As we spend time with our families during Ramadan, Passover and Easter, stories will be shared between us. We often forget about the power of a story and how it shapes who we are – a lesson that was the focus for one of our groups over the past few months. Within the walls of an old house in Ramle, eleven students sat down together to start a conversation.
We were very excited to open the exhibition “Stories Beyond the Arches: Women’s Voices from Ramle” last week, to mark International Women’s Day. On this festive evening, over 100 people celebrated together, women and men, Israeli-Jews and Palestinians, young and elderly from different communities in the city – gathered side-by-side in the Open House.
Is dialogue enough for promoting better relations between different ethnic, national and religious communities? If not, what other methods and strategies should organisations, institutions and individuals adopt?
Earlier this week far-right MK Bezalel Smotrich (leader of the Religious Zionism party) attacked the Arab members of Knesset and by inference at least, all Arab citizens of Israel saying, “You’re here by mistake, it’s a mistake that Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job and didn’t throw you out in 1948.” The appalling cultural resonance of that remark makes the lack of condemnation by mainstream Jewish leaders all the more shameful.