Upcoming Events

Can We Acknowledge? Reflecting on Our Histories and Narratives
October 27, 7:30-9pm ET
Sponsored by the Islamic Council of New England
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Tour to Israel and Palestine

November 3-13
All participants must provide proof of vaccination 
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Gaza 101
A 4-part Educational Series

Co-sponsored with The Arab American Insitute and Churches for Middle East Peace
February 10, 17, 24, March 3
Speakers TBA

The topic of Gaza is often fraught with tension and controversy, and inaccurate depictions of Gaza and its citizens abound. Yet, the reality on the ground is quite simple: Gazans have been living under siege in what is considered the world’s largest open-air prison for over 50 years. But Gaza is so much more than this! Gaza has an incredibly deep and rich history and culture, and understanding Gaza might hold the key to solving the conflict. This four part series will focus on four different aspects of Gaza: History and Historical significance, Culture, Politics and Economics. Join us as we discuss the facts and fictions surrounding life in Gaza and explore the territory’s complex and compelling history, culture and traditions. Join us for this four-part series and walk away with a deep and renewed new sense of hope.

Previous Events

October 2021

Activism & Advocacy

Continued Protests in Sheikh Jarrah, weekly nonviolent protests have continued every Friday in Sheikh Jarrah, using nonviolent pressure and activism to ensure that the local Palestinian families are not evicted. After years of legal and public strife, the Supreme Court presented a compromise proposal regarding family eviction claims in Sheikh Jarrah. Under the proposal, three of the Palestinian families will receive first-generation sheltered housing status, the conditions of which will be maintained for two generations to come, and one second-generation housing status, which will be maintained for one generation. The compromise offers additional protections for the tenants for the first 15 years (or until the completion of a real estate settlement) that will prevent eviction on various grounds including new building plans for the area. In its proposal, the court also leaves an opening for proving the ownership of Palestinian families that will contradict the ownership of the settlers, as part of a land settlement procedure. Palestinian families, for their part, will be required to recognize the settlers’ current ownership of the homes and pay them annual rent.
The parties will have to decide in the coming month whether to accept the proposal, or reject it and leave the final decision to the Supreme Court. The achievements of this compromise proposal – including the temporary protection of the tenants’ right to their home and the door to proving conflicting ownership – are due to the persistence of families and residents in Sheikh Jarrah and East Jerusalem, and the long-running Palestinian public struggle against Israeli activists and the international community. The limitation of the proposal, and the injustice that also cries out from it – must be attributed to the duty of a racist and discriminatory system of law, of an occupying government, which allows Jews to claim houses they owned before 1948 in the Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem, blocks this path for Palestinians who lost their homes in 1948 On them another expulsion. As long as the Israeli legal system continues to avoid challenging these laws and conventions in depth, no real justice will be done in East Jerusalem.

Anniversary Remembrance & Protest, Oct 12, CfP activists participated in a peaceful protest to mark the anniversary of the death of Aisha al-Rabi, a Palestinian woman killed by Jewish settler teens, south of Nablus on October 12, 2018.

Humsa, Oct 10. CfPeace activists helped villagers move haystacks to protect their animal’s feed from attacks by the military.

Testimony at the Knesset, Oct 12. Tuly Flint spoke at a hearing on settlers’ and army’s violence organized by the Knesset’s Committee on Foreign policy and Security. Outside the Knesset, CfPeace joined the demonstration to protest settler violence. Watch Tuly’s testimony.

Protesting the Israeli Government’s decision that six human rights groups be labeled as “terrorist” groups. CfP co-signed a joint statement with more than twenty organizations to condemn the decision Read. We also sent a letter to Congresswoman Betty McCollum asking her to condemn the decision, and to President Biden.

Media

Olive Branch Podcast
with Kochav Shachar, CfP Israeli Education Director
Listen

Forbes Magazine
A spotlight on Rana Salman, CfP Executive Director
Read

Leadership Training

Theater Group Meeting, Oct 8. Theater of the Oppressed uses theater to activists better understanding the reality in which they live and engage in a deep personal healing. It is also a powerful activist tool that can be used to shift society.

Youth Group Meeting, Oct 8-9. Workshop on advocacy through the use of social media.

Talk with Women Wage Peace, Oct 13. Combatants for Peace activists Tuly Flint and Osama Elewat shared their personal stories and experience organizing with the leadership of Women Wage Peace.

Nonviolent Communication Training, Oct 16. Workshop for activists in our Beit Jala office.

Advocacy Workshop for New Members, Oct 22. Thirteen new activists to CfP participated in an Advocacy workshop, learning the tools and techniques Combatants for Peace’s uses to educate people about the occupation abroad. German Friends of CfP and American Friends of CfP both participated in the training.

Education

Youth Education Program, Oct 10, Rafa Mismar and Galia Golan shared their personal stories, and a bit about Combatants for Peace, why the movement is special and the work we are doing. They spoke to to two separate classes at a British high school, and then answered questions from the students.

Activism with Austrians, Oct 24, CfP welcomed a group of 15 Austrians visiting the region to our offices in Beit Jala. CfP Director, Rana Salman and activist, Shai Goren met with the group after they participated in an olive harvest with one family who lives near Bethlehem.

The Water Campaign.

Depriving Palestinian families of water forces them to leave their homes and villages, making way for settlement expansion via land theft. This deliberate, discriminatory policy of forced displacement must end. Water rights are Human Rights, and Human Rights are non-negotiable.

Sept 12, we released a video about water access.
Sept 15, we published two articles about the situation. One about a local Shepherd named Ahmed who we were organizing to bring water to, and the second about the political situation over all.
Sept 17, we worked to bring a family water in the South Hebron Hills. By bringing these communities water, we give them the opportunity to stay on their land and in their homes. As a result our activists were brutally attacked by the Israeli military, while attempting to deliver the water. Seven activists were arrested and detained, while six others (including a journalist), were beaten and injured. Read more in our section below on media. Read More about the attack.
Sept 24, 16 representatives of European countries, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Switzerland participated in a field visit today in At-Tuwani and neighboring communities to learn about the water issue. As part of the tour, the diplomats listened to local inhabitants and activists speak about the harsh reality they live in. During one stop in the village of Susya, the delegation witnessed a cohort of aggressive settlers who provoked and attacked the Palestinian villagers, just one week after a new playground for the local children had been inaugurated.
Sept 28, In retaliation for the media and press attention that our water campaign generated, 70 settlers attacked the village we were trying to help, killing livestock, destroying water infrastructure, smashing cars and breaking windows in villagers homes. Settlers threw stones at children, putting one young boy aged three, into the hospital with bleeding in his brain. The military joined the attack by tear-gassing the Palestinian families.
Sept 29, We held a public briefing call in Hebrew, with translation to English and Arabic, to teach Israelis and Internationals about the situation on the ground. Included as speakers were the activists leading the campaign along with Human Rights Lawyer, Michael Sfard.
October 1, The United Nations called for equitable distribution of water between Israelis and Palestinians, in a report delivered Friday during the 48th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The report was authored by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her office.
October 2, Combatants for Peace organized a nonviolent protest to demand both equality in water access and an end to settler/military violence. Over 600+ activists marched peacefully through the South Hebron HIlls. The military stood nearby, but did not attack. Partners for this event included All That’s Left, Breaking the Silence, Mothers Against Violence, Machsom Watch, Peace Now, The Jordan Valley Coalition and Standing Together. We were also joined by journalists and several members of Knesset including Mossi Raz and Ofer Cassif. Watch the video, produced by @HebronWatch about the event.
October 3, After the violent attack of the settlers, in coalition with the NGO’s above, we put large ads on 127 public busses, saying “A Three Year old was injured in a terror attack. The Israeli settlers who did it are running free. Gantz, Bar’Lev, this is on you.” The ads were removed after 24 hours, due to pressure from right-wing groups.
October 3, It was announced by a local reporter that the Army General in charge of the South Hebron Hills, General Yehuda Fuchs, spoke to the Leader of the village of Al Mofakara, outside of At-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills (the same village as above), and promised equal water and infrastructure to the surrounding settlements!
October 4, Combatants for Peace issued a letter to the United Nations, signed by over 30 NGO’s, calling for more than words, and demanding International pressure on Israel to secure water rights for Palestinians.

The Water Campaign in the News

Haaretz

Handcuffed and Blindfolded, Veteran of Israel’s Top Commando Unit Now Fights the Occupation

The illegal settler outpost has running water. Its Palestinian neighbors don’t. This is apartheid at its starkest

Israel Is Crushing My Right to Protest Its Occupation

Israeli soldiers attack activists, Palestinians bringing water to West Bank village

An Israeli Officer Attacks Leftists, and Rightists Complain About ‘Tying the Soldiers’ Hands’

IDF to reprimand officer filmed assaulting left wing activists in West Bank

Settler Attack on Palestinians in Hebron Hills Serves Israeli Policy

Palestinian Villagers Stunned by ‘Worst Ever’ Settler Attack Fear They’ll Be Back

Israel Declares War on Palestinian Water

Deep in the West Bank, You Can See New Israeli Antisemitism

When the Israeli General Met the Palestinian Farmer

Hundreds March in West Bank to Demand Water for Palestinian Village After Settler Attack

Israeli Officer’s Promotion Delayed After Assaulting Activists, Palestinians

Jerusalem Post

IDF probs army violence against left wing activists in South Hebron Hills

The IDF must be accountable for violence against protesters

US, EU Condemns Settler Attack on Palestinian Village in Hebron Hills

UN calls for water equity between Israelis and Palestinians

Wounding of Palestinian child is on you, Left tells Gantz, Bar Lev

IMEMC

Updated: “Six Injured including a Journalist, as soldiers attack water convoy south of Hebron

Scores of Activists March South of Hebron Demanding Water rights

Times of Israel:

IDF Officer seen shoving left wing demonstrator left off with censure

The Jewish Exponent: IDF Officer to be reprimanded after injuring West Bank activists

61+: Israeli military to reprimand officer filmed assaulting left wing activist

+972: The brutality of denying water to Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills

The AP: Israeli officer punished for violence against protesters

The Markaz Review: Water-Deprived Palestinians Endure Settler Rampage, while Army Punishes NGO Protesters

Water Justice in Palestine, blog

September 2021

Activism & Advocacy

Jordan Valley Coalition, Our activists walked with Shepherds, protecting them from settler violence.

Protecting Humsa, Sept 4 & 13. CfPeace activists joined activists from the Jordan Valley coalition to help the villagers from Humsa move their haystacks and animal feed out of a recently declared Israeli military “Firing Zone.” Moving this feed will protect the village from further harassment from the military.

Building a Fence, Sept 10. CfPeace activists helped build a fence to protect the property of a Palestinian family in Al Khader. Israeli construction in Occupied Palestine always comes with land confiscation. With the expansion of road 60, hundreds of dunams were confiscated from Palestinian farmers on the pretext of security. CfP activists out of Bethlehem helped one farmer draw a line in the sand. Together they built a fence around his land, protecting his olive trees and vineyards from settler theft and vandalism and telling occupiers it is not theirs to take!

