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Richard Gere: Israelis do not have a home until the Palestinians have one



American actor Richard Gere called for compassion, forgiveness and love to heal the pain of the Israelis and Palestinians so that they can move forward in an era of peace.
“We know that more hatred and anger will never lead us out of this,” Gere said in a video appearance at the annual Israeli-Palestinian memorial service to mark Memorial Day.

The event, hosted by the left-wing NGO Combatants for Peace and Parent Circle-Families Forum, featured grieving Israelis and Palestinians who had lost loved ones either in war or in incidents as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Gere encouraged participants to create a world where children can grow up without fear.

“Until the Palestinians have a home, the Israelis will not have a home,”

; Gere said.

Israelis and Palestinians remembered their stories with artist Tamar Peikes, recalling how she lost her father in the Six-Day War and her brother in the Yom Kippur War.

Layla Alsheikh from the West Bank village of Battir outside Jerusalem recalled how her six-month-old son Qusay was overcome in their home by IDF tear gas in 2002.

His “breathing rate increased” and “eyes looked at me like a scared bird,” Alsheikh recalled.

She and her husband got into their car so they could drive him to the hospital, but soldiers had closed their village and each road was blocked for four hours.

When they could travel, it was too late to save her son. She never got to buy a bike for him or see him graduate from school, Alsheikh recalled.

Instead, ”he lay alone in a dark cold grave away from the heat of my lap. This cold consumed everything in me. ”

She called for an end to “injustice and hatred.”




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