the San Mateo Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group -- 30 women and men, Holocaust survivors and 20th generation Palestinians; in our 30s and 80s -- gathered for our 123rd meeting.
We listened in silence as a long list of our outreach endeavors were read one at a time, reliving our ten years of dedication to one another and to the "public peace process." That list is on the Web at:
To help us mark this moment in time, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel C. Kurtzer, woke up early -- 6:30 a.m. Tel-Aviv time -- for a half-hour teleconference with us gathered in the living room of Palestinians Nahida and Adham Salem. Photos are on the Web at:
The conversation affirmed the needed, parallel partnership
between government and public peace processes. It reminded us what the
Ambassador had written to us and Dialogue participants everywhere:
"The 'public peace process' that you engage in is a model for understanding and reconciliation, and provides the foundation for a long-term, lasting peace."