submitted by Henry Abramowitz
At our recent meeting, we hosted a visiting delegation from Holland of four peace activists and interfaith and intercultural workers. It was the first time they had been in an Israeli home. We started, as is our tradition, by having each person in the group introduce themselves. These personal presentations were so compelling that we never got to our announced topic. The Dutch group spoke of their activity as intercultural chaplains, as educationalist working in interfaith environments in creative ways. Abraham, the leader of the delegation presented his plans for peace under the motto: “Peace will come. Why not now?” He shared his declaration which has been endorsed by Mufti of Palestine, the Chief Rabbi of Israel among others, which is to be found below. In this spirit, regular members of the group shared moving things which the group had not heard before. I will only mention a couple of them. Ruth told how she was the only survivor of her family and of searching for unsuccessfully for family graves in Riga and on the other hand experiences with Arab students at her university. Chana brought a CD she had of made of lullabies sung by woman from all the Jerusalem religious traditions and we listened to a Armenian lullaby. She asked for help in locating lullaby from the holocaust and the nakba. Abdallah spoke of how important it had been for him to learn Hebrew from an Jewish Israel teacher which broken down his negative stereotypes about Jews. He proposed that Arabic in Jewish Israeli schools be taught by Palestinians. It was an special evening of intimacy and sharing and people did not want to stop.