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5 Reconciliation between Jews and Arabs: From Conflict Resolution to Cooperation

In order to attain real peace, we have urgently to start integrating the non-Jewish citizens of our country. Reconciliation between different peoples, cultures and faiths and mutual respect and understanding between them are the indispensable conditions for peace and prosperity of a country and its people everywhere in the world.

As we are living in a degenerate world who’s people increasingly ignore the cosmic laws of life and ethics, we are reaping the bitter fruits of growing insecurity and fear everywhere throughout this planet without getting to a point of re-thinking and taking real steps for a change. At the same time there is a growing awakening and awareness that everything is connected in this universe and no one can escape the self-made destiny of man. It was Einstein who said: “You cannot solve problems with the same mind that created them.” We definitely need to have a rather all-embracing change of our minds and rise to a much higher level of thinking and understanding of life and its laws and handling its challenges.

Everywhere we can hear the statement, that “if there were peace in Jerusalem , there would immediately also be peace in the world.” Jerusalem is the very center and knot of the “karmic strings” between peoples and throughout mankind.

Jerusalem is the axis of our destiny and the focus not only of the three Abrahamic religions, but even beyond of G-d’s plan of judgment and redemption. All threads of history and life are knotted together in this place. And all tensions and unsolved political problems are circling around it.

Therefore it should be obvious to all of us, that a change to the better has to rise from Jerusalem , to embrace all Judah , Samaria and Israel and to spread from there to all nations all over the world. This is not the dream of a frantic introvert, but the clear vision of the Nevi’im (Prophets) as well as of anyone who has eyes to see.

Many groups in Israel and abroad have raised the issue of Jerusalem and started outreaching campaigns in Israel and abroad. The time for a drastic change is over-ripe. But a change cannot be brought about by force or by mere political agreements but only by a deep inner change of all of us.

We not only need to learn to understand and grasp anew the spirit of our own as well as our neighbors religion, but also to respect each other as equally valuable children of G-d and – last not least – to heal our wounds, overcome our negative thoughts and feelings towards each other, and to change our attitudes, concepts and expectations of life.  

To achieve peace and harmony in a shaken world is not an easy task. But we have no choice: either we take the pain to make a total turn or we will destroy each other or even ourselves with our stubborn rigidity and selfish demanding will. As it says: “Open Me a gate of repentance the size of the eye of a needle, and I will open for you large gates through which infinite light will enter.” (Shir Ha-Shirim Rabbah 5. 3)

Everybody has to start with himself, family by family, society by society, faith by faith, tribe by tribe and group by group. 

Jews have to do their task and the Palestinian Arabs theirs. Everybody has to start for himself only then the parties can meet each other in supervised encounters for real reconciliation and a change in the quality of their relations.

This branch of our Academy is dealing with issues as trauma treatment, conflict resolution, prevention, human rights, reconciliation, empowerment of potential future leaders, cooperation, coexistence and social integration (on the basis of the rule: diversity in unity and unity in diversity).

But instead of solely engaging in programs of conflict resolution, which usually rouse all kinds of negative feelings and are often ending up in energizing the attitudes, which are the hindering obstacles towards solving the real issues, we rather emphasize in creating and implementing positive mutually accepted and desired visions (satisfying the needs of all stake holders) of a much better life and future. This does not only bring about a real change of the undesirable status quo of our outer reality, but also helps to transform the wanting attitudes by channeling (our) emotions and activities into the realization of the shared goals and on the ground of practical cooperation in jointly set up projects.

Instead of wasting time and energy in fruitless verbal statements or endless discussions, we open ways allowing invest our lives in co-operative endeavors and joint actions leading towards creating new perspectives and livable realities on outer as well as on inner, psychological levels. It is the supervised everyday work and cooperation, which is providing an immediate new human experience helping to remove the usual perpetuated stereotyped prejudices, fears and suspicions blocking our lives and relations. We trust in the belief that only by aiming towards shared goals and by pulling on the same rope we can bring the sinking boat of our collective life out of the mud of ageless animosities and hostility onto the luminous shore of a secure and prospering coexistence within the framework of global awareness.

Only on the grounds of recognizing our common human needs, strivings and values we will find our place within the framework of a unifying global humanity (human family); In all this we are aware that the realization of these goals is going along with a full reverse of the world-wide common trends and tendencies. Therefore it needs dedication and endurance to walk this path. Still, he who is alive will succeed. As is said: “Only dead fish swim along with the river.”

Now there are different groups and associations, which are effectively running such kinds of programs since several years. There are Middleway®, ‘akoda’®, Learning Peace® and PRIME. The later is working with TRT®, the internationally approved model developed by the idealistic intention and guidance of Profs. Dan Bar On from BGU in Beer Sheba and Sami Adwan from University of Bethlehem . TRT gained international recognition by its previous application in encounters between surviving victims and children of perpetrators of the Holocaust as well as in Mandelas’ Truth Commission in South Africa . Still there are other equally valuable approaches, which shall be gathered under one direction. (For further information see: www.vispo.com/PRIME, www.middleway.org. www.akoda.org)

Time is ripe to co-ordinate them under the protecting, guiding and unifying roof of higher aspirations and goals.

Work out:

Two narratives towards history and personal experience, including proposals for problem resolution; Jewish-Arab co-operation and Israeli-Palestinian co-existence; a three stages plan;

(Extended sharing of the Jewish experience of its own destiny and life situation with its Palestinian / Arab brothers;

Extended sharing of the Palestinian / Arab experience of its own destiny and life situation with its Jewish brothers;

Search for mutual understanding and respect, cooperation, joint ventures, conflict resolution, reconciliation and Sulha work); 

Associated Partners: Sheikh Muhammed Chalil, Prof. Sami Adwan, Sami Awad, Nafez Assaily, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari,

Further Steps:

Peace pact

Manifest of the Brotherhood of Peace;

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