Re: John Launer: Israel and Gaza—recognising shared human values

I Agree

Dear Editor,

I recently returned from Limmud, an international Jewish Learning Conference. I attended two sessions hosted by peace groups; The 49% and the Interfaith Encounter Association. There were people there from many other peace groups, a couple of examples being Yachad (“together”) and Women Waging Peace. They have continued meeting throughout the current hostilities, online. Some people even managed to join from Gaza, via Whatsapp.

Very quickly the question was asked: “Does this peace activity do any good?”. I offered that it would be difficult to measure this as it is preventative work. A call for data on this followed rapidly.

There is some anecdotal evidence that it works. The host of the Interfaith Encounter session says that he was informed by his Muslim colleague that he had been approached to become a suicide bomber. Our host responded: “Then you would have killed me and my kids”. “That’s why I didn’t do it” was his colleague’s answer.

I find this incredible. Never mind his own life, he was more worried about a friend on the other side of the conflict. People’s altruism never ceases to astonish me.

Is there anyone out there who could design a study to measure the impact of these grassroots peace groups? Whether it is lives saved, reduction of hatred or of ill treatment of civilians by military authorities.

And if it has no impact, even that might help us to develop a process that does.

No competing Interests: 
No competing interests
The following competing Interests: 
I have family living in Israel
Electronic Publication Date: 
Wednesday, February 28, 2024 – 17:13
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Re: John Launer: Israel and Gaza—recognising shared human values

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