I was born in England to a very Zionist family. My parents were both born in Germany. They managed to get out of Germany before the Holocaust. Our house was a very Zionist household and I decided to immigrate to Israel when I was twenty-four. I was in the Israeli army for five years. For thirty years I was pretty much in a classic, Israeli, middle-class, bourgeois role.
I definitely immigrated to Israel as a Zionist, with Zionist motivation, and had no reason even to consider that there might be another narrative. I think in terms of my consciousness things started to change with the start of the current intifada and the October 2000 riots here in Israel. And then September 11th in the States, 2001, which I also interpreted very much as a cry of help in a way, or a cry for attention from the Muslim world. Then almost by chance, I participated in a seminar on conflict resolution run by some people from the world of process-oriented psychology.
This was in England, about three years ago. I always considered myself to be a fairly liberal sort of person, and I was suddenly attacked, or cast in the role of being the ugly Israeli. That was a very difficult experience I went through which caused me to ask lots of questions. That was the main trigger. One thing led to another. I participated in another workshop here in Israel a few months afterwards, which was really the first time I met and had serious conversations with Israeli Arabs.
Through a friend, I got to know the founder of Middleway, which is an Israeli NGO that organizes Jewish-Arab peace walks. I had spent a few months getting acquainted with what I would call the classic, radical Israeli left, participating in demonstrations. But I didn't like the very angry, almost spiteful tone of the demonstrations. I really didn't think they fulfilled any constructive purpose except for letting off some steam. This founder of Middleway suggested that I be one of the founding team and so I joined that group and then started participating in the walks, organizing the walks, and getting more involved with the local Arab population here in Israel.