The Parents Circle-Families Forum is proud to have been mentioned in President Obama’s Middle East speech
MAY 19, 2011
The Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, and its founder Yitzhak Frankenthal, were mentioned in the historic speech of President Barack Obama.
"Suspicion and hostility has been passed on for generations, and at times it has hardened. But I'm convinced that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians would rather look to the future than be trapped in the past. We see that spirit in the Israeli father whose son was killed by Hamas, who helped start an organization that brought together Israelis and Palestinians who had lost loved ones. That father said, "I gradually realized that the only hope for progress was to recognize the face of the conflict." We see it in the actions of a Palestinian who lost three daughters to Israeli shells in Gaza. "I have the right to feel angry," he said. "So many people were expecting me to hate. My answer to them is I shall not hate. Let us hope," he said, "for tomorrow."
That is the choice that must be made -– not simply in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but across the entire region -– a choice between hate and hope; between the shackles of the past and the promise of the future. It's a choice that must be made by leaders and by the people, and it's a choice that will define the future of a region that served as the cradle of civilization and a crucible of strife.
600 Israeli and Palestinian families, members of the PCFF show today the only path towards the solution of the bloody conflict – the path of reconciliation. Facing the future and understanding that the peace process without a reconciliation process is doomed to fail.
The PCFF believes that there is no other way than dialog to foster a solution. Dialog between the leaders and dialog between the peoples. The members of the PCFF have also decided to accept any solution that will be the outcome of the negotiations between the leaders.
The importance of the dialog between peoples focus on the encounter of human beings, beyond stereotypes, media images and prevailing prejudices. The dialog between the members of the PCFF brought us to the distinctive conclusion that if bereaved families who paid the highest price of the conflict, the loss of their beloved, are able to build a bridge from one side to the other of the divide, and weave together a future of honor and hope of peace, then everybody else can do it.