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On the Way to Sulha

The following film in three parts was made in 2007. A lot has happened since then and the situation becomes ever more urgent and more difficult for the peacemakers of Israel. This film shows the potential for peace and the relationships that are possible between all the people on the land of Israel and Palestine.

This final part includes footage of Gabriel Meyer Halevi and Ihab Balha meeting with HH Dalai Lama


Elana and Ibtisam: Women working for peace

Some time ago I posted a short video about Elana and Ibtisam who work together for peace in Israel and Palestine. They both spoke about the role of women in peace-building and how women’s voices need to be heard in the peace process. I posted the clip with the title Holding Hands: Daughters of Abraham as this is how they began their story of the work they do together. The clip is here

I’m now posting Part 2 and Part 3 in which they speak about how they met at an interfaith gathering and how they get to know each other and their families. Part 3 shows Ibtisam’s work in her village, creating a Women’s Council and working with the mayor to improve the conditions and education of women. The video was made a few years ago and I will try to get an update on how the recent events have impacted on the work of Elana and Ibtisam.

Part 2

Part 3

Judaism and Islam: A Fascinating Lecture by Professor Reuven Firestone

In this very interesting lecture by Rabbi Professor Reuven Firestone he speaks about relations between Jews and Muslims, Hebrews and Arabs, going right back to ancient times. The lecture is conceived as an introduction to Islam for Jews, about which Professor Firestone has also written a book. The parts of the lecture that I found most fascinating are on the symbiotic relationship between ancient Arabs and Jews, and the similarities between Islam and Judaism. Professor Firestone has also written an introduction to Judaism for Muslims.

Sulha Prayer at the Tomb of Abraham

There is something very special about this video as a group of Jewish and Muslim peace-makers go to pray together in Hebron at Abraham’s tomb, also known as the Machpelah.

What is Sulha?

In my last post I gave a short introduction and a link to the Sulha Peace Project. Below are two lovely videos where we get to meet the Israelis and Palestinians involved in this project. Sulha is an Arabic word meaning ‘reconciliation’. The first video describes the Sulha Peace Project showing various gatherings over the years and speaks to people about what it means to them to meet each other. The second video is a series of photos of gatherings from 2004 to the present day. You might recognize some of the faces from other videos on this site. Gabriel Meyer Halevi is singing, Eliyahu McClean, Rabbi Fruman, Ibrahim Abu El Hawa, Melila Hellner Eshed, and many others are all doing good work for peace. The videos are short but informative and moving. They give a good feel for the atmosphere of the events where Israelis and Palestinians come together. Both videos can also be seen on the Sulha page here.

Holding Hands: Daughters of Abraham

This is a video about two remarkable women who are working to bring Jewish and Palestinian women together for peace. The film was made by Zej Media, who also made the film about Eliyahu McClean and Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari in the post below. It is part of a project called ‘Unusual Pairs’ in which the great peace-maker, Marc Gopin is involved. On the Zej Media website the following excerpts from this project are described, “Elana Rozenman is the founder of Trust-Emun, whose women-led activities are geared to finding the common humanity that builds trust and dispels fear among people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, religions and nations. Ibtisam Mahameed is a Palestinian Israeli peaceworker living in a small Arab-Palestinian community in Fureidis, northern Israel. A devout Muslim, she works with many groups that promote interfaith dialogue and nonviolence, including the Interfaith Encounter Association and the Golden Road. Ibtisam is deeply committed to strengthening the role of women in society, and was the first woman to run for mayor of her hometown. She recently received the “Unsung Heroes of Compassion” award from the Dalai Lama in San Francisco, CA. Together, Ibtisam and Elana work to bring Arab and Jewish women together to create lasting bonds.”  In this first part of the video Elana and Ibtisam speak of the lack of women’s voices in the peace process and how they work to bring those voices in and make a difference.

How Peace-making really works

This is a marvellous and moving film about the work of 2 peace-makers. It is excellent in how it shows their work and how they both speak about their path to this work. Very inspiring as an excellent example of what peace-making is about.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari, a Palestinian Sufi, who passed on two years ago and is sorely missed, was the co-founder of Jerusalem Peacemakers. He was also the head of the Naqshabandi Sufi order in Jerusalem, a role that has been passed from father to son since Sheikh Bukhari’s family came to Jerusalem from Bukhara 400 years ago. Sheikh Bukhari worked hard all his life for peace and reconciliation in Jerusalem. Eliyahu McLean, an Orthodox Jew, is the director of the Jerusalem Peacemakers and works tirelessly for reconciliation in the conviction that the resources for peace are there in the religious and spiritual traditions of the Holy Land. This video shows Eliyahu and Sheikh Bukhari talking of their work together.

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