Continued Protests in Beita-Eviatar, Nonviolent protests to reclaim the village continue weekly, and Combatants for Peace activists are on the ground, showing support with the villagers.

Continued Protests in Sheikh Jarrah, weekly nonviolent protests have continued in Sheikh Jarrah, using nonviolent pressure and activism to ensure that the local Palestinian families are not evicted.

New Mexico Peace Conference, Sept 19, The New Mexico Chapter of AFCFP celebrated the International Day of Peace by bringing our work to their local community at the community’s Peace Fair.

Leadership Training

Welcoming New Activists Meeting, Sept 11. A meeting with about 60 Palestinian activists from various CfP groups and a delegation of Israeli activists took place in Talitha Kumi, Beit Jala. The history and vision of our movement was presented, and group discussions gave a chance for the participants to share their personal expectations and goals in joining Combatants for Peace.

Publications and Talks

Forbes Magazine
An article about powerful women change-makers in Israel and Palestine, featuring Combatants for Peace Director Rana Salman
Read

Olive Branch Podcast
with Nancy Stern, American Friends of CfPeace NY Chapter member
Listen

August 2021

Activism & Advocacy

Rebuilding Humsa, August 4, 5, 24, CfPeace activists brought a new water tank to the community, after the previous one was destroyed by the Israeli Civil Administration. CfPeace also brought two new generators. Appeal to the ICC, Combatants for Peace filed an appeal with the International Criminal Court (Read the Letter) to investigate the destruction of Palestinian homes in Humsa, another war crime by the Israeli army. The Israeli army’s repeated demolition of the community and confiscation of villagers’ property is an attempt to expel shepherding communities like Humsa. Meanwhile the military has no problem moving settlers in around them. Read more in Haaretz. Radio Bethlehem also published the efforts taken by CfPeace (article is in Arabic)

Theater Group Returns from Covid Hiatus, Our theater group just met for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic! After a long hiatus, these activists and artists are excited to be planning new productions of the innovative “Theater of the Oppressed,” which engages audience participants in the show to imagine the change Palestinians and Israelis need. The group has started meeting regularly in August, with two productive planning meetings so far this month.

Criminalizing Harassment in the Jordan Valley, Combatants for Peace activists captured a video of Israeli soldiers harassing Palestinian shepherds. The video was posted online, and as a result of the publicity, the Israeli soldiers were put on trial for their actions. The power of public attention really can make a difference. Watch the video. Combatants for Peace activists walked weekly with Shepherds in the Jordan Valley, protecting them from settler and military violence. This included in the villages of Ein Sakoot and Hamra.

Continued Protests in Beita-Eviatar, Nonviolent protests to reclaim the village continue weekly, and Combatants for Peace activists are on the ground, showing support with the villagers every time. We will not stop until the village is safe.

Continued Protests in Sheikh Jarrah, weekly nonviolent protests have continued in Sheikh Jarrah, using nonviolent pressure and activism to ensure that the local Palestinian families are not evicted.

Challenging Militarism Seminar, The military exerts incredible influence on Israeli society. Kids are taught that joining the army when their mandated service period comes makes them heroes, that it’s the best thing for them and the country. The military and its policies are often seen as beyond criticism. But the instillation of militarist ideology from an early age changes the way Israeli society thinks. Kids turn into adults carrying harmful ideas of Palestinians, of gender and masculinity, as well as the conflict-perpetuating idea that force is always justified as a response to problems. The Challenging Militarism seminar series worked with Israeli Educators to unpack the consequences of Israel placing the military at the center of its society through lectures and discussions. Educators discussed ways to uproot militaristic culture and thinking—with education taking center stage in the effort. CfP activists joined with @NewProfile to help educators develop the tools to push back against militarism in society and its influence on the Israeli youth they serve.

Guided Tour of Haifa, Aug 21. A group of 20 Israelis joined a guided tour of Haifa. Haifa was the next stop on our North Regional Group’s tours of Palestinian villages and mixed cities. The tour was led by Palestinian citizen of Israel & tour guide, Alaa Hamdan. It was capped off with a lecture by architect and artist Souad Makhoul. Participants were guided through the city’s past and present. They encountered historical moments from Ottoman and British Mandate period relationships between Palestinians and Jewish immigrants, the massive flight of Palestinians from the city in the 1948 Nakba, up to present day discriminatory planning policies that even today pressure Palestinians of Haifa to leave. These are often uncomfortable subjects, but ones that must be considered and understood. The work done by tours such as these to bring them to light is essential for the joint Palestinian and Israeli push for justice and peace.

Talks & Interviews

A Virtual Book Circle with Souli Khatib
Featuring his new biography, “In This Place Together” by Penina Eilberg-Schwartz
Interviewed by Hands of Peace Director, Scott Rasmussen
August 22
Watch

Transforming Swords into Plowshares: Peacemaking & Reconciliation
Hosted by Partners for Progressive Israel
with Bassam Aramin & Robi Damelin (Parent’s Circle – Families Forum) and Tuly Flint & Ahmed Helou (Combatants for Peace)
August 22
Link coming soon.

Highlighting Women’s Leadership
with Rana Salman, c0-Executive Director of Combatants for Peace, Rawan Odeh, Executive Director of New Story Leadership and Huda Abuarquob, Regional Director of ALLMEP
August 3
Watch

A Discussion on Antisemitism and anti-Palestinian racism
featuring Peter Beinart
in conversation with CfPeace Board member, Nizar Farsakh
August 12
Watch

Olive Branch Podcast
with Aziz Abu Sarah, CfPeace Board member
Listen

Webinar with European Students, August 12. CfPeace activists spoke with students of “FFIPP Europe”, an Educational Network for Human Rights in Palestine/Israel.

Interview with Souli Khatib
Published by ZFD Forum
Read

Philadelphia Screening of the Nakba Ceremony
August 30. The Philly chapter of American Friends of CfP screened the Joint Nakba Ceremony via zoom for their community. They also talked about our new book, ‘In This Place Together.’

Leadership Training

The Freedom School, August 8. Combatants for Peace welcomes the fourth cohort of the Freedom School. The Freedom School is a fellowship for young Israeli adults to focus their learning on the situation under occupation and gain the skills and tools they need to be activists and advocates in their communities fighting for human rights and equality. Classes began by reassessing this year’s air assault on the Gaza Strip, its context and consequences for life in the crowded, impoverished, and besieged region. Every year the school brings several cohorts of budding Israeli activists to empower them as activists and connect them to Palestinians working in nonviolent resistance to the occupation. Over the next few weeks, these students will have many educational experiences, meetings with activists, and lessons in Arabic. With these tools and relationships, the cohort will join a growing community of committed activists combatting the occupation’s injustice through nonviolence.

Friendship Across Borders Initiative, August 8. This is a German initiative, bringing together young Palestinians. They meet regularly in the Combatants for Peace office in Beit Jala and coordination between the Germans and the youth is aided by one of our CfPeace Palestinian leaders. The goal is to empower these young people to be nonviolent activist leaders.

Nonviolent Communication Training, Aug 27-28. The workshop was held in the city of Beit Jala and had over 15 activists in attendance. During the workshop, the activists developed an action plan for the next two years. Dr. Amal Al-Hadhwa, a prominent Palestinian NVC coach, supervised the workshop and the development of the work plan. The NVC group is one of the most active groups in the Combatants for Peace movement, and is sponsored by the German ZFD Foundation.

Regional Group Meetings, August 22 & 23. Activism planning meetings took place in the North group, which includes activists from the cities of Nablus, Tulkarem, Jenin, Salfit and Haifa as well as in the Central group, which includes Ramallah & Jerusalem.

Youth Group Meetings, The Palestinian Youth Group takes action! Its members are following through after deciding to make online and social media campaigning a priority. The launch of their campaign is planned for November 29th, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. While they prepare and train to implement the campaign, these 17 young men and women from all across Palestine—Bardala, Kardala, Tubas, Nablus, Beita, Bethlehem, and Hebron—are staying active in their communities, raising awareness and resisting the damage done by Israeli occupation.

July 2021

The Joint Nakba Ceremony
Personal testimonies from everyday people replaced political statements, providing an in-depth and emotional account of historical events. Acknowledging and honoring this pain the only path to forging a peaceful future with true equality, freedom and dignity for all. The date commemorates the 1948 Palestinian exodus from Lod.
Monday, July 12
Watch

Talks, Interviews & Publications

Civil Rights Here & There
with Eldra Jackson III & CfPeace Board member Aziz Abu Sarah.
A talk about the intersectionality between racial justice work in the USA and the movement to free Palestine. Eldra Jackson is an activist and advocate who spent over two decades in Folsom Maximum Security Prison (in California) before committing his life to racial justice and men’s empowerment work with his NGO, Inside Circle. July 22.
Watch

Moral Imagination
by Daniel Moses
Read

Notes from an Optimist
Highlight on Rana Salman, our Palestinian Executive Director
Highlight on Avia Hirshfeld, a youth activist in the Freedom School
Highlight on Rameh Tayseer, one of our Palestinian young adult community leaders

Peace with Penny
An Interview with Elie Avidor (July 6)
And an Interview with Ahmed Helou (July 13)

New Internationalist
Alternative Combat featuring CfPeace Palestinian Director Rana Salman and Israeli Coordinator, Tuly Flint
Read

Al Jazeera
Its Time for a Reboot of US-Israeli Relations
By CfPeace Israeli Director, Yonatan Gher and Etai Mack

Leadership Training

All Movement Meeting, July 12. The movement met all together, in our largest gathering since the beginning of Covid. Approximately 100 people gathered together to watch the Joint Nakba Ceremony, preceded by an all-movement meeting to discuss strategic impact and effective organizing moving forward.

Youth Group meeting, The Palestinian Youth Group met on July 13 to plan future fieldwork, education initiatives, and social media strategy. Including building a strategy for long-term activities & community involvement. The participants divided their interests into three local fields: first activity is the Jordan Valley and the confiscation of  Palestinian  lands in the  occupied West Bank. Secondly,  education and communication with children about the importance of community activities to prepare a generation that can talk about the necessity of ending the occupation. Third, conveying the voice of Palestinian youth to the world. Combatants for Peace organizes our youth group in cooperation with the ZFD Forum, with the goal of preparing the next Palestinian generation to be leaders in peaceful community building and local activism.

Bethlehem Group meeting, the Bethlehem group welcomed new members and discussed how to effectively conduct non-violent resistance and their strategy to combat settlement expansion in the Bethlehem governate.

Sumud: Helping Communities Stay on their Land

Continued Protests in Beita-Eviatar, July 9, 16 & 23. We continued in our campaign to dismantle this illegal settlement, in partnership with Breaking the Silence, Yesh Din, Standing Together, Rabbis for Human Rights, and Machsom Watch. We called on Knesset members, particularly left wing MKs and members of the governing coalition to move against the “compromise” on the illegal settlement Eviatar built on stolen Palestinian land. We wrote a legal brief describing the human rights violations of the settlement, as it was built on stolen Palestinian land, and petitioned Mr. Karim Asad Ahmad Khan at the International Criminal Court to launch a criminal investigation of this war crime. On July 14 CfPeace activists demonstrated in front of the Defense Minister’s home to protest the illegal “compromise” to establish an army outpost in the vacated Evyatar settlement and thus leave the buildings standing. We also put a very large ad in Haaretz denouncing this so-called “compromise”. The “compromise” lends undue legitimacy to the occupation and the settler project, as well as misuses Israeli military resources and makes an already tense situation more dangerous. CfPeace sent as well a letter to Israeli ministers to request that no taxpayers’ money is invested in this “fait accompli” of occupation. Activists continued to join local villagers in Beita weekly to protest the theft of land.

