For Jews and Palestinians, next step is empathy

Tuesday, 26 January 2010


"People don't get along because they fear each other.

People fear each other because they don't know each other.

They don't know each other because they have not properly communicated with each other."

-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

~  Empathy 1 ~

     The Beyond War Award -- -- for eight years (1983-1990) honored the great efforts of individuals, groups, and nations as humankind moves to build a world beyond war.
     The powerful march of citizen peace builders continues.

     We learn more each day.
     We used to repeat "no peace without justice."
     Consider "no justice or peace without relationships."
     Today we better understand that humane behavior toward feared, stereotyped "others" requires empathy best acquired in face-to-face, sustained human engagement.


The Empathic Civilization:

The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis

by Jeremy Rifkin

Penguin Group, December 2009, 688 pages


     Rifkin says:"Never has the world seemed so completely unitedin the form of communication, commerce, and cultureand so savagely torn apart-in the form of war, financial meltdown, global warming, and even the migration of diseases."
     "Reaching out to others" is the required human activity to expand our identification, learn to want the best for the "other," become civilized, and survive altogether.
     "But to resist this change in human relations and modes of thinking would spell ineptness and disaster in facing the new challenges around us."

~  Empathy 2 ~

     "We need to challenge stereotypes," confirms Palestinian Mohammad Darawshe ( ) dedicated to equal rights and respect within Israel.
     Darawshe argues that "the responsibility for building a shared society lays not only on the shoulders of the Jews, but also upon those of the people who have the most to gain from a more equitable society: the Arab minority in Israel.


Have a safe trip, Mohammed

by Mohammad Darawshe

Haaretz -- 24 January 2010

~  Empathy 3  ~

     This citizen-to-citizen public peace process is imperative also according Dr. Moises Salinas ( ) cross-cultural psychology expert at Central Connecticut State University


Planting Hatred, Sowing Pain

The Psychology of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Moises F. Salinas

Praeger Publishers, May, 2007, 200 pages


    Salinas concludes: "Psychological and social research has clearly shown that, even if a solution is hard to reach, there are many avenues that we could use to inch closer to reconciliation."
     "We could reduce stereotypes through education, through constructive use of the media, and through the building of common projects."
     He recommends ". . .building bridges instead of bombing them."

~  Empathy 4  ~

     Building bridges in the Middle East -- and teaching others how to do it -- for decades has been exactly the life of Professor Marc Gopin ( ) at George Mason University.
     Do not wait for a peace treaty to cause change, Gopin clarifies.
     In 27 years studying conflict resolution and meeting as an unpaid ambassador with Jews and Arabs, he has discovered that enemies can often be quickly made into allies.


The lonely man of peace

by Lauren Gelfond Feldinger

The Jerusalem Post -- 21 January 2010

     "Issues of respect, civility, honor, tolerance and respecting cultural norms can have transformative and sometimes immediate effects," he says.
     "It does take a lot of emotional, physical and spiritual practice, [and] there are criminals and damaged people who are not going to change, but it does not take generations; sometimes it takes seconds."

~  Empathy 5 ~

     Empathy and collaboration among Palestinians, Jews, and diverse others on the Web gets no better than at MEPEACE.ORG --
     Ha'aretz called MEPEACE.ORG the "Facebook of Peace."
    Over 3,000 peacemakers.engage
and learn at this Middle East site created by Eyal Ravig ( )

- - - - -
These and hundreds of other success stories are preserved at