Gaza Dialogue

As an experiment in developing our dialogue skills and our empathy, my latest Compassionate Listening session used letters between an Israeli reserve soldier and the Palestinian whose home was commandeered by the soldiers during the January invasion. Whether these letters are genuine or not wasn’t the issue. We read each letter aloud, broke into pairs to identify what feelings the writer expressed, shared with the group times when we had experienced those same feelings in our everyday lives and carried out a role play imagining that the soldier and the Gaza citizen had met in person to talk. I found it an effective technique for getting beyond the stated positions and arguments which only serve to keep us divided to the emotions which help us connect and understand each other.

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