A Process of Change -- Israeli, Palestinian young adults who live it
Friday, 25 September 2009
"An enemy is one whose story we have not heard."
--Ms. Gene Knudsen Hoffman
"People dont get along because they fear each other.
People fear each other because they dont know each other.
They dont know each other because they have not properly communicated with each other."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
A document about Change, requiring no less than large-scale, face-to-face human engagement, has recently been created in Arabic, Hebrew, and English.
Separately, Israeli Kobi Skolnik, a former West Bank settler, wrote about his intimate experience of Change and plea to others.
The need for an engagement plan
by Kobi Skolnick
Common Ground News Service - 20 August 2009
Skolnik explains: "Repeated exposure to violence over
the years, coupled with a dynamic of extreme stereotyping and skewed
perspectives in both societies, has overwhelmed the voice of
reason." (including him, an Israeli and former West Bank settler)
"I only changed my perspective when I realized that Israelis and Palestinians could relate as humans, regardless of our divergent narratives. This realization came when I met with Palestinians in a safe setting, where I could share my pain and ask the questions I had always wanted to ask."
"Our generation can choose to change our ways and in turn change our future. When people meet with each other and break down preconceptions, peace becomes as palpable and real as any stone or wall, and just as lasting."
Below are four of thousands of stories of exemplary citizens who cross lines to create a new, very different future.
= = 1 = =
West Bank: Meeting for Peace
September 11, 2009, 130 Palestinians and Jewish Israelis gathered at the Thalita Kumi School in Beit Jala.
Attendance had jumped from 35 last year to 130 for this dinner to know one another and understand the meaning of the Jewish Shabbat and the Muslim Ramadan.
Many of these peace builders discovered eachother on the Web site of the evening organizer:
Many were meeting the "other" for the first time in their lives.
SEE and HEAR VIDEO of them at:
A newspaper story followed:
The ethnic groups that eat together...
Published in Ha'aretz
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Youth keep telling stories of change
"People become the stories they hear and the stories they tell."
Hana Bishara and Alexandra Boskovitch, are young, changed "adversaries" who connected, communicated, then created films at the Peace It Together summer program:
The pair of inspired young women recently carried their stories, process, and films to eager audiences in Spain.
The news headline said:
Social networks for peace
A Palestinian and an Israeli carry to Cabuethe "Peace It Together" movement that promotes multimedia projects to publicize the reality of Middle East
Redes sociales por la paz
Una palestina y una israellevan a Cabueel movimiento Peace it together, que promueve proyectos multimedia para dar a conocer la realidad de Oriente Medio
Published by www.lne.es/ -- 23 Sept 2009
= = 3 = =
Palestinians, Jews stay together
with interfaith relationships
Throughout good and difficult times, Israeli Jews, and Palestinians from Israel and the Palestinian Authority, insist on meeting around religious traditions of many faiths, lowering barriers as they go.
Radically different people of all faiths from Israel and the Palestinian Authority and discovering shared values among them.
It's the little things that can ultimately build trust and peace in the Middle East, believe the volunteers who coordinate the Jerusalem-based Interfaith Encounter Association:
The mixed bag of Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze - comprising four paid staff and 40 volunteer coordinators - are an umbrella group in whose shade small meetings based on faith and understanding take place in Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Using faith to bring people together
By Karin Kloosterman
Published by Israel21c -- September 17, 2009
= = 4 = =
Artsbridge2009 Palestinian, Israeli youth
bridge to one another through shared art
Twenty-eight Muslim, Jewish, and Christian students from Ramallah, East and West Jerusalem, Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam, Haifa, and Bethlehem successfully have successfully completed the 2nd Annual Leadership Development Seminar at Boston College.
Teamwork: Building a New Community was the them of their 2009 Summer Program.
The young women and men, ages 15-17, are safely back home and have already met twice since returning to the Middle East.
They plan to continue involvement with each other and their mentors of The Artsbridge Institute -- http://artsbridgeinstitute.org/ -- who are "making a difference through art" by empowring youth by:
words, "The mission of Artsbridge Institute is
to provide a safe environment, which cultivates creativity, voice, respectful
listening and dialogue in order to empower todays
youth to become leaders in the quest for peace in and between their own
The program is shepherded by Debbie Nathan ( Deb@ArtsBridgeInstitute.org ).
SIX SHORT FILMS they created are at:
SEE ART of these inspired Holy Land Jews and a Palestinians -- created individually and in teams.
READ more at:
Camp uses art to bridge Middle-East divisions
By Dan Mac Alpine
Published by WickedLocal.com - Beverly, Mass. -- Fri Aug 15, 2008