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Painful Hope: A Different Approach To Solving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Thursday, March 30 | 7:00-8:30PM | 89th Street Community House 

Join two peace activists–one an Israeli settler, Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger, and one a Christian Palestinian, Antwan Saca–as they tell their personal stories and describe how the two intertwine. They come with no ready peace plans in hand, but only with the conviction that human understanding and trust will be the prerequisites for lasting justice, freedom, and peace on the tiny sliver of land they both call home.

Both are activists in Roots/Shorashim/Judur, which for the past two and a half years has been involved in spreading a message of non-violence among local Israelis and Palestinians in the region between Bethlehem and Hebron, an area Israelis call Gush Etzion. Their work  in facilitating dialogues has brought together thousands of local people, most of whom have never sat down with someone from the other side. By humanizing those with different perspectives and helping people to develop a more inclusive understanding of this complex issue, Roots believes they are setting the necessary groundwork for any future peace settlement, whatever it might look like.

Sign up here for this program.

PictureHanan Schlesinger is an Orthodox rabbi and teacher and a passionate Zionist settler. Originally hailing from New York, Rav Hanan made aliya (ascent) to the Holy Land at the age of 20 and has lived over the green line, in Alon Shvut, Gush Etzion, for over 30 years.  His understanding of the reality of the Middle East conflict and of Zionism has been utterly complicated by the parallel universe that Antwan has introduced him to.




 Antwan Saca was born in Jerusalem in 1984 to a local Christian family and has been working towards the dream of peace and justice in the Holy Land all of his adult life. He serves as Director of Programs for the Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem and previously worked as Programs Coordinator at the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation. He was also a research assistant in the area of urbanization and geopolitical monitoring at the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ).