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Statement by Bridges for Peace which was a sponsor of Bassem Eid’s talk at U of M

posted March 1,2024

Bridges for Peace which was a sponsor of Bassam Eid’s talk on U of M Campus  issued the following statement:

 

Bridges for Peace hosts a variety of events aimed at fostering dialogue and understanding among diverse communities. We invite speakers from many backgrounds to share their perspectives and experiences. This includes individuals such as Bassem Eid, with a background as a Palestinian, a Muslim, and a resident of the West Bank, who has spoken at many Universities, Parliaments, has published in well respected media, and has a long-standing history as a human rights activist advocating for the Palestinian people.

It is important to clarify that our intention was, as our name suggests, to build a bridge between communities. Neither Bridges for Peace nor any of the other organizers or participants had any prior knowledge of how Mr. Eid would respond to questions posed to him during the unscripted Q&A session. While we strive to facilitate discussions aligned with our mission of peaceful and respectful dialogue, the views expressed by individual speakers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Bridges for Peace or the other organizers or attendees.

 

It is noteworthy that at the event, the moderator indicated opposition to the one problematic statement made by Mr. Eid in English (his third language), which followed several interruptions by attendees. The moderator emphasized that we do not agree with generalized statements as they do not reflect our values. Upon direct questioning, Mr. Eid clarified his statement stating that he was not referring to all people of a particular faith. Regardless, ours is a bridge building organization not one that countenances divides between people.

 

Our organization is committed to creating environments where constructive and respectful exchanges can occur, even on challenging and contentious topics. We do not support the generalization of any group of people and are dedicated to facilitating discussions that respect the dignity and diversity of all participants. Our goal is to promote dialogue where individuals can find a path toward cohesive coexistence despite differing views. Bridges for Peace respects the beliefs and convictions of all groups, including Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities. We aim to facilitate dialogue rather than causing offense or having individuals feel offended. Our objective is to create a space where open, respectful, and meaningful exchanges can take place, contributing to a deeper understanding and mutual respect among different communities.

 

Bridges for Peace reaffirms its commitment to the principles outlined above. We are actively reviewing our procedures to ensure that our platforms for dialogue remain respectful and aligned with our goals of fostering understanding and peaceful coexistence among diverse communities. We welcome constructive dialogue with all stakeholders as we continue our mission of bridging gaps through understanding and dialogue.

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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