The Fight to save Sheikh Jarrah, Throughout July the families of Sheikh Jarrah awaited a court decision on the eviction. Nothing is final yet, but for now the proposed compromise would give the families “protected resident” status and hence protect them from any immediate eviction. However, they would have to agree that the settlers are the legal owners of their homes, and pay rent to the settler organization Nahalat Shimon – the same organization that was attempting to push them out of their homes in the first place. This limited acknowledgement of the families right to their homes has bought the families time, but the opposition by Nahalat Shimon sends a clear signal that as long as there is any ambiguity over the ownership of the land they will continue their efforts to force Palestinians out of their homes. Until the rightful Palestinian ownership of this land is clearly and unequivocally established, we continue the vital nonviolent struggle to save Sheikh Jarrah. Together in coalition with other peace groups in the field, we have engaged in and helped organize weekly nonviolent protests over the last four months, and this past month we helped organized two tours for Israelis to help them understand the situation on the ground.

Rebuilding Humsa, Activists traveled to Humsa after the Israeli army again demolished the community’s homes (again) and stole the residents’ equipment. Activists worked to restore confiscated possessions to the residents. CfPeace brought new generators to two Humsa families after their sole electricity source, solar panels, were destroyed by the Israeli civil administration, also for the third time.  We will keep on providing these shepherd families all their need, physical and mental to help them withstand the Israeli pressure to move out of their grazing areas, in the effort to annex area C. Members of Knesset Gaby Lasky and Mossi Raz were in the delegation visiting Humsa on June 9.

Education about the Occupation 

Education for Educators, We facilitated our Land Above the Mountains seminar, a three day transformative tour and working group aimed at Israeli educators. Twenty educators participated in a tour of the West Bank, listening to the stories of Palestinian families, and learned about the reality of occupation and oppression. This transformative experience serves as an illuminating encounter for many in the Israeli educational sector, who lack an accurate and authentic understanding of the unjust conditions across Palestine. Through three days of eye-opening experiences and insightful discussion, these educators gain a new perspective and are trained as advocates in their own right, enabling them to teach and transform a new generation of Israeli youth.

Ben and Jerry buzz, July 21. After Ben & Jerry’s announced that they would stop sales in the Settlements. CfP publicly voiced support on our media channels and sent a letter to the Unilever company to congratulate them on the decision.

June 2021

Talks & Interviews

NPR
Listen

Interview on the Facebook News Channel
With CfPeace activist Rafa Mismar alongside a speaker from Breaking the Silence
Watch

PowerToFly ‘s free virtual summit Diversity Reboot 2021:
Pride At Work, June 8th-11th!
with CfPeace co-Director, Yonatan Gher as a featured speaker
Watch

A briefing on Sheikh Jarrah
with CfPeace activist Shai Goren, and Sheikh Jarrah community leader Saleh Diab.
The vulnerable community of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem awaits a decision on their upcoming evictions, this webinar outlines the situation and what we can do to help.
Thursday, June 10
Watch the Recording

VIP Event for Monthly donors: Where do we go from here as a movement?
With CfPeace Movement leaders Tuly Flint and Jamil Qassas
June 22
Sign up to be a monthly donor to gain access to this recording!

A Talk with New Hampshire Peace Action
with CfPeace activists, Ahmed Helou and Elie Avidor
Watch

Notes from an Optimist
An interview with AFCfP Board member Gili Getz and Palestinian Director, Rana Salman
Read

Lecture with Former President of the Knesset Avrum Burg
“A Situation Briefing”
This event was private, please reach out to Beth@afcfp.org if you would like a copy of the recording.

A Guided Virtual Tour of Jerusalem: An Activist’s Perspective
with CfPeace leaders, Shai Goren and Aziz Abu Sarah. Tune in for an insider’s look at Jerusalem and a frank conversation with CfPeace leaders on the history and the current politics that are gaining relevance on a national stage. Shai and Aziz are both licensed and well established tour guides and they will give an in depth background of Jerusalem’s history, politics and let us know the critical role Jerusalem can play in finally solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Wednesday, June 30
Contact us if you’d like to watch the recording.

 

Leadership Training

Nonviolent Communication Seminar, June 1 & 12. Combatants for Peace hosted a series of  Non-Violent Communication training workshops with Dr. Amal Al-Hudwa. The activists are aiming to strategize compassionate communication techniques to implement in their non-violent resistance against Israeli occupation forces.

Youth Group Workshop, June 5. The workshop was held in Hebron, for the Southern Youth group to discuss outreach and networking amongst Palestinian youth. We planned our activism and heard from senior CfPeace leader, Kholod

Bethlehem Group, Planning Meeting. June 19, Meeting organized by local activists in the Beit Jala office to discuss plans for future activism.

Sumud: Helping Palestinians Stay on their land

Campaign to Save Sheikh Jarrah, Friends of Combatants for Peace in the USA sent over 700 letters to Congress, American Ambassadors and the White House asking them to save the village, threatened by imminent demolition from a right-wing settler group. We also help a briefing on the situation for internationals, and participated in weekly protests every Friday in Jerusalem. During the marches, protesters demanded that the Israeli government stop its arbitrary policies of eviction and expulsion against Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

Campaign to Save Beita, June 18 & 25. CfP activists participated in the protest in Beita (close to Nablus) to oppose land confiscations of Palestinian family homes and farms that have been stolen/seized in recent weeks to build the illegal settlement of Eviatar. Gatherings were violently dispersed by the Israeli army. We joined with the local villagers in protesting against the theft of Palestinian land by settlers who established a new illegal outpost (of no less than 50 structures!). The new outpost was built on Palestinian farm-land and is being protected by the Israeli military. The settlers brought several young families, including lots of children, which makes evicting them even harder. At the protest were hundreds of Palestinians, demonstrating on a hill opposite the new outpost. The military tried to disperse the crowd, even though the demonstration maintained hundreds of yards of distance from the outpost. The army used tear gas shot by both the soldiers and released from a drone high above the crowd.  The cartriges fell on an Red Crescent ambulance and shattered its glass.  Some demonstrators where taken to a nearby hospital from the effect of the irritant gas.  Heavy black smoke spread through the valley after Israeli stun grenades ignited nearby olive trees. Palestinians expressed their anger by burning large tires.  Several Palestinian youth directed stones to the soldiers using slingshots.  The army responded with rubber bullets and three Palestinians were wounded, one seriously.

Jordan Valley Coalition, June 19, Cfpeace activists helped build a water pool used by Palestinian shepherds for their herds in Ein Sachot in the Jordan Valley, where water is scarce and the vast majority of it is used by local settlements. Activists also walked with Shepherds in the villages of Hamra and Makhul, protecting them from the violence of the local settlers and Israeli military. CfPeace activists also helped secure the release of a Palestinian shepherd from the Ofer prison, who was detained after he was harassed by an Israeli settler.

Advocacy, Activism and Education

Sign on Road 6, the major highway between Tel Aviv to Haifa. The sign was written in giant letters, across the top of a bridge where it couldn’t be missed by any passing drivers: “Real Change = Equality”

Campaign to label settlement products in Israeli stores. CfPeace activists launched a “sticker” campaign throughout Israel, going into supermarkets with big red stickers in order to identify settlement products so consumers could see what they are buying. CfPeace activist, Itamar Feigenbaum also published an article in the Israeli newspaper, Maariv, about the need for all settlement products to be properly labeled in the Israeli market. Products made in Israeli settlements in Palestine are marketed in Israel and abroad as products produced in Israel. In the US, labeling settlement products as “made in Israel” was one of the last acts of the Trump administration, one President Biden has not yet undone. It’s a matter of transparency. Advertising these settlement-made products as produced within the country of Israel is deliberate manipulation, hiding their involvement in the occupation and in many cases the exploitation of Palestinian laborers who farm or create these goods. We sent a letter to the Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry and the new Minister of Health to demand that they start enforcing the law in Israel. Our activists also undertook a sticker campaign to label settlement-produced products in Israeli supermarkets. Our sticker reads “produced in occupied Palestine.” Read the Haaretz article about this campaign.

Publication in the Israeli media outlet, Ynet, an opinion piece by CfPeace director Yonatan Gher about the new Israeli governing coalition. Read (Hebrew only).

Meeting with UN official, Fakhira Halloun, June 15 with the Peace community’s women leadership including Rana Salman, Combatants for Peace’s Executive Director.

Screening of Disturbing the Peace for youth. June 18. Combatants for Peace hosted a group of Israeli, Palestinian and German students in our Beit Jala office, inviting them for a film screening of Disturbing the Peace. Afterwards two Combatants for Peace activists shared their personal stories.

Tour of Akka June 26, CfP activists organized a tour of the coastal mixed city of ‘Akka in northern Israel to learn directly from residents about the fighting that happened alongside the attack on Gaza. It was incredibly important to hear how daily life and relationships between Jewish and Palestinian citizens in the city were affected.

Anti-occupation march, June 5th. CfPeace activists marched alongside thousands of protesters in Tel Aviv demanding an end to the occupation and that we save the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. See photos

May 2021

Education & Advocacy

“New-Profile” Launch, May 5, the kickoff meeting of the new educational series that will discuss the militaristic culture in Israel and how to overcome it. The series will be eight months with twenty young Israeli participants.

Campaign demanding labeling of Settlement products, launched May 5. Combatants for Peace kicked off  a campaign demanding that all products that are from the West Bank or Golan Heights are labeled as such in the Israeli market.

Letter to President Biden. May 25. We submitted a request to President Joe Biden to help us prevent the next war. According to the current agreement between the two countries, the US has pledged to provide $38 billion in foreign aid to Israel between 2019 and 2028. The aid is provided to support Israel’s security as the two countries share strategic goals in the Middle East and a commitment to democratic values. In reality some of this aid has been used to support Israel’s domination over, and oppression of, the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and within Israel’s borders. In the context of the recent war on Gaza, it can be assumed that the US aid has contributed to Israel committing war crimes. We ask President Biden to condition the US financial aid to Israel on it fulfilling its commitments to international law and to avoid gross violation of human rights. Israel is dependent on US foreign aid and could not hold its strong army without it, and President Biden has the power to hold Israel accountable. If the US would discontinue its aid to Israel when Israel uses it for foul purposes, such as bombarding civilian areas or illegally evicting Palestinians for Jews to take over their homes, we believe that Israel’s actions of oppression and occupation would suffer a (much needed) severe hit. Read the full letter here.

