THE TIME FOR DIALOGUE has
This is the moment -- for Listening, for Connection, for Change.
Signs are everywhere that Dialogue and relationship-building are being adopted as a prescription for advocating and supporting both Israelis and Palestinians.
Palestinians and Jews, experienced with Dialogue, presented two model panels, plus exhibits, this August 25, 2002 for 220 leaders of the local Jewish community.
"Hearing the Other Side: Palestinians and Jews in Dialogue" was attended by a third of the women and men at this "Israel Summer Institute" at Temple Sholom, Burlingame, Calif.
The all-day was sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Community Federation, Israel Center, AIPAC, American Jewish Committee, Bureau of Jewish Education, and New Israel Fund.
Photos of the two Dialogue workshops are on the Web at:
The next day, in nearby San
Francisco, Rabbi Israel Singer addressed the B'nai B'rith International
"Israel Singer...urges dialogue with 'enemies'" headlined the article in the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California. The text is at:
The rabbi suggested that the
community not "cloister itself only with those who say what it wants to
He recommended "dialogue. . .in order to live in a broader world and have friends."
"If I were to encounter a Muslim -- and I did, and I will -- who was willing to dialogue with the Jewish people, I would stay up all night and climb to the top of Mount Everest. . ."
"While dialogue with Arabs and Muslims may seem hopeless, Singer reminded the audience that the same could have been said 50 years ago about establishing relationships with Catholics, or even a decade ago with Russia."
Palestinians added hope two weeks earlier, having appointed Hanna Siniora their new Ambassador to Washington.
Siniora is publisher of The Jerusalem Times and Chairman of the European-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce. He has a vision for an economic and social union -- a true Middle East community -- like the European Union.
Hanna is a champion of Dialogue. He was a creator and signator of the historic 1991 FRAMEWORK FOR A PUBLIC PEACE PROCESS forged one week in the California redwoods by Israeli and Palestinian citizen-leaders. It exhorted Palestinian and Israeli citizens "to step forward and to join hands with us openly and explicitly."
Siniora models excellent relationships with Israeli politicians and many other citizens. His name is associated with honesty.
In June, 2002, Siniora was one of many dozens -- now hundreds -- of leading Palestinians who signed a document initiated by Dr. Sari Nussiebeh, the president of Al Quds University, and PLO representative for Jerusalem, calling for an end to violent acts and a new future for all.