Heart-broken Palestinian, Israeli victims
united in bid for peace
Friday, 17 November 2006
Heart of Change" -- http://theheartofchange.com/
-- was published in 2002.
It's findings still call to us.
Change fails because we rely too much on convincing -- preoccupation with data-gathering and intellectual analysis.
Change succeeds by starting with the heart -- being creative to awaken the "feelings that motivate useful action."
"Dying will not help,"the authors say.
"Never underestimate the power of a good story," they add.
Today's story is about the power of Jewish and Palestinian hearts -- apparently similar -- touching and changing.
In war, many citizens feel hopeless.
Pain and death continues among Palestinians and Jews, and for others around Earth.
"Old thinking" says to retaliate, create more pain -- teach "them" a lesson.
But the means are the ends in the making, so fear and distrust increase.
Today, some victims choose another way -- new thinking.
Victims are leading the way, beginning at the heart.
We all can.
Published in the San Francisco Chronicle -- Friday, 17
On the Web at http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/11/17/MNGB0MEL6D1.DTL
Heart-broken victims united in bid for peace
Father of captured Israeli consoles Palestinians at hospital
by Matthew Kalman, Chronicle Foreign Service
Jerusalem -- In a moving scene of reconciliation and hope, the father of the Israeli soldier whose capture started the current round of fighting in Gaza visited a Tel Aviv hospital Thursday to see Palestinians injured in last week's Israeli bombardment of Beit Hanoun.
And two Palestinians whose families were decimated by the attack joined Noam Shalit in offering prayers for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the recovery of the injured and an end to the holding of his son.
"I came in order to express my sympathy with the families from Beit Hanoun, who lost 23 of their loved ones and have a large number of injured here at the center," said Shalit after visiting the wounded Palestinians. His son, 19-year-old Cpl. Gilad Shalit, was seized on June 25 in a cross-border operation that also killed two soldiers and wounded six others.
Usama Ahmed al-Athamna, who lost his wife, mother and 16 other family members in the Israeli artillery strike, said he was praying for the health and safe return of the Israeli soldier.
"I truly thank Gilad's father for the visit, and I pray that his son is returned home safe and sound and that it will bring an end to the tragedy we had at home," al-Athamna said.
Rasan Gasan, whose brother Basem died of his wounds in the hospital last Friday after being injured in Beit Hanoun, said, "I want to thank Gilad's father for coming to visit us. It breaks our hearts, more than they are already broken, that this man's heart breaks for us.
"I hope his son is brought him soon, and I ask both governments, enough, stop. They are continuing negotiations through bloodshed when it's better to sit at a table of peace and speak eye to eye. We can reach an agreement through peace, not bloodshed," Gasan said.
Shalit's visit to the
"I have met the families, and I can see that the people of Beit Hanoun are peace-seeking and not involved in terror, and they only want to provide for themselves," Shalit said.
"I feel that the Athamna family and the other families who lost their loved ones are exactly like the Slutzker family in Sderot and my family in the
Early reports from Gilad Shalit's captors said he had been wounded and had received medical treatment, but since the first week of his capture the only information about him has been assurances by leaders of both Hamas and Fatah, the two major Palestinian political parties, that he is still alive.
Noam Shalit said after leaving the Israeli hospital that the injured Palestinian children lying unconscious were paying the price of "these useless wars." He urged the Israeli government and Palestinian leaders to "end the violence which brings more violence and hatred in a perpetual cycle that must be broken.
"We aren't looking to see who is to blame or who started it. I hope there will be developments in negotiations with a new Palestinian government that will allow for a fresh start when all this madness ends soon," Shalit said.
"It is time to end this affair. So much suffering has been caused since June 25 to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians," he said.
"One of the main obstacles in bringing Gilad home is that the Hamas leadership is in