Eliat Israel Nonviolent Communication Workshop

February 8, 2010


In this sea side town- giant date palms line the shore of the Red Sea, across from the mountains of the bible- Moab, Adom, past the wells of Abraham and the deserts of the wandering of The People, I arrived at Ben Gurion University for an NVC workshop. About 30 people, much participation- I want to write now about something that happened after the class ( I loved the class and feel satisfied and energized from the connection and meaning).

A woman came up to me after class. She hadn’t spoken in the class. She asked to talk. Yesterday was the yahrtzeit- anniversary of the death – of her brother in law, her husband’s only brother. He was an Israeli mental health counselor, who had invited two Palestinians into his home in Jerusalem and they killed him. How can she talk to her children about this in a way that doesn’t add to the violence? In a way that doesn’t judge or choke the still painful feelings of their father and grandmother.

She herself already has been trying to understand the needs the men who killed were meeting when they did this.   How can she give everyone the space to mourn and not continue the cycle of violence. We spoke and will continue our dialogue.

I am blown away by the yearning here among Israelis to find ways to meet their needs for respect, freedom, safety and security in a way that is not at the expense of the needs of the Palestinians for respect, freedom, safety and security.

So tonight, a glimmer of hope.

With love, Roberta