- Peace negotiations are, for the most part, focused on the political and economic dimensions. What is your perception of the necessity of touching deeper and more
genuine aspects of reconciliation and how can this be achieved?
Its important to go deeper and deeper as there are many engines are needed and must work in a joint way. Negation, economics, politics and I fully believe that any peace agreement is the first step in the peace journey as many peace agreements failed to bring peace.
Education, sports, music and the different sectors that help bring as much as we can people together in order to know each other, understand each other and listen to each other. In this way they overcome the misperception and ignorance about each other.
Health is vital in this field.
- What are the conditions in which, beyond securing the interests of parties to conflict, a process that is centered on a sense of fairness and dignity can be established?
Knowing each other and discovering the humanness in the other and that all are similar will help to understand that the dignity of all is equal
- To what degree is forgiveness an essential dimension of reconciliation?
At the root of your political culture and religious faith, what are the principles that either imply or exclude forgiveness? Which verses or sayings that are part of your personal
spiritual heritage could in your opinion have a universal significance?
The l6th of January, 2009, is the day when my three precious daughters and niece were killed by Israeli shells. It is hard to describe the dreadful scene and images of that day - the body parts of those beautiful girls spread over the ceiling and drowning in a pool of blood. I do not want anyone in this world to see what I have seen.
We are all human, and we all make mistakes and commit sins from time to time. But the past cannot return. I fully believe that what I have lost, what was taken from me will never come back. I need to go forward and be motivated by the spirit of those I lost, and to do them justice. I lost three precious daughters, but I am blessed with five other children and the future. I believe life is like riding a bicycle: to keep balanced, we must keep moving, and I will keep moving.
And what about forgiveness? First, should the perpetrators ask for forgiveness? This might achieve some personal satisfaction for me, but in the end it will never achieve the broader goal of inner peace, and of peace among human beings. When the time comes that we no longer have to ask for forgiveness that is the time when there will be understanding and peace among humanity.
Still, the question persists, is forgiveness necessary? Or do we need rather to understand each other, respect each other in all of our common humanity. I believe that when you forgive someone, you forgive yourself, you value and yourself. Forgiveness is about letting go, completely and permanently, within yourself.
This value has to be rooted and cherished in all of us, including the perpetrator. When we are brave enough, when we have the moral courage and take responsibility for our actions, this will help us forgive each other. To ask for forgiveness will help you get rid of your ego and will be valued highly - it will be esteemed in the eyes of the forgiver and others.
Forgiveness depends on truth. You cannot begin to talk about reconciliation until you have the truth. There must be an effort to get people to face the truth. People may will to forgive, but they cannot do this unless they first know the facts of what happened, if they do not know whom to forgive.
Most people assume that forgiveness is difficult, but in the long run it is easier to forgive than to live with hatred or be consumed with revenge, with all the medical consequences.
Forgiveness will help you move forward, away from the pain of the past and to be focused on the future, with all its brightness. Indeed, forgiveness opens the door to a future that will not repeat the old tragedies. Sometimes the beauty in forgiveness is to forgive when you do not know whom to forgive, when no one asks you for forgiveness. But whatever the situation, to err is human but to forgive is truly divine.
- Does forgiveness require some form of repentance on the side of those to whom forgiveness is offered? Does forgiveness have conditions or is it unconditional?
Based on your experience on working with reconciliation and forgiveness what are the structure and activities you would suggest for a universal council on reconciliat?
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