This past cannot be ignored or forgotten, but as truth and reconciliation commissions in South Africa and Chile showed, public acknowledgement can go a long way toward allowing people to move into a peaceful future.
Organized by genre, theme and country of origin, the different sessions brought a diverse and eye-opening group of over fifty films from eighteen countries to downtown Manhattan audiences, each one presumably carrying with it a "social relevant message" of some importance.
The students addressed four issues pertaining to peace: Iran, Settlements, West Bank/Jerusalem, and the Right of Return. They also discussed the role of the rabbinate is Israel politics, a domestic issue.
Unless and until Israel ends its brutal occupation of Palestinian lands, grants full equality to all its people -- including Palestinians -- and recognizes the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land, the non-violent BDS movement will continue to grow and cripple the Israeli economy.
Initiatives like "Pèlerinage en décalage" are inspiring examples of what young people from the region are working towards to encourage more personal interaction between Israelis and Palestinians.
I yearn for a day when the boundaries between religions, ethnicities and people fall away, when borders and armies are considered relics of a broken past, when humanity recognizes the unity of all things through God. But we are not there yet.
Last Saturday, Israeli soldiers came to the home of Shadi Sidr and demanded he remove the Palestinian flag from his roof. Shadi is a Palestinian who lives in the H2 area of Hebron and the flag offended his neighbors, the Israeli settlers in the Beit Hadassah settlement.
Today, an estimated number of 320 clown therapists operate across Israel. Following a chance meeting with a clown therapist who treated Singer's daughter when she was hospitalized five years ago, Singer decided to take a six-month clown therapy course where he learned how to be a medical clown himself.
While reviewing polling data on Israeli and Palestinian attitudes towards the peace effort, what comes through clearly is the obvious disconnect between the views of both groups and the extent to which this divide is driven by the Israeli-centric language used in framing many of the issues.
Both the Israelis and the Palestinians are content proclaiming that they are willing to compromise but lack a true partner in negotiations. In order for the peace talks to truly progress, they must recognize that each has a true partner in the other.
Israeli soldiers shot and killed an unarmed Jordanian judge on Monday at the Allenby bridge crossing between Jordan and the West Bank after reportedly arguing with Israeli border guards on his way back to Amman from the West Bank.
It is not enough for the Arab states to provide Kerry with lukewarm public support; they need to become active participants both publicly and privately and show solidarity with the US-led efforts to send a clear message to the Israeli and Palestinian publics where they really stand.
For academic institutions everywhere, shutting off open discussion runs counter to the very foundations of academic life.
The overwhelming majority of Jews who live in Israel don't "see" their Israeli Arab neighbors. For the most part, they live totally separate from them, except in a few mixed cities. They don't know what they think or feel. They don't know their history or their culture or their current concerns.
Obama and Kerry deserve much credit as they adhere to peaceful diplomacy. It is less popular than pretending to be the sheriff of the world, with useless pistols and tanks. In this era, opting for the moral high-ground is also the right choice for influence and growth.
John Kerry's plan will fail because it will be "realistic" rather than visionary, and de facto that means speaking more to the power of Israel and its domestic lobby than to the aspirations of the Palestinian people.