Tuesday, April 21, 2009

News of Palestinian and Israeli conversations in Donegal, Ireland through Combatants for Peace is being reported.

The "Combatants for Peace" movement was started jointly by Palestinians and Israelis, who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence; Israelis as soldiers in the Israeli army (IDF) and Palestinians as part of the violent struggle for Palestinian freedom. After brandishing weapons for so many years, and having seen one another only through weapon sights, we have decided to put down our guns, and to fight for peace.

Since the beginning of 2005 we have been organizing meetings between Israeli and Palestinian veterans, in which both sides tell about the violent actions that they have taken part in and about the turning point which led them to understand the limits of violence. Naturally, these meetings were fraught with many fears, however we soon learned that despite years of fear and hatred, there is more that unites us than divides. Therefore we have decided to act together in the following ways:
  • To continue with the combatants' meetings, which allow each side to understand the other's narrative, via the approach of reconciliation rather than conflict.
  • To implement an educational lecture series in public forums on both sides (universities, youth groups, schools etc.). The lectures will be given jointly by an Israeli and a Palestinian veteran, who will concentrate on the transition from violent struggle to the recognition of the limits of violence.
  • To create joint projects which educate towards non- violence.
  • To create joint frameworks in order to become familiar with the culture, history and current needs of the other nation.
  • To set up Bi-National media teams, which will act in order to influence public opinion in Israel, Palestine and the rest of the world.
  • To participate in demonstrations and other non-violent actions against the occupation as a bi-national group.

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