Message of Support
The events which ignited this current cycle of violence, with the massacre of men, women and children and the abduction of many hostages, are almost too horrific to contemplate. But this was just the beginning; it has been followed relentlessly by actions spreading the horror, fear and deprivation even wider and, when it was impossible to imagine things getting worse, we see the displacement of thousands of people, the pressure on hospitals suffering from a lack of beds and basic medicines, with an increasing humanitarian crisis and lack of shelter, food and even water.
Those of us looking on from afar cannot imagine how – if – this will all end. We know that the cost in terms of human misery and suffering, while whole populations are traumatised, will define the region for decades to come. What can we hope for? Yet, while people commit evil deeds, many others work to heal or prevent further trauma. We take heart from the knowledge that small things, such as messages of support and concern for those involved from us at a distance, can make a difference. As people of faith here in the UK, we heed our leaders’ calls for prayer and fasting for an end to violence and strong, positive leadership.
This is exceptionally important, as we have seen a terrible rise in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks, a growing polarisation of communities, with young people feeling alienated and threatened, separated from friends and under suspicion from others, including those in positions of authority.
We know that the Jewish community here is traumatised and fearful; for them things will never be the same again. For those who know well or identify with the Palestinian community, attempts to shut down actions of solidarity appear to suggest that Palestinians are somehow less deserving of public sympathy.
At the same time, we have seen appalling attempts to negate and demonise the other, tearing down posters and removing flags, with those wearing distinctive religious dress physically attacked.
At FODIP we are personally affected by events in the region, and as a small team, often a target ourselves. However, we have been able to offer and use our experience and skills in facilitation in this complex arena, we have reached out to our alumni and are supporting young people currently involved in our programmes.
Please continue to contact us and, where possible, support us at this unprecedented time.
We are still here for the task.
FODIP Trustees and Staff
The Forum for Discussion of Israel and Palestine
Helping Jews, Christians and Muslims in the UK to talk about the conflict which so often divides us.
“The sessions that I have participated in with FODIP have inspired me greatly and allowed me to gain an understanding of how important discussions are and asking questions to those who have first-hand experience and knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
“To be honest, we were in two minds as to whether to hold this [FODIP event] at all. However, from the feedback we have received to date it is clear that many of the participants learned a lot from it, particularly as many of the comments made were not the ones that people were necessarily expecting.” (Community leader)
"Interacting with different people of different faiths and cultures has removed assumptions and barriers that I previously had. It has also showed me to appreciate the fact that there is more than one side to the conflict and the need to be empathetic and understanding as well as having an open mind.
Most importantly it is a safe place for people of all and non faiths to come together as friends and respect each other for their views. It has had a really positive impact on my own views and gives me great hope for the future that our communities can have great relationships and friendship."
"As a young teenager I didn't spend much time thinking about the Israel-Palestine situation. Like many people, I had a simplistic understanding of the conflict where I presumed Israel was right, Palestine was wrong, and all Muslims supported terrorism.
However, my participation in FODIP provided me with a unique opportunity to engage in conversations with Muslim (Christian) youth and gain a more nuanced understanding of the conflict. Through these discussions, I was exposed to perspectives and experiences that challenged my preconceived notions and helped me to see the issue from more than one perspective.
As a result of these conversations, I now find myself holding both pro-Israel and pro- Palestine positions, recognizing the complexities of the conflict and the need for a peaceful resolution that considers the rights and needs of both peoples. I'm grateful to FODIP for providing me with the opportunity to learn, grow, and engage in respectful dialogue with others who may hold different views than my own."
FODIP projects have involved over 800 people, many of them under 24 years of age.
FODIP has developed specialised methods and approaches for dialogue and understanding perspectives other than one’s own.
In our 12 year history, FODIP has been privileged to work with many organisations and faith institutions across the UK.
We can provide help and expert advice, including at national level and have provided one-off workshops, events and training.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Our methodology enables constructive dialogue to help those of all ages to enage with difficult interfaith issues in a safe space.
Not all encounters are easy and some things are difficult to hear. The conflict impacts on our emotions and sense of identity.
Our methodology is designed to highlight the influences and experiences of each participant, and to use the skills of dialogue and focused learning to understand what it means for ‘the other’. Inspiring and developing the leaders of tomorrow through our youth programmes is a priority.
We use a range of activities and tools to assist in this.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Faith & Community Leader
“This has been a very difficult subject for [us] to discuss together as the plight of Israelis and Palestinians is one close to our hearts.
Muslims and Jews don’t always see eye to eye on the conflict but this event enabled us to hear and see just how deeply many of us feel about it and how it effects our daily lives”
You can contact us at any time.
Our programs and webinars for September are now in preparation.
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