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A moving call from Rabbi Ron Kronish. The grass-roots peacemakers of Israel and Palestine can make a difference!
Dr. Ron Kronish
At the end of April, I wrote a post on this blog, which was entitled “Stop the Hate Crimes Epidemic in Israel Now.” It was translated into Hebrew and also published on the Walla website.
At that time, I felt, along with many other people that the acts of extreme “religious” Jewish youth –which have been sanctioned for years by their rabbis and by many political “leaders” in Israeli society— had already reached epidemic proportions and were endangering the moral fabric of Israel society.
At that time I wrote:
“The hate crime epidemic in Israel must be brought under. This has got to stop. It is urgent and can no longer be swept under the carpet!”
And, what has been done since then to combat this phenomenon? Nothing! Just lip service, but hardly anyone has been arrested or…
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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.
This is a very interesting article in Haaretz newspaper reporting on guided visits to Yad Vashem of mixed Israeli and Palestinian groups. The purpose is to inform and to encourage compassion and discussion. As one Jewish visitor says, “And building understanding and compassion is exactly what the Tiyul-Rihla trip to Yad Vashem is about. “The idea behind the initiative is to expose each side to the other side’s narrative, and to have a very deep conversation about it,” explains Israeli journalist and activist Nir Boms, one of the idea’s originators.”
This is a song sung by Israelis and Palestinians that I just found on a friend’s Facebook page. It is important to know something that isn’t publicized much in the mainstream media and that is that there are many peace and reconciliation initiatives in Israel and Palestine with people working hard together on the grass-roots level. The people singing in this video are:
Israeli Jews: Leah Shabat, Shlomo Gronich, Zehavah Ben, Eli Luzon
Palestinians: Sahmir Shukri, Nivine Jaabri, Elias Julianos, Lubna Salame
The following series of videos are of the peace tour made by Eliyahu McClean and Sheikh Ghassan Manasra in the US at the end of 2011. I wrote about Sheikh Manasra in a previous post. Both these men are significant players in the grass-roots peace initiatives of Israel and Palestine.
“Video of our Nov. 7, 2011, Jerusalem Peacemakers event, featuring grassroots activists Eliyahu McLean and Sheik Ghassan Manasra: a Jew and a Sufi Muslim from Israel. The two presented “Stories of Hope from the Holy Land: Grassroots Arab-Jewish Peace Efforts That Do Not Make the News.” The event was co-hosted by The Israel Center and UAlbany-Hillel, at Chapel House.”
This video is the one mentioned in my previous post about Nehom, Zaid, and Shaul who are farming together on the West Bank.
I’ve just come across this encouraging article on the Huffington Post. Written by Harvey Stein, “Fields of Heaven: A Joint Israeli-Palestinian Farm May Take Root in West Bank” tells of a joint venture for peace pursued by a Palestinian and two settlers on the West Bank who are planning on starting a farm together. (more…)