I saw this article today and wanted to share it. At the MPV conference we heard a presentation about a interfaith peace trip to Israel/Palestine. During the presentation it became clear that there are hundreds of local efforts to bring young jews and young arabs (of various religious backgrounds) together so that the cycle of fear and hatred can be broken.
These efforts represent to me one of the more hopeful developments I've heard coming out of that region. Children who have played together will have a much harder time shooting one another when they grow up. It will be harder for them to accept propaganda and hate speech about people who had been friends.
Of course, these efforts are long term. They are buildling for a future of peace. Hopefully, there will be a negotiated solution long before they are adults, in which case these friendships will be important as Israel goes through it's own Truth and Reconciliation process.
As someone who always feels a need to do something to make the situation in that part of the world better, it seems to me that supporting these kinds of efforts is a place where people from abroad can make a huge difference. My letters to my congressmen obviously make little dent in their positions, but supporting a youth soccer league or art classes or drama productions, can make a difference in the lives of young people. And while my donations are a pittance in the face of the incredible humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people, it may make a difference in the viability of a small program like this.
Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.