The objective of this document is to summarize the activities carried out by the “Combatants for Peace” movement in the second half of 2017 concerning non-violence activities.
In July 2017, members of the movement from both Israeli and Palestinian sides underwent an important and significant Non-Violence Activism workshop. The workshop, facilitated by Dr. Paula Green and Prof. Stellan Vinthagen, took place in Cyprus. Very important tools were acquired and a re-thinking process of various projects conducted by CFP was held. The workshop influenced the thinking, planning, organization and implementation of our activities in Combatants For Peace.
The movement’s activity has four main areas
- Regional group activity
- Movement activity on a regional level
- Local and regional movement activity
In addition, there is a joint activity of the steering committees, which includes the planning, organization, and implementation of field operations. In each of the four areas mentioned, there is teaching & learning, planning, organization and activism
In the past six months, since the workshop in Cyprus, a “non-violent activist way of thinking” has been involved in the learning and planning of various activities and actions. This includes meetings on the Israeli and Palestinian sides, tours we do for the general audience, discussion groups, Bi-national discussion groups, the Freedom March and activities following various events that took place in Israel and Palestine. The non-violent activist inner logic, as we learned and experienced it, is in complete harmony and goes hand in hand with CFP set of values and beliefs.
- Freedom March :
- Since the workshop, there have been three freedom marches. In every march, before we started, we conducted a “learning session” about non-violent activism and created “Affinity groups” as we were taught in the workshop. In addition, when we encountered violent responses from the IDF, Police or Palestinians/Israeli civilians that were against the march, the movement or any connection between Israeli and Palestinians we managed to respond entirely non-violently and thus create communication amongst ourselves and at times with our protestors and opposition as well. The fact that we had a “Non-Violent Activist leader” who we listened to was and extremely important step in this process.
- On line learning: Since the workshop, our activist studied two articles concerning non-violent activism. The summary of each article + the full text was available to all members and an online discussion was held on the CFP mailing list.
- On the invitations for any event we emphasize our non-violent activist approach so that people who come to the event know how to behave
- The movement discussed the difficulties women often have in the movement (and in both male dominated cultures in general), and came up with strategies to create gender balance and equality within the movement. We also read an article discussing the importance of gender equality as a strategy for non-violence.
- In ever steering committees meeting, on both the Israeli and Palestinian there is a non-violent activism session and teaching.
- The Tel Aviv – Qalqilya Group held an open meeting teaching non-violent activism during Olive picking last October.
- The Jerusalem – Jericho group had a session about non-violent activism in their meeting before they discussed plans for the playground that they have since built for Bedouin children in the Jordan Valley.
- Public Tours & Tours for Organizations: in any tour that CFP facilitates we make it a point to always engage in non-violent practices and principles, and to discuss these principles with tour participants.
- We take part in demonstrations and rallies, and collaborate with other non-violent groups to make these marches more effective. This includes, but is not limited to our monthly Freedom Marches.
- We built a children’s playground in a village that is under a threat of being demolished in the Jordan Valley.
- We join with other organizations to escort shepherds who are being threatened and bullied by settlers while herding their sheep.
- We sent a group of CFP members to talk to people who were about to establish a new settlement. In the end, many of these “would-be settlers” decided against being a part of settlement and moved back behind the green-line.
- We picked olives in the “Caged lands,” lands where Palestinians cannot access their lands. We delivered these harvests through gates to the lawful owner of the lands. We also took part in other olive picking events al through Palestine in order to protect local Palestinian farmers from violence.