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Palestine, A Conversation (Part III)

We continue our conversation with Rev. Sari Ateek and Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky as we delve into the issues of Israel-Palestine. The conversation is drawn from our Interwoven Congregations Quarterly issue first published on March 4th. We are posting this conversation in our blog in 5 parts, one each day this week. If you wish, you can read the whole issue here. Thank you for  reading with an open heart.

Peace, salaam, shalom,      -  Rev. Pat Jackson

Part III: What is your HOPE?

Pat:  What’s your vision for the future in Israel-Palestine?  What’s your hope?

Sari:  I had this momentary, very fleeting image of Palestinians and Israelis living side by side, looking out for each other, keeping one another's children when someone was going to work.  Trauma is perpetuated in generations.   Something truly radical would need to happen for people to trust one another like that again.  And so maybe this is like Moses -- all of us are standing on the outside of the Promised Land saying, “It's not going to happen in my generation. But maybe it will someday.”  I don't think it's going to happen in my generation.  I don't think it's going to happen in my children's generation.  I think the first step is going to be that people have to abide by some form of international law that forces them to treat one another with justice and equity.  And then eventually the generations themselves will clear it.  The hate will just have to work its way out.  But it has to start with some clear boundaries that       ensure justice and equity.

Abbi:  My hope.  I mentioned to my kids that I would travel over to Israel right now in a heartbeat. They said, “No, we don't want you to go.     It's not safe.” I said, “I'll be fine.”  I want them to get back to the place where they want to travel there with me.  And they do, but  they also say, “But what about the things on the news?”  Even with everything going on, if I knew that my older family members would be okay and I could secure a job over there, we'd be there.  There's something about it that's still home for me.  Really home.  Even though I’ve only lived there for a few months at a time, there's still this home feeling.

Sari:  Yes. 

Abbi:  So my hope is that more people can experience that sense of home and be there in a way that is not at the expense of another people. My hope is that there is a government that respects Palestinians and sees them as people who have rights.  I hope that they are able to exist and live in a safe and healthy way.  And I hope that there are Palestinians who recognize that    Israelis can be there and not want to take them out.  And that Palestinians realize Jews don't hate      people who are not Jewish. 


Tomorrow, Part IV: What is the ROLE for faith leaders and faith communities regarding Israel - Palestine?


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