God is a Crack in the Wall
Creative Transformation in Israel and Palestine
God is a Crack in the Wall of Hatred
God isn't just a being in the sky. God is a name for creative transformation into peacemaking. It happens inside us and between us. We help make it happen, which means that we help God become God. There are other names for God, too. Some call it peace.
"The Crack in the Wall created by the Parents Circle Families Forum, is designed to provide a platform for conversation and engagement between Palestinians and Israelis using social platforms. This initiative will highlight the sanctity of human life across the divide, by preserving dignity, mutual respect and opposing racism, hatred, injustice and any attempt to accept the status quo. This project will give a neutral stage for both sides to be heard and to work for change. By using the innovative technological tools created, people will be able to choose their preferred topics for discussion.
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"While there is no shortage of documentaries about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ronit Avni and Julia Bacha's Encounter Point is unique for its cautious optimism. The film's most intriguing figure is Ali Abu Awwad, a Palestinian who has renounced the violence which was once a part of his life, despite all of the pain he and his family have endured at the hands of the Israelis. The other people profiled by Avni and Bacha have interesting and moving stories to tell. The feisty South African émigré Robi Damelin, whose family fought apartheid, and who has no problem confronting settlers and other right-wingers with their hypocrisy, is a particularly engaging figure. But Awwad's well-articulated pragmatic approach to the peace movement is something unique in documentaries on the subject. He points out that he's turned to nonviolence, not because he loves the Israelis ("I don't have to love the Israelis to make peace with them") but because the tactics the Palestinians have been using for decades simply have not worked. He is devoted to the cause of education and eager to engage everyone he speaks to, whether it is Palestinian students or Israeli settlers. Distrusting the role of government, he spreads the word, for the most part ignored in the media on both sides, that there are people on the other side who want peace, and who believe that Israel and Palestine can live together side by side as two nations. Encounter Point is a fascinating document of his struggle, and of others who reject the violence and vengeance one might expect of them. Much like its subjects, it's filled with insight, warmth, and humor, despite the tragic stories it tells."
Blessed are the filmmakers
What is unique or new about Just Vision compared to other organizations working on this issue?
The Role of Women in Peacemaking
"The Parents Circle - Families Forum (PCFF) is a joint Palestinian Israeli organization of over 600 families, all of whom have lost a close family member as a result of the prolonged conflict. Joint activities have shown that the reconciliation between individuals and nations is possible and it is this insight that they are trying to pass on to both sides of the conflict. Moreover, the PCFF has concluded that the process of reconciliation between nations is a prerequisite to achieving a sustainable peace. The organization thus utilizes all resources available in education, public meetings and the media, to spread these ideas.
The hardest part
"The hardest part was to meet with people from the other side despite all the pain they caused us. It was difficult to clear our hearts of hatred, have a clear conscience and face the other side with forgiveness. It isn't easy to control ourselves; this requires strong determination, deep belief and a high level of forgiveness."
Jihad for non-violence
If I consider myself a peace activist, then all my words and actions must be devoted to peace. For me this is Jihad, and if I die doing this I will be considered a martyr... How do I identify a martyr? He is one that takes a role in improving his community and its situation, according to his own understanding. People can call him what they like, but I consider this a sacred mission that I could use to help the next generations.
Little victories for peace
"I see signs of hope when we have little victories...We should always look at ourselves as hetz’yo zakay, hetz’yo hayav - everything is perfectly balanced, and we never know what little act we will take that seems meaningless, pointless, irrelevant, useless at the time - but whether that will be the act that tips the scales one way or the other… It is also a wonderfully liberating thing to know, to believe that even when you can’t see things, things are happening."
Remembering the human aspect
They [Israelis] view the conflict from the point of view of land while neglecting the human issue. They act in a materialistic fashion and don't act correctly in regard to human issues. Their priority is strategically materialistic and concerns security and such issues, but they neglect the human aspect. I think the human aspect is the most important because when a human agrees to treat his fellow human with justice and conscience, then all the problems on the ground will be solved.
God is a kind of change
The word "God" names a process at work in the world. Maybe more, but at least that. God is the kind of change that occurs in people when, amid pain or struggle they become healers and peacemakers. They rightly wish that the creative transformation did not come through pain and struggle. There are better ways to become a healer and peacemaker. Suffering is not necessary. But there is something in the universe -- a spirit of creative transformation -- by which people grow into selves they never imagined themselves to be. This process of growing is God, and when we see it, we are grateful. We see something beautiful, something that touches the heart. Blessed are those who become peacemakers, because their becoming is the kingdom of God.