Letter to the Israeli Minister of Public Security and the General Prosecutor, May 31. Calling o an immediate cessation of the operation “Law and Order” targeting Palestinians living in Israel. We called for an end to police brutality, arrests meant to intimidate activists (rather than based on any crime) and we asked for care to be taken by police to investigate crime in Arab neighborhoods (which is often left unchecked), and communicate with respect and cooperation with Arab leadership in these communities.

Protests and Demonstrations

Protest In Jerusalem, May 7, 14, 15, 21, 28. Combatants for Peace participated in the weekly marches advocating for Sheikh Jarrah residents in Jerusalem. During the marches, protesters demanded that the Israeli government stop its arbitrary policies of eviction and expulsion against Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Before the protest on May 7, the government closed all entrances to Sheikh Jarrah to prevent the march and spread many barriers in the neighborhood. Soldiers arrested citizens of the neighborhood after they tried to participate in the weekly march. Among the detainees on May 7 was Saleh Abu Dhiab, who had been injured two days ago after soldiers stormed his house in Sheikh Jarah and assaulted him, which led to him being taken to the hospital for treatment. CFP will continue to fight peacefully as we stand in solidarity with the people of Sheikh Jarrah. On May 14, protests expanded to Taibeh also. On May 15, we protested on Ein Chemed Bridge, demanding the protection of Sheikh Jarrah. On May 21 the protest expanded to Bethlehem (see the Freedom March information below).

Anti-War demonstrations. Called throughout Israel, May 11. Activists participated in urgent demonstrations in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and across Israel protesting the war, the rockets and demanding an immediate cease fire.

Freedom March, May 21. Outside of Bethlehem. Combatants for Peace was joined by Standing Together and Breaking the Silence to demand a stop to the War on Gaza and to stop the Sheikh Jarrah evictions. Two members of the Israeli parliament (Moshe Raz and Ofer Kseif) joined protestors. When activists tried to march on the Hussan roundabout south of Bethlehem, soldiers met our nonviolent protesters with violence and arrested eight activists after declaring the area a closed military zone. All activists have since been released on bail.

Protest in Tel Aviv, May 22. Combatants for Peace activists joined in a protest organized by Breaking the Silence and Standing Together. Thousands of people gathered to demand an end to the Siege on Gaza and to stop the Sheikh Jarrah evictions. Read more about this protest in Haaretz.

Protest at Ofer Prison, May 31, calling for dropping all charges against Palestinian nonviolence activist, Sami Al Hureini. See below for more information on Sami and his arrest.

Jordan Valley

Walking with Shepherds, May 25, accompaniment of shepherds in Halat Makhul, north of the settlement of Ro’i. Activists walked with shepherds from Hamra, Farsia and Nueme/Duyuk. There has also been organizing to help Palestinian farmers harvest their corps, free from settler violence.

Construction instead of destruction, May 28 Activists aided in construction work in the village of Samra. Later that day, activists filed a police report about settler violence & attacks on local residents in the village of Hilweh, where settlers were attempting to sieze a water source from the local community and prevent their access to the spring.

 

Interviews, Webinars and Publications: 

Interview on BBC

Good Morning Europe

ZDF (Germany)

Radio 24 (Italy)

Interview with David Anderson

May 15, Publication on the Army’s code of conduct, demanding that young soldiers refuse to follow orders in Gaza, as required under intentional law preventing soldiers from carrying out war crimes.

A Briefing on the War
What brought us to this recent round of violence? Join us for an in-depth analysis with CfPeace leaders: Israeli activist Shai Goren, and Palestinian Board member, Aziz Abu Sarah. Together they discuss the factors that led us to this recent round of violence and the political pressures that sparked it. When we understand what led us here, we can understand how to change course and build a different future. Watch

Voices From Gaza.
The media so often talks about Gaza, but rarely do we get to hear from Gazans themselves. When we talk about people, instead of with them, this leads to further dehumanization and fear. Listen to these two powerful speakers in this unique, Palestinian-led pannel. Both of our main speakers are from Gaza, Cfpeace activist Ahmed Helou, alongside author/speaker and young mother, Haneen. Together they share their personal journeys, their experiences and their thoughts/feelings about the situation in Gaza. Please be aware, this conversation won’t be easy for everyone. That’s OKAY. We’re not insisting you agree with everything that is said, we’re just asking you to listen with an open heart. Watch

Book Launch!
“In this Place Together” a biography of Combantants for Peace founder, Sulaiman Khatib. The talk was held with Souli and  Author Penina Eilberg-Schwartz. Hosted together by Combatants for Peace, ALLMEP, Seeds of Peace, Encounter, T’ruah, Americans for Peace Now, J Street, J Street U, Ameinu, American Friends of the Parents Circle – Familes Forum, Willy Brandt Center, B8 of Hope, IKAR, The Sisterhood of Salaam/Shalom. Watch

Leadership & Community Building

Palestinian Youth Group. May 1, Educational Webinar for youth about the situation in Sheikh Jarrah, the postponement of the Palestinian elections, and how they can become activists in their communities. On May 6, we held a second workshop for youth in Hebron.

Women’s Group Leadership workshop, May 6

Nonviolence Communication Workshop, May 8

All Movement Meeting, May 15. The community met to process the current violence and reconnect, planning next steps together.

April 2021

The Joint Memorial Ceremony!

April 13 – Yom Hazikaron. The Joint Israeli-Palestinian Joint Memorial Ceremony! The largest Israeli-Palestinian peace event in history. The Ceremony boasted of over 280,000 participants live! With 110 partnering and sponsoring organizations worldwide. Together we declare that war and occupation are not an act of fate, but are rather a human choice – and we can make another choice!
Watch this historic event.

Joint Mourning and Resistance:  The Making of the Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony a talk with Galia Galili and Arab Aramin, Sponsored by Partners for Progressive Israel. April 7

A Joint Memorial Conversation, with CfPeace activist Adam Rabee and Parents Circle member Gili Meiser
April 5. This talk was in Hebrew.

Sumud: Helping Palestinian communities stay on their land

Solidarity with farmers in Al Walaja. April 3. The Bethlehem group of Combatants for Peace supported a farmer for whom the military has made it difficult to work his land. The farmer lives on the outside (West Bank side) of the Apartheid wall, where his land is inside the wall, so getting to his land is a constant struggle. The occupation has also destroyed olive trees, irrigation lines and more in his farm.  Our activists came out for a work day on the land to express solidarity and support his right to stay on his land.

Solidarity visit to a village under threat. April 12 & 27. As part of the Jordan Valley Coalition, Combatants for Peace activists delivered a second new water tank to a community who’s original water tank had been damaged by the Israeli Army.  Later in the month activists brought fresh food, clothing, medicine and even toys to  help these same families survive on their land despite the constant demolitions they are facing in their community.

Jerusalem Demonstrations, April 9, 16, 23 & 30. CfP activists joined a demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem against the illegal eviction of Palestinian families. Demanding the right of Jerusalem residents to be allowed to stay in their own homes when faced with the threat of demolition. Home demolitions for Palestinian families are very common in East Jerusalem, where there is an active push to move Palestinian families out – 218 Palestinian families face eviction orders today. In Sheikh Jarrah specifically the situation is very critical for 8 families totalling about 90 people. Israel’s Jerusalem District Court has ordered four of them to leave their homes by May 2, 2021 and three others by August 1, 2021. The last family is in an ongoing legal battle and might receive an eviction order any day. Combatants for Peace stands in solidarity with those demanding their right to live and stay in their own  homes without threat.

Installing Solar Panels Combatants for Peace installed solar panels for a community in the Jordan Valley that did not have access to electricity.

Education and Advocacy

“Land Above the Mountains” Seminar April 9-10. For Hashomer Hatzair Israeli educators in collaboration with Breaking the Silence and Ir Amim.  Twenty educators participated in a tour of the West Bank, spoke to local community members about their personal experiences and learned about the reality of occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people.

Opinion piece published by Israeli Director, Yonatan Gher in the newspaper “Globes” to request a firm boycott of Kahanist Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir. Article in Hebrew

Palestinian Director, Rana Salman, spoke at the J Street Conference on the MainStage at a webinar about women’s leadership in the nonviolent resistance to the occupation. She spoke alongside New Story Leadership Director, Rawan Odeh and a woman leader from the Palestinian grassroots group, Zimam. Together they discussed the role of women’s leadership in grassroots organizing and activism.

Speaking with a delegation of EU leadership, April 17.  The EU Delegation in Jerusalem offered us a chance to talk to all political officers of the EU countries as part of their monthly briefings on Human Rights. We had the chance to brief them about CFP and our work, give our feedback on the recent escalation of violence in Jerusalem, COVID situation in the Palestinian territories, demolitions in Area C and our field activities in Jordan Valley, in addition to promoting and sharing our upcoming Nakba Ceremony.

Tour in Sheikh Jarrah. April 30. Combatants for Peace took about 30 English speakers on a tour to Sheikh Jarrah (in East Jerusalem) to brief them about the critical situation endured by several Palestinian families who live under threat of eviction. Four families await a decision by the Israeli High Court this coming Sunday over whether they can remain in their homes. Three others have been ordered to leave their homes by August 1. After a series of evictions in 2008, 2009 and 2017, a new round of dispossessions is attempting to transform large parts of Sheikh Jarrah into a Jewish neighborhood. After the tour, activists of Combatants for Peace joined the weekly demonstration held in Sheikh Jarrah. The event was a firm rejection to the occupation and the ongoing injustices perpetrated by the Israeli government. Combatants for Peace opposes Israeli apartheid and will continue to advocate for the rights of marginalized Palestinians. We oppose legal provisions which enable Israelis to return to their pre-1948 homes, but prevent Palestinians from doing the same. We oppose a system tailored to evict long-term Palestinian residents. As one of them met during the tour proclaimed: “We are determined to fight peacefully for our rights. We are here and will be here until the end.”

Book Release

In This Place Together. April 13 – A biography of Combatants for Peace Founder, Sulaiman Khatib. Talk at Busboys and Poets, organized a Peace Cafe on April 19. Listen Now. San Francisco State University hosted Author Penina Eilberg-Schwartz and Sulaiman Khatib on April 21. Peter Beinhart interviewed the Authors, in a collaborative Podcast with the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Watch the Recording.

Empowerment and Leadership Training

Nonviolent Communication Workshop, April 10. All day in Beit Jala, at our Palestinian office for our activists. Learning communication skills to strengthen our leadership and our movement. These nonviolent communication workshops are offered monthly to all activists who want to deepen their communication skills and strengthen their commitment to all forms of nonviolence.

Women’s group planning meeting. April 12

March 2021

Sumud: Helping Palestinian communities stay on their land

Weekly visits to Humsa, March 2, 9, 14 & 16, to bring supplies and help the community survive with the constant demolitions and Army confiscation of supplies. On March 14, CfPeace activist brought 1500 liters of water to the Humsa community in the middle of the night (this way the army wouldn’t confiscate the shipment). This will allow the community access to regular water.

