by Craig Swandby, World Vision
The Parents Circle – Families Forum (PCFF) is a joint Palestinian Israeli organization of over 600 families, all of whom have lost a close family member as a result of the prolonged conflict. Through face-to-face reconciliation programs, the Parent’s circle has shown that the reconciliation between individuals and nations is possible, and it is this insight that they are trying to pass on to both sides of the conflict.
The PCFF was established in 1995 by Mr. Yitzhak Frankental and several bereaved Israeli families. In 1998 the first meetings were held with a group of Palestinians families from Gaza who identified with the call to prevent further bereavement through dialogue, tolerance, peace, and reconciliation. The connection with the group in Gaza was cut off as a result of the second Intifada.
Since 2000, the PCFF expanded to include Palestinian families from both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. These new members have substantially influenced the activities of the PCFF and shaped the character and functioning of the organization.
Moreover, the PCFF has concluded that the process of reconciliation between nations is a prerequisite to achieving a sustainable peace. The organization thus utilizes all resources available in education, public meetings, and the media to spread these ideas of reconciliation and work to:
- Create a framework of reconciliation between two peoples that takes into account that any peace agreement must include an infrastructure for the process of reconciliation.
- Work towards an end to violence and towards achieving an accepted political agreement.
- Influence the public and the political decision makers to choose dialogue and the path of peace over violence and war in order to achieve a just settlement based on empathy and understanding.
Merciful God, Your Word says:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
May Your kingdom come, may Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Bless the Parents circle. Bring strength and healing. Lord, use this family forum to reveal Yourself and be an instrument of peace in the Holy Land.
In the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.