Type: Public event

From rage to reconciliation: Stories from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Date & time

Mar 9, 2022, 12:00-1:00 pm EST


This is a Virtual Event.

The Parents Circle-Families Forum (PCFF) is a grassroots organization of Palestinian and Israeli families who have lost immediate family members due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The PCFF operates under the principle that a process of reconciliation is a prerequisite for achieving a sustained peace. Two PCFF members—an Israeli and a Palestinian—will join us to tell their personal stories of bereavement and explain their choice to engage in dialogue instead of revenge. Watch this event on YouTube.

Just before this event, the Weiser Diplomacy Center will hold a community conversation open to any interested Ford School students. This forum (held in Weill Hall room 3240 at 11:30 AM) will provide an opportunity for students to come together before the event for a warm-up conversation facilitated by WDC Director John Ciorciari, and to watch the Parents Circle event together. Lunch will be provided (to take after the event). Registration required for the warm-up session.

After hearing from the Parents Circle members, John Ciorciari (Ford School Associate Professor of Public Policy and Director of the International Policy Center and Weiser Diplomacy Center) will moderate a discussion between the presenters with some audience questions that came in through the registration. 

The bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict has taken a heavy toll from each and every one of the PCFF members. It is through this pain that they have chosen to exchange their feelings of rage and revenge, helplessness, despair and the void, with activities of hope for reconciliation. Join us to hear their stories, and learn from their path from revenge to reconciliation.

About the speakers

Laila Alsheikh lives in Bethlehem in the West Bank. In 2002, her 6 months old son, Qussay, became ill and Israeli soldiers prevented Layla from taking him to the hospital for more than five hours. Qussay soon died from the lack of timely treatment. Layla joined the Parents Circle in 2016. Following her son’s death, she never thought of revenge, but rather has devoted her time and energy to ensuring a better, more peaceful future for her children.

Yigal Elhanan is Israeli. When he was 4 years old, his sister, Smadar, was killed in a Palestinian suicide bombing in Jerusalem. Yigal is a member and activist in the Parents Circle – Families Forum. His father, Rami Elhanan, previously served as the Israeli Co-Director of the organization.