Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger was showing the flourishing Jewish settlements on the West Bank to some U.S. when he picked up a couple of hitchhikers. “’You’re such a nice guy. You pick up hitchhikers,’ one of the pastors said. And I said we do pick up hitchhikers; we trust each other; I pick up every person who sticks up his finger.
“And as I finished the sentence I realized I was lying. I don’t pick up everyone who sticks up his finger. I pick up only Jews. It was evil to say that I pick up everyone when it was not true. I didn’t see the Palestinians out there. And I caught myself at that minute and realized that I had some spiritual and moral work to do.”
A Palestinian peace activist and Jewish rabbi and settler brought powerful personal stories of awakening and reconciliation to a forum, “Painful Hope: Understanding, Transformation, and Non-violence,” at the U.S. Capitol on October 11, 2016. The forum, hosted by the Global Peace Foundation USA in partnership with the Sustained Dialogue Institute, Roots, Friends of Taghyeer Movement, Oakbrook Church, Churches Middle East Peace, and Church Women United, highlighted two important grassroots initiatives that are working to build trust and engagement between the separated communities.
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