“We do not believe that our peoples are doomed to make the same mistakes; nor do we believe that we are forever locked in cycles of violence and political impasse… We must look at our past and our present in light of our hope for the future. ”
— Through My Enemy’s Eyes
Musalaha has two separate approaches to reconciliation work. The first promotes a faith-based process of reconciliation between Israeli and Palestinian followers of Jesus. This has been Musalaha’s focus since it was first formed in 1990, by leaders in the Palestinian and Israeli communities.
The other approach in our work began more recently, through our Bridge Building program with Palestinians and Israelis from Muslim, Christian and Jewish backgrounds. The program’s message of reconciliation is based on the biblical principles of peace, tolerance, and love.
While working through the process of reconciliation, sustainability is key. The crucial first step is the building of relationships. This is a very difficult step, as it requires participants to step out of their comfort zones and reach out to people on the “other” side.
After relationships have been established, participants can begin to deal with the issues; a process that is never easy, but is made possible because of the personal relationships that have been built. Next, participants need to receive training in reconciliation and in leadership, so they can best impact their society by spreading the message of reconciliation and hope. Participants who have gone through this process are able to bear witness to its transformative power, and help recruit new participants and bring them into the process.