Over the course of the past few weeks, the goodwill and emotions of those who pray and work for peace between Israel and the Palestinians have been strained. The appalling kidnappings and murders from extremists of both sides has hijacked an extremely tense situation, complicating the ongoing dialogues between groups that work to ease mistrust in the United States.
Both sides have witnessed the barbaric murders of four teenagers, explosive street violence and a constant stream of rockets from Gaza into Israel. Yet, despite the escalting violence, we find a glimmer of hope from, of all people, the victims of the horror.
This past week, a phone conversation took place between Ishai Frankel, the uncle of Naftali Frankel, the Israeli teen who was kidnapped and murdered by Palestinian extremists and Hussein Abu Khdeir, whose 16 year old son was murdered by Jewish extremists. Neither side wants to see more innocent victims. For those of us who care deeply about dialogue and understanding, this phone conversation serves as an inspiring model for us to follow. We need to recognize that despite the terror generated by extremism, we must not refrain from our ongoing efforts to generate trust and understanding among us.
Beckye’s cousin lives just outside of Jerusalem. She, along with many others in Israel, have become accustomed to the turmoil in this region. Click here to read a letter from her which gives a first hand account of someone living through these ongoing hostilities.
L’Shalom — Steve