Jordan Valley Coalition, Accompaniment of shepherds in the villages of Farsiliya and the Southern Jordan Valley. When our activists walk with the Shepherds they are protected from settler and military aggression. CfP helped escort shepherds in the Jordan Valley near the villages of Dyuk, Hamra, Ein Hilwe, and Turmus Aya. During these escorts, CfP activists face regular harassment from settler-operated drones. The army has done nothing to protect the shepherds or our activists. In Hamra, settlers were pushing shepherds out of their grazing fields on a daily basis, so CFP activists have been accompanying them. The  activists’ presence has helped lower the level of aggression used by these settlers. We also appealed to human rights lawyer Itay Mack, to help the communities legally, when needed.

Solidarity visits to the village of Luban Al Sharkia, March 5 & 12, Palestinan and Israeli members of CFP organized solidarity visits following villagers harassment by nearby settlers. Abu Jamal, a resident of the village, has had his home ransacked every Friday by these settlers. In response, CfP installed metal doors to prevent unwanted entry or attack in Abu Jamal’s home. In the process, Israeli members of CfP engaged in meaningful dialogue with Palestinian residents in Luban, breaking social taboos. One activist recounts that “we were able to communicate with Palestinians who had opposed us and ended up appreciating our work. The discussion ended with a handshake and a plan for a future visit to the mayor’s office.”

Article written by our leadership in the Combatants for Peace “North Group” about the human rights violations in the Jordan Valley. The piece was distributed to European National leadership, asking them to put pressure on Israel to stop the human rights abuses and home demolitions.

Education & Advocacy

Fighting for Vaccine Rights, check out this video, made by the Alliance for Middle East Peace, about the work Combatants for Peace is doing, fighting or medical equality.

Haaretz Conference, March 4, Movement Coordinator, Jamil Qassas, participated in an online conference, organized on the topic, “Is Israel a Democracy?” Watch

Tour to Damoon March 5, CfP activists organized a tour for Israelis to the village of Damoon, in the North of Israel which was destroyed during the Nakba in 1948. Israeli education does not teach Palestinian history; these educational tours are an opportunity to educate the Israeli public about Palestinian history and the way in which the Nakba of 1948 still effects Palestinian communities today.

Tour for teachers of the Mechinot (pre-army) programs in the Jordan Valley. March 8, The teachers toured the Jordan Valley with Combatants for Peace activists who shared with them what life under occupation is life, and the discrimination faced by local Palestinians by Israeli settlers. The teachers met with local activists, lawyers and residents to better understand the conditions and situation in the Jordan Valley.

Workshop for Israeli Educators. March 12-14, in partnership with Breaking the Silence and Ir Amim, Combatants for Peace briefed about 20 Israeli educators in charge of HaChaluts pre-army trainings about the reality and the policies of occupation in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) in the framework of a two-day workshop. The seminar included field visits, briefings delivered by peace activists and lots of instructive conversations in Combatants for Peace’s office in Beit Jala. All participants were thankful for what they considered as a truly eye-opener facts-based training session, and for the chance they had to reflect on educational tools and strategies to inform the Israeli youth about the injustice of occupation. A complementary online briefing is planned this week to cover the situation in the Gaza Strip.

Talk in Maine, March 14. With Maya Katz and Osama Elewat
Private event sponsored by Congregation Beth El via zoom in Bangor, Maine.

Discussion in an Israeli High Schools. On Tuesday March 16 we met with about 40 high school students in Jerusalem, at East Mediterranean International School. The students have been studying leading figures in political activism. We shared our stories with them and our commitment to transformation and non-violent civil resistance against the Israeli occupation. On March 14 activists met with students from the Bezalel Academy of Arts.

Talk in the Netherlands with Maters Students. March 18

Asking the Hard Questions: Preparing for the Joint Memorial. March 31, with Robi Damelin and Osama Elewat Watch the Recording

Making Peace Among those in Conflict. A conversation about the Joint Memorial Ceremony with spiritual teacher, Jack KornfieldMarch 30 Watch the Recording

Live Stream Open Q&A Session. What makes the Joint Memorial Ceremony unique? March 16

 

Protests and Demonstrations

Pre-Election Protests, March 20. CfPeace activists marched with thousands of anti-Netanyahu protesters in Jerusalem for what was one of the largest demonstrations ever held near Balfour street. Over 20,000 people protested the Israeli government’s corrupt and violent policies three days ahead of the Israeli legislative elections. We, as CfP, reminded the crowd that the state of Israel cannot be considered democratic as long as the occupation of the Palestine, and apartheid policies toward Palestinians are maintained. Our slogans read: “Democracy or occupation”.

Protest outside of Ofer prison March 1, in solidarity with Palestinian nonviolence activist Sami Hureini who briefly appeared before the military court today. Sami Hureini was arrested in his home at 1am for participating in a peaceful protest against the shooting of Harun Abu Aram. Soldiers responded to the nonviolent demonstrations with sound grenades and tear gas. Harun Abu Aram was shot in the neck at short range while trying to stop soldiers from confiscating his electricity generator. He was left paralyzed and his family without electricity.

Protesting Home Evictions In the first week of March, two members of the Freedom School, the Internship program CfP runs for Israeli young adults, protested home evictions at Sheikh Jarah in East Jerusalem. Their Arabic teacher – Samira – is from one of the families being evicted.

Demonstration in Umm al-Fahm, March 12. CfP activists in the North joined a demonstration denouncing the absence of law enforcement by the Israeli police in Arab communities and recalling the right of Arab Israelis to live in safety like any citizen.

Balfour Demonstrations: Combatants activists continue to participate  in the anti-corruption protest happening in Israel every weekend.

Empowering Leaders

Youth Group. The Youth of Combatants for Peace held a meeting in Nablus, March 23. Their workshop was entitled “Networking Mechanisms between Youth and Youth Institutions in Palestine.” Ten young activists from northern West Bank met to discuss spreading the message of social action and nonviolent resistance to youth throughout Palestine. The Youth group met again on March 27th to welcome new activists from Jericho.

Workshop on Impact and Reporting. March 27.

February 2021

Sumud: Helping Palestinian communities stay on their land

Demanding vaccinations for Palestinians! Combatants for Peace sent letters demanding access to vaccines for Palestinians. This included a Letter to the World Health Organization (feb 9). Read an article about the letter. Sent by Attorney  Eitay Mack, Combatants for Peace lawyer and advocate. “The State of Israel renunciation of its obligations under international law to ensure the Covid-19 vaccination of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.” It also included letters directly to the heads of both Pfizer and Moderna (feb 24), and a  letter directly to President Biden asking that he use USA aid funds to distribute vaccines to Palestinians (feb 28).

Rebuilding the village of Humsa: February 2-9, 16, 23 & 24. CfPeace activists made daily visits to Humsa in early February, along with the neighboring Palestinian communities that are being harassed by the Israeli army and settlers. Delegations of Minister Shtayyeh (a Minister in the Palestinian Authority) and a delegation of diplomats from the EU visited the community on February 4th. The diplomatic visit was arranged in partnership with the European Commission office in Jerusalem. Combatants activists continue rebuilding whenever the army comes and  destroys more shelters. We continue to bring supplies such as water, food, shoes, clothing, tents and sleeping bags, when the army confiscates tents and other materials.

Participation in a virtual court hearing, Feb 8. Palestinian residents from the villages of Al-Zawiya, Rafat and Deir Balut submitted  an objection in civil court protesting the expansion of an illegal quarry run by the German multinational Heidelberg Cement (Nahal Raba Quarry) on their land.  Watch

Combatants for Peace cut down an illegal apartheid fence built by settlers near the settlement Hemdat in the Jordan Valley. Feb 13. The fence was built by settlers and was a  torment for local Palestinian shepherds who traditionally roamed  the hills confiscated by the settlers, disrupting their ability to earn a living and feed their families. After recurring inquiries made by Combatants for Peace to the Civil Administration were overlooked, activists took matters by their own hands and took down the fence. Read more: Against the apartheid fence, 13.2.2021 watch the video.

Jordan Valley Coalition. Activists walked with the shepherds from the villages  of Duyuk, Farsyia, Hamra and Ein el Hilwe and Nuema. We also returned to the village of Samra for the first time this week, after a year away due to Covid restrictions. When activists walk with the Shepherds we can protect them from the violence and abuse they experience from the local settlers and the military. On February 16, the army came and tried to scare us out of several villages – but we stayed all day in order to ensure the villagers safety. Our activists also joined Arik Asherman in defending a local Palestinian farm where settlers regularly bring their cows to destroy the crops.

Monitoring villages threatened by Demolition. Combatants for Peace activists regularly visit villages slated for demolition, to monitor the situation and see if there  are ways the movement can help. One of these solidarity visits took place Feb 8, in  the village of Yarza.

Israeli Education & International Advocacy

Meeting with Europeans: Swiss Diplomats on February 3 and young adults in Northern Ireland on February 6. We spoke about how we need the international community to put pressure on the Israeli government – and bring the voice of people who truly want a real, just peace for both peoples.

“Learning Peace” webinar with Israelis, on the systematic demolitions of Palestinian structures in the Jordan Valley. February 10. The talk had 75 participants  including two diplomats. Watch

CfP activists met with students from Landon Middle School of Maryland, as part of their history program. Feb 11. We spent an  hour speaking on the PL-IL conflict, how the cycle of violence is perpetuating and what it means to step away from it on a personal level. The students (around 20 young teens) touched on core issues, asking sensitive and thoughtful questions.

Educational Seminar with American young adults who had returned from Birthright tours to Israel. Feb 11. Organized by “Fuel for Truth.” The goal is giving these young adults an awareness of the  Palestinian experience, as Birthright tours do not include Palestinian voices.

Meeting with Mechinot Students. Feb 2. Combatants for Peace activists met with a group of Israeli teens before their time in the Military. None of the students had met a Palestinian before or heard his story.

Panel Discussion with  Machsom Watch. Feb 14. CfP activist, Yair, participated in a panel discussion about the demolitions happening in the South Hebron Hills, specifically the brutal treatment and regular demolitions and seizure of property in the village of Humsa by the military. Watch (the talk was in Hebrew).

Protests and Demonstrations

Ongoing participation in the anti-corruption protests happening in Jerusalem. These protests have continued weekly, in Jerusalem, with Combatants for Peace activists participating in the demonstrations. We bring our message that corruption is only the symptom: occupation is the illness.

Demonstration “From Silwan to Balfour Street” in Jerusalem. February 6: The protest was focused  around opposing  and drawing to light the Israeli government’s ongoing actions to evacuate Palestinian families from the Jerusalem village of Silwan, including regular home demolitions and ongoing violence from the military towards the residents.

Demonstration in front of  the District Court in East Jerusalem, protesting the eviction of four Palestinian families in the area. This protest is part of  the ongoing movement to prevent  unlawful evictions in East Jerusalem (that began in the 1950’s) and protect resident’s rights to  stay on their land and in their homes.

Protest outside of Israeli occupation detention center “ Ofer” in central West Bank, demanding the release of Human rights activist and CFP member Nasser Al Adra. Nassser lives in At-twani and is active in the popular resistance there.  In an attempt to brreak the resistance the military is using intimidation tactics, including imprisonment of members, keeping them for days in jail up to a trial, which usually end up in a release under some restricting conditions and a hefty bail.  This was the case with Sami last month and now with Nasser. The community of At-Twani is strong and hundreds of Israeli activists, including cfp members,  support the non violent struggle against the occupation with the villagers. Nassser was detained on Feb 9 and released on February 14. He was posted with $7500 bail, which was raised by the activist community. Photo from the protest.

