Bereaved Israeli and Palestinian Families Support Reconcilia


by NTDTelevision

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Many Israeli and Palestinian families have lost their loved ones due to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. A special forum was formed for Israelis and Palestinians who have lost someone dear in the conflict. Our correspondent visited one the forum meetings for our next story.

A forum for bereaved families -- only Israelis and Palestinians who have lost someone dear in the conflict between the parties can participate in it.

They come together in order to talk and persuade school children and adults in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority to step away from the path of war and to choose peace, reconciliation and tolerance.


This time they came to hear the Conservative Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, who came all the way from London to be with them.

[Tsurit Sarig, Bereaved Mother]:
"I lost my oldest son 14 years ago at the Western Wall tunnel in Jerusalem."


A Palestinian resident of Hebron, who lost two brothers, tells us in fluent Hebrew why he established the Palestinian branch of the bereaved families forum.

It was after bereaved families from Israel came to visit him at his home in 2002.


The guest at the meeting is neither an Israeli, nor a Palestinian.

He is a Conservative rabbi who came to tell the story of his journey from Frankfurt on foot in order to study Jewish history on the banks of the Rhine River.

He tells the audience about his thoughts while he was walking.


"Does the meeting between the bereaved families help participants?


The key is society's ability to recognize diversity among its people.


In conclusion, despite the pain of bereavement, there is a message of optimism.

[Tsurit Sarig, Bereaved Mother]:
"If we, Palestinians and Israelis, each of us who have lost a loved one, can talk, -- then anyone can. Our leaders must do it."

Reporter:Aviva Grunpeter Photographer:Michael Ash

NTD News, Beit Jalla near Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority