Peacemaking

I meet with a group of Palestinians and Jews. It’s a non-theoretical exercise in peacemaking. It’s difficult, at the most difficult we need each other the most. This is what I wrote to read at the beginning and end of each of our meetings:

Preamble:

The Children of Abraham are dedicated to peacemaking between Palestinians and Jews, by listening without prejudice, by leading with respect, by opening ourselves to the possibilities of peacemaking, possibilities already imagined and those not yet imagined.

We believe that peace will rise from knowing each other. We believe that peace will come from talking with each other, from the kitchen, from sharing each other’s table, from knowing each other’s families. This is the true peace, an integrative peace. We begin by coming to know each other.

Let us make peace out of the pieces, let us share with each other our most compassionate teachings, inspirations, influences, all that makes us holy ourselves and to each other. Let us always begin and end with respect.

In this series, we will meet on: _________ .

After:

We always close with gratitude for our meeting. We want to express our pain over the news of human suffering that we follow daily. But we want to end always with hope and optimism and respect.

Most of all, we want to express our experience of peacemaking.

We, mostly Palestinians and American Jews, have come to know each other and we have found an oasis of peace in the gathering conflicts.

We, the children of Abraham, are finding our way to each other’s tents in peace. If we can visit here, we can live here. We are praying for the peace of our brothers, sisters, cousins, here and everywhere.

Thank you for joining us.