Some of us here in Australia just received this from one of the participants:
Shalom from the Holy Land,
I have just returned from an Iftar/shabbat dinner on September 11 in the west bank , it was attended by nearly 200 people from Nablus, ramalla, hebron, bethlehem, gallilee, tiv'on, jerusalem, - from argentina, sydney, los angeles, spain...........the feeling was one of hope and love where strangers embraced and knew that peace was possible.
As an example. He is hoping to coming to Australia in November with a Palestinian peace maker, and we must do everything we can to get it to happen.
I have run workshops with palestinian and israeli women, some of whom have lost children - who reach out towards each other with the vision of unity and friendship in their hearts.
And it seems so incongurous, so out of place, that a 'peace and conflict ' organisation such as CPACS spend their time attacking the Israeli leaders and not supporting, reporting and cavorting with joy at the ever swelling movement for peace in Israel and Palestine.
From this perspective, something is very wrong. If in the face of all that the Palestinians are suffering, and it is immense - so many still can strive for peace and friendship..... why on earth dont we spread that message to the world instead of inciting hatred, polarising, and spreading a message of doom. There is nothing about peace in that.
As once said by gandhi, “We must become the change we want to see.”
I thought it went really well, more than 120 people, lots of palestinians, israelis and internationals. People were approaching each other carefully, with great respect, but the ice was quickly broken. One thing I found remarkable was that there were so many smiles and laughter - something you don't see and hear a lot around here. The main issue, however, is to spread the message - after experiencing the great atmosphere at this dinner, you have to wonder why it is so difficult for israelis and palestinians to get along.
I covered the event for Danish daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende, for anyone reading Danish here is a link to the article.