Leadership Skills Trainings & Empowerment for Activists

Nonviolent Communication Training/workshop at Combatants for Peace’s Beit Jala office. Feb 13, led by Dr. Amal Al-Hadweh. This course is the latest in a monthly series of discussion and skills based workshops created with with the support of the German ZFD Foundation, aimed at empowering Palestinian activists working in the field.

Empowering Women: several of our leading women activists were selected for New Story Leadership’s #SheLeads program, fostering relationship between  the two NGO’s as well as empowerment skills and training for our female leadership.

Women’s Group Meeting: Our women’s group organized a workshop with Loyal Sawalameh, a psychology expert, to discuss the pandemic and the impact it has had on the lives of Palestinian women – and what we can do to offer support.

The Freedom School: Combatants for Peace welcomes the third cohort of young Israeli trainees started a Midreshet Dror (Freedom School) in Jerusalem. Welcome to Assaf, Ilam, Zohar, Tamar, Shir, Gaia, Arbel, stav, Amitai, Nofar and Inbar! Over the next four weeks these eleven participants will be trained in activism and they will study about the political realities of the region. After they complete their training, they will join an organization of their choice working against the Israeli occupation for a four month internship. Combatants for Peace partners with Breaking the Silence and Achvat Amim for the programme.

January 2021

Sumud: Helping Palestinian communities stay on their land

Rebuilding a demolished home: Jan 30, activists visited the destroyed Bedouin village of Wadi Ahmar, helping Ibrahim and his family with the reconstruction work to their homestead. Two days earlier, the Israeli Civil Administration came and confiscated the family’s equipment and tents in an attempt to force them to move from the area they have raised their family and herd in for the last 10 years. With a demolition order, if they had rebuilt in the same place, the new construction could have been demolished without a new order, but if they move and build in a new place, even if not far away, a new demolition order is needed to keep him away from the area. Ibrahim decided to move with the tent and the flock a mile to the east, next to another encampment. When we arrived, Ibrahim and his entire family were in the middle of loading the pieces of metal and wood, which the Civil Admin. left behind, onto a tractor cart. Together with his family, and neighbors, Ibrahim was able to get organized, thus saving his family and flock from another night exposed to frost and rain.

Letters to International leadership. CfP activists wrote letters outlining the recent surge in home demolitions and sent them to international leaders across Europe and the USA, including over 250 letters to Congressmembers, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany and the German office for Foreign Affairs. See More and write to congress demanding an end to home demolitions!

Rebuilding a Road in Shushalah: Saturday Jan 2nd, Combatants for Peace activists from the Bethlehem group joined residents of  Shushalah village, south of Bethlehem, and helped them rehabilitate part of the road leading to the villagers homes. In the morning, CFP activists and the local villagers removed soil that closed the road leading to the house of the Muhannad Salah family at the top of the village. The road was closed last week as a result of landslides from the rain storm. The Israeli occupation prevents the residents from  bringing any heavy machinery to the village to help fix roads or agricultural lands. Since 2019 occupation forces closed all roads leading to the village with iron barriers and earth mounds, and the village has been classified as an “agricultural area” preventing residents from staying in their homes. The history of the village dates back to the Ottoman era, and there is a shrine and a mosque in the village, and some houses that are still standing from that period, which the military prevents the residents from restoring.

Reconstructing shelters: CfP activists spent much of December and January participating in rebuilding efforts in the village of Humsa, after the village was destroyed by the military a few weeks ago. After about 25 workdays in the last few weeks, our activists helped to build about twenty-five new homes and shelters for about six families. Shelters include both homes for families and shelters for the Shepherding community’s animals. Regular work days to rebuild the village are continuing to be organized until the reconstruction is complete.

A Legal Appeal: A letter drafted by several CfPeace activists and lawyer Itay Mack was sent to the IDF’s Chief of staff denouncing a “gradual ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinian population from Areas C and a situation of apartheid when settlers build fences to prevent shepherds from entering grazing areas. We also sent letters to the German consulate, several embassies and USA congress members demanding an end to home demolitions in the Jordan Valley and South Hebron Hills.

Solidarity Visits: Cfpeace activists visited the sister of Haroun Abu Aram. Haroun was shot in the neck and is now completely paralyzed following his attempt to prevent Israeli soldiers from confiscating a generator he used to keep his family warm, after his house was demolished by the Israeli civil administration. The Israeli civil administration demolished 664 buildings in the occupied territories claiming they had no building permit, while of the above 2000 requests for permit only 21 where provided. One of our activists is a school principal in Israel and brought paper and colored-pencils for the kids from Haroun family, as a soothing activity in these times of despair for the family. Later in the month, CfP activists visited the community of Hammam al Malik, where the community’s homes had been demolished by the army. We came to see if there were ways we could support the recently devastated village.

Working the land in Susya: A family in the Palestinian village of Susya asked us to help them build a fence around a piece of land that the settlers from a nearby settlement had tried to steal through force. According to Israeli law, if a landowner doesn’t cultivate his land for seven years, that land is returned to State ownership. The settler’s attitude was that whatever belongs to the State therefore belongs to them. We arrived with several activists to show our support for the family and their land. In the end it was agreed that erecting a fence would only provoke more violence, so together we worked the land and decided to make regular visits to keep the land legally in possession of the family.

Jordan Valley Coalition: Two of Israeli human rights activists associated with the coalition were arrested when a settler brought his cattle to feed on private Palestinian farmland. The two activists went to the settler to tell him he could not destroy private property. In response the settler threatened and attacked them with violence. The police came in to intervene and arrested the activists, detaining them for several hours. The day before, Erik Asherman, a leading coalition member, had has car vandalized when two screws were removed from the wheels, in an attempt to make driving the car unsafe. Erik was unharmed, but received a call from Ayman Odeh (of the Joint List) to discuss the situation. Of course, our work also continues in the Jordan Valley, walking with Shepherds and protecting them from Settler and military violence. The coalition also planted and sowed seeds in the Palestinian village of Dir Ghrir and staged a demonstration in Hamam el Malikh, a small Palestinian village, protesting the demolition of a local school.

Online Talks

Living Nonviolence: Becoming A Combatant for Peace. Hosted by Encounter on January 5. Featuring CfPeace activist, Osama Iliwat in conversation with Michael Soberman.

Building strength from within: Combating systems of oppression, injustice and mass incarceration. January 14 featuring Inside Circle co-Executive Director, Eldra Jackson III and Combatants for Peace co-Executive Director, Sulaiman Khatib. Watch

Transformation Series with Sulaiman Khatib. Our transformation series consisted of three sessions: January 10, 17 and 31st – 11am MT. Each session was 75 minutes long and included deeply personal stories from Israeli and Palestinians, plus time for personal discussion and reflection amongst the participants. Sessions will build upon each other in a journey of transformation on all levels: personal, familial and societal. This event was sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe, NM. Learn More

Protests and Demonstrations

Anti-corruption protests – these protests have continued weekly, every Thursday and Saturday across Israel, with Combatants for Peace activists participating in every demonstration. We bring our message that corruption is only the symptom: occupation is the illness.

Demonstration in the South Hebron Hills. Jan 8.  Haron Abu Aram is on life support, and paralyzed after he was shot in the neck by an Israeli soldier. His family’s home had been demolished days before and he was keeping his family safe and warm through the use of a single generator. When the army returned to confiscate the generator he protected it, and as a result was shot in the neck. Combatants for Peace activists, both Israeli and Palestinian voiced their disapproval of this terrible use of force through a nonviolence demonstration, demanding an end to race-based oppression and violence.

Demonstration in front of Ofer Military Prison, January 11. Speaking out against the arrest of nonviolent activist Sami Al Harini. Huraini was detained by Israeli soldiers entering his parents house past midnight for leading a Palestinian/Israeli demonstration against the criminal shooting that paralyzed Haroun Abu Aram by an Israeli soldier, over the confiscation of a generator a few days earlier.  Officialy Sami was charged with ‘insulting a public police border’, ‘disturbing the public order’, and ‘entering a closed military area’.  Sami is the ultimate example of a person practicing non-violent resistance against Israeli occupation and war crimes. Since his high school years he has taken part in protecting his community against the aggression of nearby Israeli settlers, who harass young kids on their way to school, who attack Palestinian sheppards as they graze their stock, who uproot olive trees before they bare fruits. Sami finished his law degree. On the 13th of Jan. the Israeli military released Sami on a bail of 10,000 NIS.  A fund raising campaign was established to raise the money . Combatants for Peace has been involved in the struggle of At Twani community for years and will continue its support it in the face of the Israeli military, and administrative aggression.

March in the village of  At-Tuwani, south of Hebron, every Friday. In solidarity with Harun Abu Aram, who was shot and paralyzed last month by the Israeli troop’s gunfire while the military tried to confiscate his family’s generator after demolishing their home. Troops set up a checkpoint at the village entrance and tried to prevent CFP activists and others several NGOs and journalists to get into the village. Activists managed to enter through an agricultural road adjacent to the main entrance. Residents prayed at the entrance, and then marched, trying to reach the land where Harun Abu Aram was injured. Soldiers prevented the march from advancing and assaulted demonstrators, fired sound bombs at them, and then arrested the Suleiman Al-Hathrin after they attack on him. One CFP activist sustained light wounds to her leg after she was pushed to the ground by one of the soldiers.
Protest in the village of Khirbet al-Tawameen, Jan 23. CFP activists participated in a nonviolent protest at , in the South Hebron hills, to express solidarity with a Palestinian family that had been attacked by local settlers. Activists from several NGO’s joined the protest. Unfortunately, soldiers responded by attacking the demonstrators, firing tear gas and stun grenades towards unarmed civilians. Check out the video for more details.
Protest asking for the release of a young 17-year-old Palestinian, Amal Nahala, Jan 30. Amal arrested last November near Jalazone Refugee camp. Amal has been under administrative detention since then in spite of having a life-threatening auto-immune disease.

Youth & Young Adult Leadership Programs

The Freedom School: Recruitment for the third cohort of the Freedom School has begun. While follow-up for the first two cohorts is ongoing. Three young women graduates of the second cohort have founded a young-adult activist group for the Israeli side in Combatants for Peace. Efforts are now underway to recruit Palestinians for a parallel group.

Meetings with teens and parents: CfPeace activists hosted several meetings for mehinot students and their families – “mehinot” is an educational gap year between  high school and army that teens sometimes choose to take. In one meeting, activists met with 60 parents of mehinot students. We also held two additional meetings with the teens themselves. None of the teens or their parents met Palestinians before as equals and heard their stories. These programs have profound impact on youth about to be drafted to serve in the military.

Kickoff of the Palestinian Youth Group! We had our very first meeting with the new recruits this month. The young activists met over zoom getting to know each other and learn more about Combatants for Peace. We are excited for this process of training and empowerment of the youth to begin!

Leadership Skills Trainings & Empowerment for Activists

Hebrew Classes are being organized, free of charge, for any Palestinian activist who wants to learn. Classes are twice per week in our Beit Jala office.

