Palestine & Israel Reconciliation project update

We just received a short report from Musalaha on the first meeting of its group for young mothers. This group was started in response to demand and a perceived gap in provision – many of events Musalaha runs are attended by women before they’ve had children or once their children are much older, so they started a new group with childcare at a convenient time aimed at new mothers.

Our partner writes: 'Several Palestinian and Israeli young mothers attended and the facilitator paired us up and gave us a number of questions to ask each other, for example: "How do you register a new baby?", "What is involved in purchasing/keeping land or buying a house?”, "What is the courtship process?", and "How do you get/use water?" We had two minutes to interview our partner and hear their response, before swapping.' 

'We learned quite a few things about each other's cultures and lives. Palestinians were surprised that Israelis must take their babies to the ministry of interior to register them, and that there are problems marrying legally in Israel because only Orthodox Rabbis can do the ceremonies for Jews. Israelis were surprised to learn about the water shortages in Bethlehem, where many families only receive water every two weeks, also of the complications Israeli-Palestinians face if they marry a Palestinian.'

One woman reflected after the meeting: "Understanding each other's daily stresses and pressures helps us to be more human in each other's eyes."

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