The first meeting with a person you have considered to be your enemy your entire life can change some of your perspectives and turn things upside down. The trip from Ramallah to Jerusalem for the purpose of meeting Yossi helped me to re-evaluate the relations between the two sides, regardless of years of suffering and the prices we all paid.

Perhaps the enemy’s willingness and good intentions to reconcile will eventually take down the barriers and checkpoints. Such intentions to create peace exist in the hearts of good, loving people.  To be able to think outside of the box of your own narrative after the first meeting with a person from the enemy’s side proves that the only way to overcome barriers and obstacles between the two sides is by conducting dialogues face to face; this is the only way to speed up the process towards a solution that will enable us to coexist and build a flourishing future.

Meeting Yossi and his friends changed a lot of my prejudgments, thoughts and ideologies. It also proved to me that making peace requires a lot of effort, time and patience and the most important thing is to start a process so that we don’t leave our fate in the hands of extremists. 

For your knowledge, Yossi is the first Jew whom I have met and actually sat with and held a conversation with. I found Yossi to be a tactful, honest and nice person and I felt like I have known him for a long time, probably because I read his book and have been interacting with his staff on the FB page for a while. I can truly say that now I have a friend whose name is Yossi. On this occasion I would like to note that the rest of the participants in the meeting were as tactful and humble as Yossi was.

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If you would like to read Salah’s letter of response to the book which was sent several months ago, before meeting Yossi, please check this link