NH Friends of Combatants for Peace is a group of 14 people from across the state who are members of NH Peace Action, Seacoast Peace Academy, Peace with Justice Advocates, World Affairs Council of NH, NH United Church of Christ, Temple Beth Jacob, and South Church Social Justice Associates. We came together in the fall of 2017 to bring Disturbing the Peace to the Red River Theater in Concord. Following the viewing, co-founders Souli al-Khatib and Chen Alon joined us by Skype for a Q/A that riveted the sold-out crowd. We’ve sponsored two more visits to NH, a 3 day series in May 2018 in Concord, Manchester, and Portsmouth and a one day event in February 2019 at Friends Forever in Durham. Additionally, 7 of us who have met with various Combatants on trips to Israel-Palestine with The Compassionate Listening Project in 2015, 2016, and 2018 have told the Combatants’ stories at over 25 public presentations throughout New Hampshire.
The friends of CfP in the Asheville area have been active in teaching Nonviolent communication, and brought the first Nonviolent Communication trainings to Combatants for Peace in 2016. Our group has Israeli-Americans and Palestinian-Americans, and have been active in sharing their stories locally in their community. We first brought the film, Disturbing the Peace, to Asheville in 2017, and then brought Combatants for Peace speakers to Asheville in the Winter of 2019. We also launched a three-part series to engage our community in the Spring of 2019: we screened the joint Memorial Ceremony, followed by a screening of Disturbing the Peace and Two-Sided Story. We also sent two of our local leaders to a CfP speakers training.
The Bay Area team is made up of several teams, spread out by region. We have activists in San Francisco, the East Bay, Marin County, Santa Rosa, San Mateo and Santa Cruz. In November 2017, several community members came together to co-organize our 8 day tour of the Bay. We held ten events, all throughout the Bay Area – the tour created a huge buzz in the activist community in the area. Since that time, CfP activists have been back to the Bay Area for smaller events on a few different occasions, including in 2018 and 2019. We are planning a large tour again, for winter of 2020. Our organizers have their roots in several different organizations including the Jewish-Palestinian Living room Dialogue Project, J Street Bay Area and Mindful Peace-building.
New York City has many local activists and organizers doing a lot of different work. November 4, 2018 we had two Americans (one Israeli-American and one Palestinian-Canadian) run in the NYC Marathon together on behalf of Combatants for Peace. We have also organized several tours in and through New York, most notably our New York tour in December of 2017. Our group is also proudly responsible for the AFCFP website – which we sponsored by organizing a fundraiser/dance party at the launch of American Friends in 2016. We have also partnered with the 14th Street Y and New Israel Fund to host a NYC showing of the joint Memorial Ceremony, screened in live from Tel Aviv, with local speakers in New York. Our New York Chapter recently launched in July of 2019, and we are planning to put together another speaking tour in November. Join us!
Our first activity was to host a small, private screening of the 2019 Memorial Ceremony. Next we hosted three workshops about Combatants for Peace locally, the first of which was on June 13, 2019. You can learn more about those HERE. We invited Combatants for Peace activists to speak in Philadelphia, at a local synagogue, and had well over 150 people attend the event, the room was packed to capacity. Next we will be hosting a screening of Disturbing the Peace at a local mosque.
In Los Angeles we are very focused on fundraising and education. We recently started working on a project to teach Bar and Bat Mitzvah students about the conflict, and the work Combatants for Peace is doing to resolve it. We have also been focused on local networking, connecting the Combatants to activists and donors in LA. We’ve run three speaking tours in Los Angeles in the past two years, bringing in five different activists from Palestine and Israel to speak in our community.