Parents Circle – Families Forum, Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families for reconciliation and Peace marked Reconciliation Day - Tuesday, 5.10.2010, as part of the events of International Day of Peace. The event took place at the hotel “Talita Kumi” in Beit Jala. Around 200 Israelis and Palestinians attended. Parents Circle – Families Forum marked International Day of Peace for the fifth year. This year's event included parallel Dialogue circles. After the circles, a "Committed to Peace" ceremony was held, and then there was a panel about "the Media's role in promoting reconciliation".
The memory of Angelo Frammartino was brought to the audience and gratitude was expressed to the foundation and the group of Italian friends for their staunch support to the PCFF and particularly for their help in organizing International Peace Day.
In the memorial ceremony, some 200 Israelis and Palestinians stood together in a moment of silence, remembering the victims of the conflict. The "Reconciliation Award" was given this year to two media people – Shlomi Eldar and Nasser Al-Laham - for their major contribution in promoting peace between the peoples.
Nir Oren, the Israeli General Manager of the Parents Circle – Families Forum, said during the ceremony: "We are witnessing more and more lately the fragility of the peace process, and the ease of giving in to public opinion, to extremists and to nationalism. However, we are also witnessing the courage and valor needed to pay the necessary price, political and national, in order to reach the desired goal. We in the Parents Circle – Families Forum, know that reconciliation between our peoples is possible, and that the majority of both peoples yearn to the end of the conflict. We have the means to realize the dream of generation. We must not let fear direct us. We are committed to persist on the road of peace".
Khaled Abu Awwad, the Palestinian General Manager of the Parents Circle – Families Forum, said: "Fear is like the devil, in our hearts. In the Parents Circle, we decided to not succumb to fear and not bury the hope and the humanity in the place we buried our loved ones. Reconciliation rises above the wounds. We are here to promote reconciliation, hope and love. We are living proof that reconciliation is possible".
One of the Reconciliation Award winners was Shlomi Eldar, Channel 10 reporter, director of “Precious Life”, a film chronicling the struggle to save the life of a Palestinian baby, suffering from an incurable genetic disease, which already claimed the lives of two of his brothers, in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war in Gaza. The second award winner was Nasser Al-Laham, senior editor at Maan, an independent News Agency operating from Beit Lehem, who is dedicated to promoting responsible and objective media messages between the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the conflicts.
After receiving the award, Eldar said: "I believe that encounters between Israelis and Palestinians, connecting and learning the other side, will bring peace. What is happening here today, the encounter between Israelis and Palestinians, nullifies the demonization both sides do to each other, and breaks down all walls. Through such initiatives, we can reach reconciliation".
Al-Laham added: "From my experience I discovered that the Palestinian People is not violent, but angry, and so is the Israeli People. The young Palestinian generation does not speak Hebrew, and the young Israeli generation does not speak Arabic. We must give the Palestinians a chance to understand what the Israelis are saying, and vice versa. I'm glad the Parents Circle exists, and thank them for giving me this award".
Ben-Or, Strategic Communications & Consulting
Photographer: Shahar Zarfati
Read More: A letter from Angelo Frammartino Foundation