On behalf of all 90 participants who took part in three separate Israeli-Palestinian dialogue seminars this summer, we would like to thank you and express our deep gratitude to you who generously provided funding for this project. Your support really helps us in paving the way to a real peace and a lasting coexistence between the two peoples.
This seminar was an unique experience. What is seldom possible for us under our daily circumcetances was granted here: we shared with each other our thoughts, our points of view and daily lives with great sincerety. Though almost all of us were born and raised in Israel/Palestine. For many this meeting was the first opportunity to have met a flesh-and-blood person of the other side. The atmosphere in the seminar was one of mutual respect, understanding, and a sense of equality. Different topics were discussed, such as the economical and cultural differences in our every-day-lives, issues of human rights conditions, the historical perspective and other deeply relevant and affecting issues.
The Israelis listened to the suffering of the Palestinian people since the 1948 Nakba and the painful and persisting conditions of the refugees, their daily fears of military attacks and being kept prisoners under curfew and closures.
The Palestinians listened to the suffering of the Israeli people in the holocaust and their everyday fears of suicide-bombers on a bus or going out to public places.
Our connections both on the individual level and as a group have truely empowered us in these two weeks. We also had a lot of fun dancing, singing, sharing in one another's cultures and having excursions together.
We were touched by each other's stories and backgrounds and formed connections that will last into the future. But most importantly, we feel inspired and motivated by each other's real desire for peace and reconciliation, and plan to keep working both in collaboration, and each in his own community, when we are back home in order to continue what we have started here in Germany. This was a real "Vacation from War", and time to reflect on our group and individual efforts in the future.
Finally we thank you again and would like to share with you our appriciation to the activists of the "Commitee for Basic Rights and Democracy" who organized these meetings for the groups of the two peoples in order to start their journey towards peace.
Initiative "Breaking Barriers" Israel and Palestine
Peace School "Neve Shalom / Wahat al Salam", Israel
"Nablus Youth Federation". Palestine
Initiative "Dialogue for developement and peace", Palestine