Publié le Avr 28, 2009 - 12:23 AM
Religions et conflits

Communique from Israeli and Palestinian Youth


Four Israeli and four Palestinian youth leaders—Christian, Jewish, and Muslim—from East and West Jerusalem, gathered in Paris to discuss the current challenges, discern shared concerns and develop common action. The consultation was organized by Religions for Peace, the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition.

The consultation began with reflections on the impact of the war in Gaza and Southern Israel. Participants engaged in honest and open exchange of their personal sentiments, pain, fear, and hope.

On the second day, Israelis and Palestinians first met separately to discuss their respective challenges and concerns, followed by a joint session in which contentious issues, including root causes of the present conflict, were raised in a spirit of honesty and trust. There were painful moments when participants found fundamental differences in their respective understandings of the causes of the current conflict. Despite such difficulties, participants kept their courage and commitment to dialogue and listened to different perspectives.

The consultation was supported by Religions for Peace Global Youth Network members on six continents through prayer and simultaneous actions. Among many actions in solidarity were the presentation by a youth delegation from Religions for Peace Japan of 1,600 messages of peace and support from Japanese religious youth leaders, and the European Interfaith Youth Network’s initiatives in support of Israeli and Palestinian youth. The participants felt enriched and inspired by such insights from an international context, which contributed to the mutual learning experience. Participants also appreciated the warm and generous welcome provided by the Religions for Peace French chapter.

The Israeli and Palestinian youth leaders expressed their commitment to continue dialogue around shared concerns and to develop a plan of action in Jerusalem through broadening the circle of dialogue between the two peoples.

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