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Parents’ Circle – Families Forum
Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families for Peace

“If we can reconcile then anyone can”

As opposed to Barak, who says “there is no one to talk to on the other side,” we say “there are many to talk to on the other side”.

The Hello Shalom/Hello Salaam telephone line started off accidentally: someone, by mistake, rang someone unknown in Gaza and started talking over the phone. She later came to the Parents Forum and set up the telephone line in October 2002. The number of people who have used it by now is close to a million. Among those who used it, were a settler talking to a Palestinian and their conversation ended up with exchanging phone-numbers: no matter how vicious the dialogue was, it started.

“Don’t be pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli, be pro-solution”

“[…] my son David, was killed in 2002 by a sniper at a checkpoint. Not because he was David, but because he was the symbol of an occupying army.”

“By staying in the territories you kill the moral fiber of society on both sides.”

“[…] I also know what happens to the mother who is showing the sign of victory on TV, after the media leaves. In the evening she is alone and the pain comes. So I don’t buy that.”

Robi Damelin / Parents’ Circle

During January 2004, more than 150 Israeli and Palestinian bereaved families have met in Jerusalem to discuss peace and reconciliation
Photo: Eyal Ofer Dor for the Parents’ Circle, 2004.

During January 2004, more than 150 Israeli and Palestinian bereaved families have met in Jerusalem to discuss peace and reconciliation
Photo: Eyal Ofer Dor for the Parents’ Circle, 2004.

Meeting held at a separation barrier checkpoint in November 2003, at the end of the Muslim Holiday of Id El Fiter. Participants in the meeting lost a close relative in the conflict: child, mother, brother or husband
Photo: Eyal Ofer Dor for the Parents’ Circle, 2004.

Peace on the line
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The Peres Center for Peace organizes student tours in November-December 2003, around Qalqiliya and Jerusalem. Tours include meetings with UN members and Israeli and Palestinian lobby group members.


What is this fence? Where does it pass? What does it look like? How is life nearby it? What chance does it give to normalization for the two people on its two sides?”

Palestinian - Israeli Students' Dialogue, Supported by MCW

In December 2003 a gathering of Palestinian and Israeli students was held under the auspices of MCW (Miracle Corners of the World) and with the assistance of the Peres Center for Peace, in Ramat-Rachel near Jerusalem. 20 Palestinian and Israeli students took part in the Ramat Rachel gathering, many of them with diverse political views. The conference was guided by Dr. John Woodall, a Psychiatrist from Harvard Medical School, who focuses on dealing with trauma in different regions of the world.

The meeting was intended to provide the participants with tools relating to the daily reality of the conflict, to provide information on unfamiliar issues (such as the separation fence, mental assistance in situations of trauma etc.), and to build a common basis for continuing the dialogue.

Among the speakers were: Mr. David Grossman, Author, Ms. Suad Amiry, Author and Architect, Mr. Israel Harel (Former Head of Judea and Samaria Council), Mr. Rami Elchanan and Mrs. Rihab from the Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families for Peace, Mr. Dan Meridor, Prof. Salim Tamari, Associate Professor of Sociology at Birzeit University, Dr. Iyad Zaqout, Psychiatrist from Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP), Prof. Roth Batler, School of Education, Hebrew University, Dr. Ron Pundak, Director General, The Peres Center for Peace, Mr. Michael Warshevsky, The Alternative Information Center

In addition, two tours took place – one to the Holy Sites of Jerusalem with Daniel Rosin, and the second to the separation fence, with Adv. Danny Zeidman.

Niv Hachlili: My Imaginary Diary
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Separation Barrier/B’Tselem
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Shaul Arieli: Disengagement
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