Oct. 21, 2016
William Booth in the Washington Post writes a heartwarming story:
The gathering wasn’t exactly unprecedented. Jewish settlers and their Palestinian neighbors have met quietly before, many times. But not like this. This meeting, this was rare.
The settlement of Efrat is a bedroom community of 10,000 affluent Jews, including many Americans, a few miles south of Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The residents of Efrat live the good life in a growing hilltop community that the United States considers illegal and an obstacle to peace.
The Efrat mayor, Oded Revivi, who is also a colonel in the Israeli army reserve, invited Palestinians from surrounding villages to come to his house and celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, when the faithful gather in palm-roofed huts, a remembrance of the 40 years of wandering landless in the desert back in the time of Moses.
A couple dozen Palestinians accepted the mayor’s invitation this week to share brownies, grapes, cookies, apples and coffee, alongside 30 Israeli settlers. This was a first.
The idea? The sides were here to talk, perhaps even to bond — no matter if the dynamic was a little awkward and asymmetrical.
Everyone was very polite.