Enas Mohmad is seen shaking the hand of an official of Hand in Hand in Gaza City, after having a very cordial meeting last week.
Hand in Hand Responds to Israel-Gaza Conflict
Shuli Dichter, executive director of Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel, sent the following letter (translated from Hebrew) to the Hand in Hand community last week.
Dear students, parents and teachers at Hand in Hand:
Again the cannons and missiles are thundering, and we are in a difficult time—when Jews on one side and Palestinians on the other are in a violent conflict in southern Israel and Gaza.
There is no symmetry between the two sides, but both are suffering. And we, despite the fact that we have decided to be part of a shared program and framework, and despite that we have chosen not to be enemies of one another, are still part of two separate magnetic poles, two sides that are fighting each other and generating casualties.
At this time of crisis it is important to remember that the decision of the parents in the five integrated and bilingual schools in Israel is to educate our children together. The meaning of this is that this week, as in all of the other weeks of the school year, more than 1,000 Arab and Jewish families in Israel experience this unity and common ground on a daily basis. This is not easy, as all of you have decided not to live in the comfort of the status quo of each side, but to create a new and more peaceful coexistence reality.
Our perspectives and positions are naturally different, and we do not always agree and see eye to eye on every issue, including the current situation. But we have chosen to work together, and thus we have a responsibility to our children, to engage and relate to one another based on values of fairness, mutual respect and tolerance. On Sunday, our students will return to the classroom, and I am confident that our teachers and principals will know how to lead the way as they have in the past.
We hope that the violence will end soon. But despite this situation, we will continue with our common path, we will build the foundation, brick by brick, of shared civility and shared citizenship for Jews and Arabs in Israel.
Executive Director, Hand in Hand