“My heart has been opened to those who scare me. Zeitouna has helped me appreciate their suffering and recognize their innate goodness.”
--Jewish Zeitouna sister, Irene


“It is only through Zeitouna that I am now able to hear the voice of the “other”--her pain and her joy, realizing that it mirrors my own.”
-- Palestinian Zeitouna sister, Wadad

about the film:
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"While Israel and Palestine are not the only places in the world where people are locked into seemingly intractable conflict,” says filmmaker Laurie White, “it’s unique to this situation that the ramifications are felt worldwide, and at times with the same intensity as for those involved directly in the conflict.” For her film, refusing to be enemies-the zeitouna story, Laurie White has edited one hundred hours of footage to represent the root suffering of these two peoples and the devastating complexities generated from their histories. White documents the special bond which grows between the members of her Zeitouna dialogue group as they share cultural food and personal narratives. The camera reveals how commitment to learning and practicing dialogue in each other’s living rooms unknowingly leads to the most tender and fundamental transformations within the life of each woman. refusing to be enemies is simultaneously painful and joyous while navigating the deepest areas of the heart. As the events of the world test and fortify them, refusing to be enemies introduces audiences to larger than life heroines who are at the same time vibrantly human. Audiences are left with the seed of a belief that Zeitouna’s extraordinary feat is possible for anyone willing to learn and commit.

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