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Bringing the Israeli-Palestinian conversation into the living room

Under CC license from Flickr user dakini

Many air strikes were launched by Israel in Gaza City over the past few weeks in response to Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli cities. Since that moment, the violence in the region has subsided after a cease-fire. The Palestinians made a successful bid to upgrade their UN status, and Israel announced it would build 3,000 new settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. So the situation remains as tense and volatile as ever.

After decades of conflict, many Jews and Arabs feel like they are mortal enemies, with no hope of understanding one another and finding peace. But a model for breaking through the belligerence is taking place right here in the Bay Area, in a sleepy neighborhood in San Mateo.

For the past 20 years, Len Traubman has hosted the Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue right in his living room. Every month, Bay Area Jews and Palestinians come to meet, have coffee, and listen to one another. Palestinian Elias Botto started coming over a decade ago, and he's been friends with Traubman ever since. The two men invited KALW's Hana Baba into the Traubman living room to see how their dialogue works.

Click the audio player above to listen to the story. 

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.