December 2020

Sumud: Helping Palestinian communities stay on their land

Planting Olive Trees & Building Toilets: December 4, Activists from Combatants for Peace planted 25 olive trees and constructed a bathroom for Hateem Makhamreh and his family. Hatem and his family were rendered homeless after Israeli occupation forces destroyed their home last month. After the work ended, CFP activists delivered aid parcels that include blankets and winter clothing to be delivered to several communities in the southern Hebron hills.

Reconstructing shelters: December 9, 11, 14, 15, 20, 22, 24 & 29. CfP activists have spent much of December participating in rebuilding efforts in the village of Humsa, after the village was destroyed by the military a few weeks ago. Our activists helped to build families new homes and also helped build shelters for the Shepherding community’s animals. Regular work days to rebuild the village are continuing to be organized until the reconstruction is complete.

The Jordan Valley coalition: In the village of Samravwe we sowed crops with the farmers as they are afraid to do it without the protection of Israeli activists (as the villagers are so commonly assaulted by settlers and the military – similar to the fear in olive picking). In the village of Hamra we walked with shepherds every week, and also tried monitoring  a new Israeli “outpost” that is being built illegally on Palestinian lands, in the hopes of freezing the construction. Settlers stole cattle from a Shepherding family living near near the village of Taybeh, we were in touch with the family and are still working on receiving the cattle. A tractor was confiscated by the Israeli army in the village of Khalet Mak’khul. We helped pay the fine, and also walked with shepherds in that village, as well as in the villages of Nuema and Duyuk.

Solidarity in Susya: December 25th. CFP activists participated in a solidarity visit to communities in the southern Hebron hills. During the visit, work was done to help local farmers attend to their lands and we participated in talks regarding protecting local Palestinian lands from settlement expansion plans. We also visited to the Susya Elementary School, which has been issued a demolition order. The school has 55 students coming from 47 families living in the area.

Planting Grapes in Al Khader/Hosan (Bethlehem area): December 26. Combatants for Peace activists from the Bethlehem group planted grape seedlings on the farmland owned by Khaldoun Sabih from Al Khader town, south of Bethlehem. Israeli settlers keep attacking and uprooting Khaldoun’s land, as his land is located near the settlers road 60 that connects West Bank settlements with occupied East Jerusalem. The most recent attack took place back in April, when settlers uprooted 500 olive trees. Immediately after the attack on Khaldoun’s land in April, the movement’s activists planted more than 200 olive trees in place of those that the settlers uprooted. Today’s activity was a continuation of that rebuilding work.

Protests and Demonstrations

Anti-corruption protests – these protests have continued weekly, every Thursday and Saturday across Israel, with Combatants for Peace activists participating in every demonstration. We bring our message that corruption is only the symptom: occupation is the illness.

Education about the Occupation & the Nakba

Tour of the Village of Safuriyya: December 13. The North group organized a tour to learn the story of the displaced village of Safuriyya near Nazareth. Safuriyya was a big and thriving Palestinian village that was demolished in 1948 and its residents were forbidden to return to their homes. Most of the village residents and their families live nearby, a few kilometers away, in Nazareth. They are Israeli citizens still displaced from their lands. Thank you for our hosts Abu-Arab and Um-Khaled from the Assocation for rights of the displaced people. ADDPR

Online Refuse-nik Campaign: Combatants for Peace published two more videos of our Israeli activists explaining why the refused to serve in the military/occupation. The first video was about Yonatan Gher, our Israeli director: watch.  The second was about CfP activist, Rotem Levine: watch.

Tour of Nazareth: December 26. Organized by the north group of Combatants for Peace. The purpose of the tour was teach Israelis about the history of the Palestinian community in Nazareth and their experiences since the Nakba of 1948 until today. Subjects never taught in the Israeli education system.

Leadership Skills Trainings & Empowerment for Activists

Nonviolent Communication Seminar: December 28-31. A four-day seminar for activists to master the skills of nonviolent communication. The training had 21 CfPeace activists attending, and was led by certified NVC trainer, Azam Talhami.

Online Talks

Fighting for Peace: Nonviolent leadership as a way of life. Hosted by Encounter, December 22. Featuring CfP co-Director Sulaiman Khatib in conversation with Rabbi Sharon Brous.

November 2020

Sumud: Helping Palestinian communities stay on their land

Supporting demolished communities: November 6 & 8: “It is a painful scene when you see homeless children, you see animals dying because of the cold, all of this is caused by the oppressive and unjust occupation,” Jamil Qassas, General Palestinian Coordinator of Combatants for Peace. After occupation soldiers detained us for more than two hours, we were able to reach the Palestinian community of Humsa in the Jordan Valley, where earlier this week occupation forces destroyed more than seventy homes and agricultural structures, rendering 74 Palestinians including 41 children homeless without anything protecting them from the cold winter. CFP Activists were among many delegations from local and international NGOs in addition to representatives of the European Union than visited Humsa today to inspect the damage. Combatants for Peace movement will join the international and local efforts to support the people of Humsa to remain on their lands.

Providing life-saving supplies: On November 10 we delivered a truck load of supplies to the community of Humsa, the shepherding community which was brutally destroyed by occupation forces. We brought items including tents, food, a fridge, heaters, clothing, blankets, children’s games and food.

The Jordan Valley coalition is growing again, despite the Covid regulations and restrictions. Combatants for Peace activists escort shepherds from the villages of Duyuk, Nuema and Auja, near Jericho, as well as from the village of Hamra in the Northern Jordan Valley. We send activists to each of the village every week, as having Israelis walking with the Palestinian shepherds protects them from violence from the settlers and the military. We bring equipment, clothing and shoes for the families every time we go.

Education about the occupation & the Nakba

Tour in the city of Safed: The North group of Combatants for Peace organized a in the Galilee. The city is one of the four sacred cities in Jewish tradition. Prior to 1948, it was a multicultural hub with people living there from many different cultures and religions. In 1948, the entire Palestinian community was expelled. Our group met with an older Palestinian woman, who was six years old when her family was forced to flee. She shared with us her story. “The tour was sad, but also hopeful. It showed us that change can be done.” – Itamar Feigenbaum, Israeli leader of the Combatants for Peace North Group.

Expressing Solidarity: Combatants for Peace threw our support behind Maher Akras, a Palestinian detained in Israel in July without charge. Maher el Akhras, 49, from the occupied West Bank, went on a hunger strike for over 100 days in protest at his administrative detention, without charge nor alleged crime committed. Nearing the brink of death, Maher has since ended his strike, on assurances his detention would not be extended beyond the end of November Combatants for Peace raised awareness about his detention on the ground through signs and social media, and published an article in the Hebrew Press. Read the article in English, by Tuly Flint.

Online Refuse-nik Campaign: Combatants for Peace published its first video (in what intends to be a series) of our Israeli activists explaining why the refused to serve in the military/occupation. Watch.

Leadership Training

Nonviolent Communication Workshop: On November 7, 20 people participated in Beit Jala in the first NVC of a new series organized by Combatants for Peace in partnership with the organization Forum ZFD. The participants reflected on one’s needs and how we feel when our needs are not fulfilled? Worth to be noted: four religions – Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Druze faith – were represented in the discussion.

Young Adult Programming: the second cohort of the Freedom School just finished their seven-week learning and lecture series. They launch into four-month internships this month. We also launched our Palestinian youth program this month, hiring Rafa Mismar to start the program.

Empowering Women The Combatants for Peace women’s group hosted three seminars for local Palestinian women (Nov 13, 20 & 27), learning empowerment, self-care and leadership techniques aimed at helping the women build strength and solidarity in the face of both occupation and Covid.

Protests and Demonstrations

Anti-corruption protests – these protests have continued weekly, every Thursday and Saturday across Israel, with Combatants for Peace activists participating in every demonstration. We bring our message that corruption is only the symptom: occupation is the illness.

Online Talks

Where do we go from here: How do the election results impact the future of peace?
November 10 with speakers Jim Zogby President and founder of the Arab American Institute, Lara Friedman, President of Foundation for Middle East Peace and Dr. Galia Golan, Combatants for Peace leader. Moderated by Mae Elise Cannon, Executive Director of Churches for Middle East Peace. Watch.

Disturbing the Peace Screening in Geneva. November 16. The event was organised by AMAGE – Association du Monde Arabe de l’Université de Genève in partnership with Raquel Vidal Remis and Bruna Perestrelo (students of University of Geneva), Combatants for Peace and B8 Of Hope. The message of the film and the panel that followed is universal : it is about humanization, equal rights and transformation. As Souli Khatib and Avner Wishnitzer co-founders of CFP and protagonists of the documentary said in conclusion to the audience: “it is important to disturb one’s peace and be actively part of the change we want to make for a better future – whether in Israel-Palestine or elsewhere in the world.”

Launching our first USA-Israel-Palestine Leadership Call. November 11 with Tuly Flint and Rafa Mismar. Organized for our Clergy Council, Academic Council and Advisory Board. These calls will be continued monthly.

Topol Summit on Nonviolence and Nonviolent Resistance Today November 12. Sponsored by the Harvard-Kennedy School, CARR Center for Human Rights Policy. Summit Chair: Dr. Erica Chenoweth. Featuring Combatants for Peace speakers, Osama Elewat and Galia Golan.

“Combatants Rising Together”: The Sisterhood of Salaam/Shalom Conference. November 15 with Tarek Masserini, Sulaiman Khatib and Tuly Flint. Tarek Maassarani is a community organizer and teacher of strategic nonviolence, mediation, dialogue facilitation, restorative/transformative justice and Nonviolent Communication. He focuses his work in Washington, D.C. area, the Middle East and Africa. Our speakers will speak at two sessions of the conference.

VIP Reception Combatants for Peace activists met with the American Friends of CfP monthly donors,  sharing insights and connecting. Sign up to be a monthly donor and enjoy private online events with the CfP leadership!

Hashomer Hatzair meeting in South America Combatants for Peace activists met with youth in South America over zoom, sharing their work and their hope for building a better future.

October 2020

Online Talks

The State of Democracy: The intersections between the Balfour Demonstrations in Israel, Palestinian voting rights and Voter Suppression in the USA
October 22 with Avner Wishnitzer, one of the founders of Combatants for Peace and a professor of Middle East History; Kochav Shachar, one of our most active young leaders; and Aziz Abu Sarah, who sits on our Board of Directors and was the first Palestinian to run for Mayor of Jerusalem.
Watch the Recording

Activism Hub: “Combatants For Peace” living Non violence in action
Oct 17 Sponsored by Global Nonviolence Festival, Organized by NVC Rising. Feauring Souli Khatib and Chen Alon speaking on October 17th of the festival. Their  talk focused on transformation, dialogue, non-violence, action-reflection, activist as spect-actors (using theatre…), private/collective memories, trauma, hope, creating a third narrative, co-resistance (and more…).

Screening of Disturbing the Peace
October 6, The Philadelphia Chapter of American Friends of CfP organized an online screening of Disturbing the Peace for their community, followed by a short discussion via Zoom.

