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November 08, 1985 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-11-08

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Friday, November 8, 1985

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guage they are most comfortable
Only after a safe atmosphere
is created, getting to know
different people, different cul-
tures and different spheres,
"Then we are prepared to talk
about politics."
While political opinions differ,
the groups stay together in spite
of the differences. Neve Shalom
does not, however, adopt any
specific political policies or goals
for themselves. The spokesmen
said that a political stance
would be "suicide at this point."
"We bring the people together
_ _to decide what they want to
happen," Bairi said. "And we
don't think it's our right to
throw to them what we believe
to be a Palestinian solution. In
Neve Shalom, the process is the
important step before the actual
results. The results will come
when people will be adult
enough to deal with each other
and decide together. We don't
give them a recipe."
As a measure of their success,
they said that ten years ago in
Israel, "you could never even
say the world Palestinian." To-

Since 1980, 5,000
young people and
1,000 adults .. .
have attended
workshops at Neve

day, they said, at least people
are talking about the problem.
Before he joined the Neve
Shalom community, Shbata
couldn't even bring himself to
speak to Jews because of his
anger, fear and mistrust. "We
see each other as people now —
not Palestinians or Israelis,"
Shbata said. "The road is very
One Palestinian student at
the Wayne State presentation
said that Neve Shalom should
adopt specific political goals, in-
cluding the establishment of a
Palestinian state which ensures
the right of self-determination.
"I can hear that you are con-
cerned and I share that concern
with you," Bairi replied. "Very
many reasons why these people
don't recognize is that they have
never met anyone like Iyas,
they have never had a conversa-
tion (with an Arab). They only
know of frightening experiences
they read in the newspaper ...
It's very hard to combat this.
/\= "We accept each other not
only as people, but also their
identity the self-
determination of each of the
"There is no right way, no
wrong way, but we have a work-
ing partnership to choose the
/' best way."
They said that after initial

workshops, it is important for
participants to follow up on
what they've learned. Many
have applied techniques they
have learned at Neve Shalom to
other peace groups in Israel.
"It is extremely important to
continue the effort together, to
support each other." Sometimes,
she said, this may mean going
against the beliefs of those
around you — people who advo-
cate "a police effort to all be in-
volved only with our own pain
and to develop our own feelings
without touching each other."
Neve Shalom has also in-
volved themselves with issues
outside their own country, con-
ducting workshops with youth
in Northern Ireland. They hope
that people in South Africa and
Lebanon will also show interest.
Israeli President Chaim Her-
zog visited the community in
September and praised it for its
ideals, but was still skeptical.
"Reality here is too complicated
and replete with tension and
fears to implement this
everywhere," Herzog told the
Jerusalem Post.
In spite of criticism from the
Israeli right, who Bairi said
considers Neve Shalom to be
"naive" and "utopian," the
community continues its em-
phasis on education. Its primary
school teaches both Hebrew and
Arabic on an equal level, and
the Jewish, Christian and Mos-
lem religions are taught so stu-
dents can still keep their own
religious and ethnic identities,
yet be aware of other ideologies.
The community currently con-
tains 13 families, nearly equally
Jewish and Arab, and about 20
Programs include three, four-
day workshops each month for
Arab and Jewish youth, three
annual seminars for adults, spe-
cial educational programs for
foreign visitors and groups and
annual seminars and workshops
for members of peace organiza-
tions working in Israel and


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Jerusalem (JTA) — Two Jor-
danian planes which flew briefly
over the Sea of Galilee in north-
ern Israel last week were in the
middle of a training flight ac-
cording to Israel's Defense
Minister, Yitzhak Rabin.
Rabin told the Knesset last
Wednesday that the equipment
and ammunition on the planes
indicated it was only a training
"I do not believe that one can
surprise us," Rabin said. He as-
serted that Jordanian planes
were often flying near the Is-
raeli border, and an error such
as that was possible.
He said the Israel Air Force
was capable of distinguishing
when the intention of such inci-
dents are hostile.

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