Solutions not Sides

Israeli and Palestinian peace activists speak at Kingston Liberal Synagogue about their hope for peace

We were delighted to welcome around 100 people to our Synagogue on the evening of Monday 16th September to hear two peace activists – one Israeli and one Palestinian – speak about their hopes for reconciliation.  We co-hosted this event with St Mary’s Church, Long Ditton and also welcomed the Mayor of Elmbridge, Mary Sheldon.

L-R Revd Bob Fyffe (Churches Together in Britain and Ireland), Stuart MacDonald (Board of Deputies of British Jews), Sharon Booth (Solutions not Sides), Ruba Huleihel, Michal Katoshevsky, Mary Sheldon (Mayor of Elmbridge), Revd Dr Kuhan Satkunanayagam (St Mary’s Church, Long Ditton) and Rabbi Rene Pfertzel, (Kingston Liberal Synagogue)

Palestinian Ruba Huleihel and Israeli Michal Katoshevsky were speaking at ‘Invest in Peace’, a joint initiative between the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.  Endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the initiative invites Christians and Jews to support Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding and is the first of its kind at a national level.

Both speakers talked about their family backgrounds, their childhoods in Israel / Palestine, and how they each came to be peace activists.  They answered questions from the audience about topics such as a two-state solution, the role of the Arab world, and what the UK government could do to promote peace.

Michal and Ruba both showing photographs of grandparents

Speaking after the event the Mayor of Elmbridge, Mary Sheldon, said “It was an enlightening, passionate and wonderful evening.  I feel honoured to have been here and hear what they each had to say about such a serious issue at a human level”.

Mayor of Elmbridge Mary Sheldon

Our Rabbi, Rene Pfertzel, said “It was a truly inspiring evening, listening to two young peace activists talking about their work and demonstrating how working together and talking to each other is the best path towards peace”

Israeli Michal Katoshevsky, Rabbi Rene Pfertzel and Palestinian Ruba Huleihel