The Dialogue Meetings are our most important ongoing, daily work on the ground. They enable us to reach more than 25,000 students annually. These meetings address young Israeli and Palestinian students. Since the second "Intifada" there is a whole generation who have never met the "other side" and the Dialogue Meetings may be their first encounter.
After hearing the personal narratives and the joint message of an Israeli and a Palestinian representative from the PCFF there is a definite change in attitude and a willingness to explore the possibility of dialogue as analternative to violence and an understanding of the needs of the other. We know that these encounters work by the interesting and often very poignant feedback forms students fill in at the end of the meeting:
“This meeting was very important because everyone should understand that Jews and Palestinians are similar human beings. The only difference between them is their nationality. I hope that there will be peace and reconciliation.”
“In my opinion to meet a Palestinian that lost an immediate family member is very important. This allows us to see another perspective and not just ours. It also helps to understand the other side.”
“This was a fascinating encounter. I never had a dialog or met a Palestinian in the past. It was an eye opening experience which gave me a different perspective. I discovered things which I never believed happen on the other side and also their willingness to reconcile. This gave me so much hope and caused me to look at things differently.”
“I understood how similar we are, much more than I thought”
“One cannot take for granted the meeting of Palestinians and Israelis who have lost their loved ones; this motivates me to meet with Palestinians”
“To hear the other side and to see that there is a platform for dialogue gives me hope that there is a chance for peace”
These dialogue meetings are supported, among other institutions, by the Spanish Foreign Ministry Human Rights Office, through their Human Rights Annual Grants.