A former Israel Defenses Forces officer and a Palestinian refugee whose father was killed by Israeli forces will talk about their journey from tragedy to healing in a peace forum at 7:30 p.m.
Monday, April 11.
The presentation will be in J.E. and L.E. Mabee Library Auditorium at the University of the Incarnate Word, said Sister Martha Ann Kirk, a religious studies professor.
At the supper there will be a display about the Holy Land Garden at UIW, “which may be the only place in the world that has plants and citations of Jewish, Christian and Muslim scriptures side by side,” Kirk said. “There will be foods mentioned in these scriptures and conversation on how we can carry on the hospitality of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar.”
The speakers include Yuval Rahamim of Israel and Dr. Omar Alalool, a Palestinian refugee who was once arrested by Israeli authorities for his student activism.
“The two come from opposite sides in a long conflict, yet today, both men are speaking to U.S. audiences with one unified voice for peace in the Holy Land,” Kirk said.
Rahamim and Alalool found common ground through participating in The Parents Circle — Families Forum, a Catholic Relief Services-supported reconciliation group that consists of Palestinian and Israeli bereaved families who join forces to promote peace and reconciliation on both sides of the conflict. Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency provides assistance to people in more than 100 countries and territories based on need, regardless of race, nationality or creed.
Rahamim’s and Alalool’s joining the PC-FF group is a great act of courage and a deep commitment to create a new vision for the Holy Land, supporters say.
“Their stories provide us with hope for reconciliation in the Holy Land and in this part of the world as well,” said Daniel Lizarraga, regional director for CRS Southwest, referring to the ongoing violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border.
Rahamim, who was born in Tel Aviv, was 7 when his father, Abraham, died in 1967 on the second day of the so-called “Six Day War” when Israel occupied the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, Jordanian West Bank of the Jordan River and Syrian Golan Heights.
Alalool, who has served as general director of the Health Unit for the Ministers Council of the Palestinian Authority, was 10 when his father, Abdul Kader Alalool, a Fatah freedom fighter, was killed by Israeli soldiers in Jericho. A few days later, the family’s home was demolished . Three months after that his oldest brother, Amer Alalool, who was also a Fatah freedom fighter, also was killed by Israeli soldiers in Jericho.
In a statement, Rahamim said, “It is us, the ordinary people, who have paid and continue to pay the price of the conflict, who must enroll ourselves and act within our communities to create the grounds and movement towards a sustainable peace among our nations.”
Dr. Omar Alalool Yuval Rahamim