"I find it difficult to stay optimistic."

Bruni Weiss

Location: Cinemateque, Tel Aviv

Residence: Rishon LeZion


The encounter: I approached Bruni at a peace event in Tel Aviv of the Parents Circle Family Forum, a Palestinian-Israeli peace organization that unites bereaved families on both sides of the conflict. More than a hundred Palestinian members of the organization had come to Tel Aviv to participate in a public dialogue. I attended because I wanted to write about the organization, but when I talked to Bruni it turned out she didn't know anything about the event. She just happened to walk through, on her way out of the movie theater where she had been watching a film.

What are you doing here right now?
I just saw a documentary, The Decent One, about Heinrich Himmler. When I came out of the theater I noticed they are having this peace event here: Palestinians and Israelis are sitting in circles and talk. I stopped to listen. It's very interesting! I think it's an important step towards peace for Palestinians and Israelis to talk. We need a dialogue that comes from both sides.

How do you describe your religious or national identity?
I am secular.

Where is your family from?
My parents came from Greece. They arrived here around 1930 and settled in Rishon Lezion. I was born there. I'm a Tsabarit [native-born Israeli].

What are your hopes and expectations for the future of this land?
I find it difficult to stay optimistic. They've tried so many times to make peace, without any success. But I try not to give in to pessimism. We succeeded in making peace with Egypt and Jordan. It's a cold peace; but it's peace. Maybe there's still some hope. Maybe a peace event like this will inspire me again to believe.