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The sight of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas shaking hands with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smiling in the center does give us hope. Although I had studied the conflicts in the Middle East for many years, it was not until I visited Palestine and Israel in 1991 that I felt in my body and spirit the spiritual power of Jerusalem. Within feet of each other are ancient centers of three great religions and the remnants of unbelievable suffering that has affected millions of people around the world.

Each day in whatever ways we possibly can, may we learn to smile and touch the hand and heart of those we have considered enemies. If the long and bitter struggles between Palestinians and Israelis can result in peace in our lifetime, we can surely make peace within our own families, neighborhoods and communities. Who knows how far the ripples extend from one act of humility and peacemaking?

Do you believe peace is possible? Here? Now?

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