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Planting Peace Seeds on the Road to Jerusalem
an article by Tony Dominski

How do you plant seeds of peace in this violent and troubled world? Marion Pargaman, an Israeli peace activist, gives us a clue through her account of an extraordinary encounter with Palestinian woman.

The encounter occurred in the context of a Peace Walk through Arab and Jewish settlements from Tel Aviv-Yaffo to Jerusalem. The Walk, which included both Palestinians and Israelis was conducted like a pilgrimage in “silence and awareness.” The Walk was organized according to the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk and famous peace worker, by Tovana the Vipassana meditation group in Israel.

On the last day of the Walk, Pargaman encountered a troubled Palestinian woman who had joined an insult contest between an elderly Arab man and an elderly religious Jew. While the police and Pargaman were trying to defuse the situation, the Palestinian woman’s emotions boiled over as she asked the peace activist, “Why do you hate us so much.?”

What happened next as is best told by the Pargaman herself at the Learning Peace website. This prophetic story is an inspiring and sobering guide for all traveler’s on the road to world peace.


Question(s) related to this article:

Jewish-Palestinian dialogue,

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Latest reader comment:

Len and Libby Traubman have sent in the following important addition to their year-end review of the public peace process for Palestiinian-Jewish dialogue.


    In December, 2003, a delegation of 33 of America's most prominent Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders met in Washington, DC to announce their new, unprecedented, collaborative effort -- The National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East.

    These citizen-leaders of their faiths, and their plans, are described at:

    They will continue working within their communities and together "to mobilize broad public support for active, determined and effective U.S. leadership in pursuit of peace between Israel, the Palestinians and Arab states."

    They insist on a viable, independent, democratic Palestinian state alongside the existing state of Israel with enduring peace and security for both sides, thus amplifying the voices of increasing numbers of courageous Arabs and Jews of goodwill.

    The Washington convergence was initiated by A Different Future (, the U.S. Interreligious Committee for Peace in the Middle East
(, and the United Religions Initiative ( with initial financial support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

This report was posted on June 7, 2003.