Peace and Reconciliation in Israel and Palestine
Jews did not return to their ancient homeland to oppress the Palestinian people, and Palestinians did not resist the creation of a Jewish state out of hatred of the Jews.
- Rabbi Michael Lerner
Welcome to our Peace and Reconciliation in Israel and Palestine page. We have various resources that we believe will be helpful to you and we will continue to update this page.
Embracing Israel/Palestine, by Rabbi Michael Lerner
Inspiring Videos and Conference Calls on Israel/Palestine
Listen to a call with Uri Avnery, chair of the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom and prior member of the Knesset, Rabbi Michael Lerner and Cat Zavis regarding the Israel/Gaza War in Summer 2014.
Listen to a call with Sami Awad, from Bethlehem, Palestine on the Israel/Gaza War in Summer 2014. Sami Awad is the Executive Director of Holy Land Trust (HLT), a Palestinian non-profit organization that he founded in 1998 in Bethlehem. HLT works with the Palestinian community at both the grassroots and leadership levels in developing nonviolent approaches that aim to end the Israeli occupation and build a future founded on the principles of nonviolence, equality, justice, and peaceful coexistence.
Healing Israel/Palestine, Rabbi Michael Lerner, National Chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives and editor of Tikkun magazine, talks about the NSP’s vision for how to heal Israel and Palestine.
Watch Rabbi Michael Lerner on CNN, where he discussed his insights into the Israel/Gaza War.
Watch Rabbi Michael Lerner at the JStreet Conference discuss the Egyptian uprisings and finding ways to infuse compassion into a global political ethos and movement.
We urge Jews who agree with our perspective to go to High Holiday services this year and publicly insist that the synagogue services include repentance for the sins of the Jewish people in giving blind support to immoral policies of the State of Israel. Don’t sit quietly while the rabbis or others give talks implying that Israel is wholly righteous and that the Palestinians are the equivalent of Hitler or some “evil other.” Pass out to people the High Holiday “For Our Sins” workbook that Tikkun has developed and that will be on our website in early September. Write to your synagogue beforehand to ask them to include that list of sins among those that are traditionally read on Yom Kippur. That reading will be certain to generate a new aliveness in your synagogue and make Yom Kippur more spiritually real and deep than passively sitting through a service that is ignoring some of the central issues for which we should be atoning.
Israel/Palestine Workshop – Communicating Across Differences
Rabbi Michael Lerner and Cat J. Zavis, executive director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, mediator and trainer in empathic communication can provide trainings in your synagogue, mosque, place of worship or community in how to communicate about this issue in a compassionate and open-hearted way. One of the major challenges in communicating about this issue is that people are very polarized and operating from a deep place of fear. In order to be able to communicate across differences and divides, it is critical that people experience truly being heard and understood for their experience before they can be expected to open their hearts to a different perspective. Our training will provide an opportunity for deep empathic listening, healing and speaking as well as teaching you how to engage in the same. To change the discourse on this issue we need to change consciousness, that can only happen through empathic communication and healing. Click here to learn more about the training. If you are interested in having us come to your community, please email Cat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage you to write letters to your media setting forth a compassionate approach to the situation that simultaneously acknowledges the uneven balance of power and the suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that both Palestinians and Jews experience. We will provide sample letters and talking points that you can use. And, you can pull material from the resources above and from the links below to other articles and pieces on this matter.