- The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is crazy-complex, much beyond any complexity we had known of previously to coming to Israel. Now we know we know that truth in spades.
- The parties, as represented by Husam and the Rabbi, are totally dug in on their respective positions, almost blinded by their own passions, and are equally convinced that the other side shoulders all of the blame. Listening to them was disheartening and peace would seem a very long ways off.
On Sunday late afternoon we met with Rami Elhanan and Baasam Aramin of The Parents Circle, an organization comprising 600 Israeli and Palestinian families who have suffered the loss of family members to the conflict. Rami and Baasam were a breath of fresh air. They each shared with us their pain and stories of loss and tragedy. They had both moved on from hate and recrimination, however. Each man had done major and impressive work in healing his deeply wounded heart and even forgiven the other side. Improbable though it would seem from their stories, they seemed genuinely to love one another.
Here’s what we learned from Baasam and Rami:
- There is hope.
- The conflict is not as complex, after doing the incredibly hard work of learning to forgive and love.
- The international community must neither abandon nor judge either side to the conflict. We must put pressure on both sides to embrace peace.