"Better way" modeled by Jews, Palestinians

on both sides of Atlantic

Friday, 12 June 2009


"Too many of us are not living our dreams

because we are living our fears." 

        -- Les Brown

"Use what talents you have;

the woods would have little music

if no birds sang their song

except those who sang best." 

         Reverend Oliver G. Wilson 


     These stories are about courageous Palestinians and Jews in modern harmony for this new moment in history.
     Singing their visions.
     Living their dreams.

     Two Israeli vocalists - a Jew and a Palestinian - are representing their country at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russia.
     Noa, shoulder to shoulder with Mira Awad, are singing and proving "There Must Be Another Way"
     SEE them at:
     WATCH another rendition, with lyrics in Hebrew Arabic and English:

     Then SEE new artistic creativity of SINGING PEACE - an expression of our similarities in our diversity - in advance of their large August, 2009 gathering.


ARABIC - http://singpeace.co.il/index_arb.htm

HEBREW - http://singpeace.co.il/

ENGLISH - http://singpeace.co.il/index_eng.htm


     Finally, appreciate two groups of citizens coming together across lines and oceans to give living form to a world of cooperation that is closer at hand than most people imagine.

                        - L&L

= = 1 = =

     In Beit Oren, west of Haifa, Israeli Jews and Palestinians lighted candles to honor the loss of family, friends, and countrymen at a two-day meeting that jointly marked Israel's Independence Day and the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe, in 1948.
     For the seventh year, the event was deeply meaningful for the 230 Arabs and Jews who participated - more than any previous year.
     Fifty more participation applications had to be denied because the room on Mt. Carmel was at capacity.
     There is no formal organization, but for official purposes sponsorship was under the NGO Beyond Words - http://www.beyondwords.org.il/ .
     The all-volunteer planning team of 20 Arabs and Jews - larger than past years - began work in January, meeting about five hours during a weekend each month.
     "Sometimes it was not easy," wrote team participant Rami  Ben-Moshe ( Ram_BenM@netvision.net.il )
     The first part of each meeting was dedicated to connecting at the heart - staying up to date with relationships and emotions related to war.
     As a result, the second part of meetings was efficient to plan the event contents.
     Planners were divided into teams, with each responsible for a part, including the two-hour workshops.
     There were ten workshops of many kinds, mostly led by volunteers - usually two leaders per workshop, one Arab and one Jew.
     Surrounded by a background of death in Gaza and southern Israel, the courageous team was met with much of criticism from their families and friends.
     One of the daunting challenges was to bring people to the event.
     Beyond the unprecedented turnout has next year's planners considering two separate events with smaller numbers for excellence in relationships.
     VIEW VIDEO (3-1/2 min) at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyVVCNxrllkvi


In Israel, Jews and Arabs aim to bridge

'independence' and 'catastrophe' narratives

As the Jewish state celebrates Independence Day on Wednesday,

a small but growing band comes together to share experiences.

The Christian Science Monitor - April 29, 2009


= = 2 = =

     Palestinian-American Professor Saliba Sarsar invited and recently hosted 33 facilitators of 11 sustained Muslim-Jewish and Jewish-Palestinian dialogues in the U.S., Canada, and the Holy Land.
     There in New Jersey, his Monmouth Dialogue Group - - hosted the three-day conference Sustained Dialogue Groups in Dialogue.
     They shared lessons learned and best practices, while considering common principles and ways to network.
     SEE at http://www.monmouth.edu/dialogue_project/


List of Participating Groups

Conference Schedule

Conference Photo Gallery


     Sarsar clarifies that "sustained dialogue is significant because it focuses on transforming relationships over the long term. 
     "Peacebuilding at the grassroots level is a strong complement to peacemaking at the political leadership level," he writes.
     "After all, when a peace agreement is signed, it is the people who must live the peacetogether."

     READ all of Sarsar's important report:

Enemies no more: the power of sustained dialogue

by Saliba Sarsar

Common Ground News Service - 05 May 2009