GRAPEVINE: Dialoguing with Dvir

“Dvir Sorek, 19, who was stabbed to death, was one of the participants in this discussion group. In no way we can imagine that someone we met yesterday will be the victim of tomorrow."

August 21, 2019 14:43
3 minute read.
GRAPEVINE: Dialoguing with Dvir

Dvir Sorek . (photo credit: Courtesy)

■ PEOPLE WHO say that there is no partner on the Palestinian side with whom to negotiate a peace agreement may be correct with regard to today’s leaders, but not necessarily tomorrow’s. Arutz 7 reported that in the aftermath of the murder of Dvir Sorek, his family received a letter of condolence from the Palestinian friends of a religious dialogue group of which Dvir had apparently been a member.
The abridged letter reads:
"A few days ago, our yeshiva friend from Migdal Oz was abducted and killed, When I got the news that morning, I was shocked. I told my Palestinian friends what happened and they didn’t believe me.
“Dvir Sorek, 19, who was stabbed to death in the West Bank, was one of the participants in this discussion group. In no way we can imagine that someone we met yesterday will be the victim of tomorrow.
“We send condolences to his family and our friends in the yeshiva.
“And for us as a group, we condemn this kind of vicious violence that targets us all for our residence place, religion, identity, citizenship. It is so sad we reached the point where we are talking about the right to not be killed.
“We will stay in this way until we achieve the goal of freedom and the right to life. We are building a bridge between peoples on this land and we will continue to work on it.
“We hope that this incident will be the last grief on both sides.
“Signed: Palestinian friends from the religious dialogue group.”
After all that has been said and written about the unique goodness that characterized Dvir Sorek, it hardly comes as a surprise to learn that he was part of such a dialogue group.
There are similar groups of young people who are seeking and finding ways for Israelis and Palestinians to live together on the same piece of territory in friendship, trust and mutual respect. Tomorrow’s leaders may come from their ranks. If indeed that happens, resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be much easier than it has been to date.

■ JUST OVER 15 years after then-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger came to Jerusalem for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Holy City branch of the Museum of Tolerance, the museum has at last opened its doors – but not yet wide enough to accommodate the general public.
Long shrouded in court cases and in secrecy during its construction period, the museum last week hosted a tribute concert honoring United Hatzalah and the Danielle Foundation, with the popular Israeli rock band Ethnix as the key attraction.
The concert was organized by the founder and donors of the museum, which will not officially open to the public until the end of 2020. However, as part of its running-in program, the museum will be hosting special events for various organizations conforming to the criteria of tolerance and working toward building a better future.
Among those in attendance were House Minority Leader Californian Congressman Kevin McCarthy; Israel’s Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel; Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion; Hitorerut chairman Ofer Berkovitch; and former director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office Eli Groner.
The guest of honor was Moti Sonnenfeld, founder and director of the Danielle Foundation and a long-time supporter of United Hatzalah’s work. UH president and founder Eli Beer, together with the newly appointed chairman of the organization Moshe Teitelbaum, presented Sonnenfeld with an award for his support and for his work with the Danielle Foundation, named for his late daughter.
Danielle was a volunteer in the oncology ward of the Schneider Children’s Hospital while she was performing her national service. She had aspirations to study medicine, but her life and dreams were cut short at age 21 four-and-a-half-years-ago when she was killed in a car accident while returning home from Schneider.
American philanthropist Larry Maisel, is was among the founders of and fund-raisers for the museum, relayed a message through his representative Jonathan Riss in which he emphasized the importance of launching the museum’s activities by hosting organizations representing tolerance within Israeli society regardless of race, religion or gender.
Teitelbaum echoed these sentiments, “We recognize how important an event that celebrates unity and tolerance in Israel is here at this museum, especially right after Tisha Be’av.”

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