Interfaith Peacebuilding


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Interfaith Programs

Interfaith Forum Launches “Peace Road” at Israel’s Knesset

Israel-2016-08-01-Interfaith Forum Launches “Peace Road” at Israel’s Knesset

Jerusalem, Israel—On August 1, 2016, UPF's Jerusalem Interfaith Forum launched the Peace Road 2016 in Israel at the country’s parliament, the Knesset.

Member of Knesset Issawi Frej of the Meretz Party hosted the Forum and the event, which was attended by more than 30 people from Israel and around the world.

MK Frej opened the program by expressing appreciation for UPF’s ongoing efforts to promote peace, and said he was proud to be a part of an impressive project for peace that involves 127 nations. He also said that peace begins with people, from their personal relationships, and from there, peace can grow and develop into peace between nations, or religions. MK Frej concluded his speech by signing the Peace Road Map.

Afterwards, Dr. Nurit Hirschfeld, secretary general of UPF-Israel, and Mr. Koriel Ben Zvi, president of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) in Israel, an affiliated organization, spoke.

Dr. Hirschfeld explained UPF Founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s vision of building an international peace highway, a highway that physically connects all people of the world together, and also called for the establishment of an interfaith council in Israel to work together with politicians to achieve peace in the country and in the Middle East. Cooperation between men and women—who are equal in value—in the council would be important, she also said.

Mr. Ben Zvi shared about the bicycle ride that took place earlier in the morning. Members of CARP rode from the center of Jerusalem to the old city and back. He also said how much he likes the vision of a peace road and how much he dreams of the day when the world is free, when one can drive anywhere in the world, without a needing a visa or having to go through any checkpoints.

The meeting ended with greetings and words from members of the Forum:

Father Masoud Abu Hatoum called everyone to continue to work and act for the sake of peace.

Sheik Ali Birani greeted the guests and thanked the host, both in Hebrew and in Arabic.

Rabbinith Esther Bar-Dea emphasized the meaning of peace and that all human beings are created in the image of God, and thus have equal value.

Mr. Daniel Sherman of the Yuvalim project related to Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s writings on war and peace, and said that the joy of peace is the same for all people, but the misery of war has many shapes and unique versions around the globe; therefore, we should strive for the common joy of peace.

Dr. Yossi Hatab from Hebrew University spoke about the devastating power of hate, which always lead to acts of violent. Hate makes the one who hates very miserable; the person is consumed by bad feelings. Dr. Hattab added that we should not educate to hate; we should educate to love.

The event concluded with all the participants signing the Peace Road Map.

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