A few years ago, I heard that “Blogs” were the latest fashion and although I am a salaried employee and believed that this was the pastime of self-employed persons, I decided to join a course being given by the “Bloggerist” Yonit Tzuk. This was a fascinating experience, but I was not sure this will be my direction.
Years passed and I had ideas for writing a Blog, but felt that I was not ready to do so. A short time ago, I was invited by Danny Margalit to an evening given by his brother Yanki Margalit.
I met friends who were involved in intercultural relations and began to realize that this was an area that interested me to write about as a blog. During the past decade I had conducted programs concerning intercultural relations, dialogue through movies, the “hangout bridges” within the ORT educational system, with the Google company and the Peres Center for Peace, and many other programs about which I shall write in later “posts”. Like many others, I understand that the concept of intercultural relations in Israel is of importance, as is the society we are creating here for the next generation.
Research and surveys carried out recently reveal that dissension existed between the various communities in our society — alienation, arrogance and violence are increasing. Groups have particular interests from birth and grow up among persons similar to them. Animosity against people who are different is increasing. Radical opinions are becoming extremist and lead to violent behavior. Separation exists between Jews and Arabs, between religious and non-religious, creating prejudice. It is essential to cultivate values and heritage but to ensure that this does not replace the pluralistic area of intercultural relations.
I believe that communicating with “others” and cooperation with them can in fact pave the way for the development of personal and social relations through strengthening the connection of every individual to their own culture and tradition at the same time respecting the culture of “others”, and having no fear or trepidation to making connections and nurturing intercultural relations. This will contribute to reinforcement of our own tradition. I am aware that I am not alone in this point of view, but I deplore the lack of trust and extremist actions that lead to segregation, which activists working for intercultural relations find difficulty in combatting.