"Ned and I were buying office supplies in East Jerusalem. An older man entered the stationery shop. I exchanged greetings with him.

" 'Who is this one?' he asked me, raising his eyebrows toward where Ned was browsing notebooks.

" 'He's my colleague in Seeds of Peace,' I replied. 'Ned's from America.'

"The old man snorted. 'I have no use for foreigners. But at least he's not a Jew.' Words began to tumble out of the old man's mouth. 'You can't trust the Jews! They've deceived everyone in historical memory.' From the corner of my eye, I saw Ned standing very still. 'The Jews will burn your house down, take your homeland, and kill you! Hitler was right about them!' I felt as if the old man had just stabbed me with a knife.

" 'How can you say such hateful things? How do you ever hope to have peace here?' I angrily answered.

" 'Peace? Where is the peace?!'

" 'I found peace with him,' I said, pointing to Ned. I purchased the supplies and got Ned out of there before the tirade could continue.

" 'How much of that did you understand?' I asked Ned.

" 'Enough,' he answered grimly. We walked down the street to eat at Ikermawi's.

" 'There has to be a way to reach people like that,' I said, dipping a piece of warm pita into hummus.

"Ned took a bite of falafel. 'If you substitute the word Jew with Arab, you can hear that old man's speech practically word for word from Jews,' he said. 'I wonder if he realizes that.'

"Ned and I made a pact, sealed by hummus and falafel. Every activity we organized would have at its core the mission to uproot the hatred and bigotry gripping both our peoples. It was one thing to resist people's actions; I would never back down on my stance against occupation, settlements, and land and water expropriation. It was another thing to be against other human beings."