Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Parents Circle – Families Forum: Bereaved Families Supporting Peace, Reconciliation and Tolerance

Yesterday, I met with representatives of the Parents Circle, an organization of bereaved families primarily Israeli and Palestinian, who promote reconciliation and peace.

Their website states:

It is, as far as we know, a world precedent that bereaved families, victims from both sides, embark on a joint reconciliation mission while the conflict is still active. Consisting of several hundreds of bereaved families, half Palestinian and half Israeli, The Families Forum has played a crucial role since its inception in 1995, in spearheading a reconciliation process between Israelis and Palestinians. The Forum members have all lost immediate family members due to the violence in the region.

It also quotes Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

"Peace is possible when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable (…) the members of the Parents Circle have experienced this truth In the depths of their Suffering and loss. They have found that there Is more that unites us than Divides us, that we are All members of one family, the human family (…)" Desmond M. Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus Letter to The Parents Circle – Families Forum, April 2004

They have an Exhibition created by 135 Israeli and Palestinian artists to create an environment of reconciliation on behalf of the bereved family forum. The artwork will be on display at in Washington DC at the World Bank from April 30 - May 6th. Click here for other scheduled exihibitions.

A documentary film, "Encounter Point," that follows a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk their lives and public standing to promote a nonviolent end to the conflict, was premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival where it won numerous awards. I understand the DVD will be available in June. Click here for screening schedule.


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