More than 300 people in the UK and around the world gathered for an FBFF webinar on 24th February 2021 to hear passionate appeals for reconciliation from two bereaved victims of the Israel/Palestine conflict. Both referred to the walls of fear and ignorance that keep the two communities apart, imprisoned in the past.

Arab Aramin explained how as a teenager he had played truant from school to go and throw stones at border checkpoints. But after being challenged by his father he became involved in the Parents Circle-Families Forum and now helps run the annual PCFF summer camp for Israeli and Palestinian school students. The youngsters arrive on the first day at camp terrified of ‘the other’, he said. But by the third day they were inseparable and some formed lasting friendships.

‘When I find out more about my enemy I lose my fear,’ he added.

“Thank you for sharing your story, it couldn’t have been easy” – audience member

Yigal Elhanan spoke of the fear ingrained in Israeli society since the Holocaust – ‘the German bogeyman under the bed’ – and warned of the danger of regarding the Palestinians as a monolithic enemy rather than as individuals, ‘all with stories and faces and loved ones’, an attitude which bred racism and enabled the occupation.

“It's easy to follow the crowd, much harder to take the lonely path. It is so encouraging to hear how you speak to each other” – audience member

He appealed to supporters in other countries: ‘Don’t be silent. And don’t be pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli. That will never help us.

‘The hate of each other that we have inside is our real enemy.’

Watch a recording of the webinar