Israel, The Arab States and Palestine: Where Are We Now?
October 8, Hosted by The Houston Seminar. In August, the United Arab Emirates became the first Arab state in decades to normalize its relations with Israel. Bahrain soon followed suit, and more Arab States may follow. But one thorny issue remains untouched: Palestine. Dr. Galia Golan, longtime academic and peace activist, spoke  via Zoom from her home in Israel to provide unique insights into what the recent Arab-Israeli agreements may mean for the futures of Israel and of Palestine.  Watch the Recording

The Israel-UAE-Bahrain Deal: how will it impact Israel, Palestine and the USA Elections?
October 12, with Professor Galia Golan and Nizar Farsakh
Nizar Farsakh was a member of the Palestinian negotiating team advising senior Palestinian leaders including President Abbas, Prime Minister Fayyad and various ministries. He is currently chair of the  Board of the Palestine Museum in Washington,  D.C. Galia Golan, PhD, has been a leading Israeli peace activist and scholar for many decades, having co-founded and served in the leadership of Peace Now and a number of women’s local and international peace groups. Watch the Recording

The Reality in the Jordan Valley.
October 18 with Kochav Shachar, Osama Iliwat and Human Rights Lawyer Itay Mack. This recording is in Hebrew.

Sumud: Helping Palestinian communities stay on their land

Rebuilding homes demolished by the occupation: The army demolished three homes in the Palestinian village of Fasail in early October. on Monday, October 12th Cfpeace activists visited the village to see how we could help repair the damage that was done to the community. We coordinated with several other organizations to arrange a large tent as a temporary shelter for the family.

The Jordan Valley Coalition: Our activists  also continue to walk weekly with Shepherds in the villages of Nuema and Oja, protecting the local communities from settler and military violence. They also brought clothing and other essential supplies to families, and especially children, in need.

Helping with the Olive Harvest: Our activists gathered October 16, in a solidarity action with the family of Arafat for olive picking in Sawiya, south of Nablus. When we arrived, the army declared the area a “closed military zone” and ordered us to evacuate from the orchards. Only a dozen activists managed to stay alongside the local Palestinian families to help them out in their work. Once more the Israeli occupying army showed its intention to disrupt any joint move between Palestinians and Israelis to materialize peace and resist the illegal occupation. On October 23rd, our activists gathered again for the harvest, this time in the village of Azon (east of Qalqilya). 30 activists participated in the activity. During the harvest, we also hung large posters from the trees expressing solidarity for Maher Akhras who has been in a hunger strike in prison for more than 90 days to protest against administrative detention (the practice of jailing Palestinians without cause, and with no access to trial).

Protests and Demonstrations

Our activists partnered with a other anti-occupation activists from different NGO’s and created a massive art piece in Rabin square the morning of October 14, by pasting black fabric to create immense geometrical letters saying “Democracy or occupation”. The inscription was photographed and filmed by media drones before it was quickly dismantled by the police.

The Balfour demonstrations have continued every weekend, larger than ever, despite the Israeli lockdown.

Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders

The Freedom School: October 16, the second cohort of  the freedom school met today, in their first follow-up meeting since the educational intensive (part one) of their fellowship ended, and their internships (part two) started.

New Members Workshop: On Saturday, October 17th the Palestinian side of Combatants for Peace organized a full day new members workshop for local activists. The workshop had overwhelming interest, we had 80 applicants for 40 spots!

Raising Women’s Voices: We embarked on a storytelling training for two of our leading women activists. These two women will be trained by a professional storyteller to become international and local spokeswomen for the movement.

 

September 2020

Protests & Demonstrations

Every week Combatants for Peace activists participate in the Balfour Protests, demanding PM Bibi Netanyahu resign.  The protests bring in tens of thousands of Israelis from across the political spectrum. This article, by one of our young women activists, explains what the Balfour protests mean to her and her community.

Updates from the Galilee

Events held in  the Galilee encourage activists and lay-people to learn about the history  of the Nakba and Palestinian dispossession since 1948:On Friday, Sept 4th, “Freedom School” participants met in the abandoned Palestinian village – Ma’alul. These Israeli Youth heard one Palestinian elder tell his moving story about his family’s exile from their village in 1948. Many questions were raised, thoughts/feelings were shared, and everyone felt the intense need to work together to create a future of peace, equality and freedom for all Palestinians and Israelis. On September 11th, we organized an outdoor trip to the destroyed villages of Biriem and Ikrith to learn about their history. Watch the video.

Welcoming New Leadership

We are pleased to welcome Sulaiman Khatib, Combatants for Peace co-founder into his new role as the Palestinian Director, as of September 1st. We also opened our very first office in Palestine, in Beit Jala, and are hiring a Palestinian office staff to provide a more professional infrastructure and base of support, to grow the movement and expand the network of activists. Read more about our new leadership this month.

Jordan Valley Coalition

Combatants for Peace activists have continued their work with Palestinian Shepherding families, walking with them on a weekly, or daily basis to protect them from the violence they face from settlers and the military. Please scroll down to the August report to see more details of the two families we walk with regularly. The coalition’s work focuses in the communities of Nuema, Auja, Dir Jrir and Khamra. We also brought more clothing donations this month, and were also able to donate a computer to a family who needed it, but could never otherwise afford to buy one.

“Learning Peace” Seminar

A talk on “Balfour demonstrations and the anti-occupation movement” with CfP activist Kochav Shahar, journalist Ariana Melamed and Ariel Bernshtain from Breaking the Silence as speakers. The talk was held in Hebrew. The recording with subtitles in English will be available in a few weeks.

American Events

An update from Philadelphia, September 13:
“This morning we presented Combatants for Peace to the Adult Academy at the First United Methodist Church of Germanown before their zoom service.  There were about 25 people participating and it went very well. We showed the Souli/Chen film clip and then slides from our trip to Israel/Palestine with Combatants for Peace in 2018.  The minister was on the Zoom and had met Combatants years ago.  We had very good Q/A and interest from the congregants.  All in all, a good morning.”   -The Philadelphia American Friends of CfP Chapter

August 2020

Protests & Demonstrations

August 7th, marked the 12th consecutive week of Friday protests in Hares. Every Friday members of Combatants for Peace’s central group joins Hares residents’ prayers, facing Israeli soldiers and police who prevent them from praying in the olive grove where 200 trees were uprooted three months ago by people from the nearby Revava settlement.

Every Saturday CFP joins the Balfur protests, alongside thousands of Israeli citizens. The protest takes place across the street from the Prime Minister’s residence. Together we demand that he leave office, given his corruption charges on three counts: lying, bribery and breach of trust.  Combatants for Peace brings occupation to the forefront of these protests, reminding the public the effect  the occupation has on Israel’s civic life. The formation of an Apartheid system in the occupied territories prevents Israel being a democratic sate, to the billion of shekels spent on maintaining the occupation, and as a result the creation of a dire financial situation in Israel proper when COVID struck the population.

Combatants for Peace activist, Rafa Mismar, from Ramallah spoke to Israelis in Independence Park in Jerusalem, who were demonstrating against the military rule imposed on Palestinians by Netanyahu’s government. Thursday, August 13. Watch

The North group of Combatants have  also joined the protests, coming out to the streets in both Nazareth & Nof-Hagalil junction, alongside our partners Standing Together. The call to stop the corruption and end the occupation is being heard across the Nation.

Combatants for Peace members joined a Palestinian demonstration against the harrasement of Palestinian farmers on their land by Israeli settlers, near the village of Dir Istia, August 13

August 15th we participated in a week-long march organized from Haifa to Jerusalem, denouncing the unpunished, systematic violence against Israeli-Arab communities. We walked from Latrun to Abu Gosh along with bereaved mothers and fathers who lost their children to this violence. With them we called for more equality in the way the Israeli police investigate crimes perpetrated within Jewish and Arab communities.

The Jordan Valley Coalition

The Coalition has continued walking with Neuima community members, around Jericho, on a daily basis. They have also been walking daily with the community in Oja. There have been a few attacks by settlers and the army during this time, but the violence stays contained when our activists remain with the Shepherds, protecting the communities. For the past few months, we have been focusing on a few particular families: one family of Shepherds, Ismail and Nadia and their six children in the North. They have been continually harassed by the local outpost, “Omer.” In Oja we have been walking with two brothers, Mohamed and Ahmed, also protecting them from the violence they face from settlers. We have also brought the brothers a cooking stove for gas, clothing and binoculars.

Updates from the Galilee

August 22nd we met in the Catholic church that remained in Maa’lul village site for a cleaning session. The community of Maa’lul hosted us for several meetings and we wanted to give something back. As always we find that working together builds connections beyond dialogue. Maalul’s Church is being maintained by the community of the Village displaced families.

“We came this morning to the village site, where only two churches and a mosque remained after the village destruction in July 1948. The State of Israel does not allow the Mosque to be renewed, and the Catholic church is maintained by its internal displaced community which lives in the nearby village. We came to help clean the church which was built in 1930 with an adjacent space that served as an elementary school. Abu-Bshara who learned in the school was among our hosts today.  I felt that cleaning the place was also about acknowledgement: Acknowledging the History, and Acknowledging the belonging of this community to this land.” -Itamar Feigenbaum, CfPeace activist

On Aug 27 we met for a group planning meeting in Nazareth. We came out with planning three activities/excursions for September and October. The goal of these excursions is to learn the stories of different villages that were destroyed in 1948 and to hear personal stories of displaced Palestinians in Israel. Deeper knowledge of the Palestinian Nakba will give us better understanding of how to end the conflict and more hope.

Online Events and Webinars

  • “A History of Negotiations” hosted by J Street’s, J Stream. With CfPeace leader, Galia Golan. August 19. Watch the video.
  • “Narratives  of Conflict, Complexity and Transformation”Hosted by Seeds of Peace featuring Combatants for Peace co-founder Souli Khatib, August 3
  • Private Event: Souli & Tuly share their personal stories in a private event on August 11th. Watch  the video.

July 2020

The Freedom School

We had the great honor of welcoming the second cohort of Israeli young adults who have joined our “Freedom School” (Midreshet Dror). The trainees will go through an intensive 6-week-long study program, intending to make them lead activists of tomorrow. They spend these first six weeks learning about the reality of  the occupation, and have the opportunity to  hear from communities living under occupation. Then they are placed in four-month long internships and work directly to end the occupation. Together we are working in partnership with Breaking the Silence and Achvat Amim to make this program a success. Our first meeting with the new group was July 7th, where we welcomed twelve young adult participants.

The Jordan Valley Coalition

The Coalition has been walking with communities around Jericho on a daily basis this month, protecting them from settler and military violence. In the north, they have  been  blocked from walking with the Shepherds, due to the shut-downs from the Coronavirus. Yet, the local communities are reporting  that they have been experiencing fewer attacks from settlers during this time than they have for years, due to the shut-downs

Commemoration of the village of Mal’ul in the North

Commemoration event, marking the anniversary of when the village of Mal’ul, a village next to Nazareth in the North, was expelled and exiled in 1948. Due to restrictions of the virus, the ceremony was turned into a hour-long commemoration video. Watch the video (Hebrew and arabic subtitles only).

In the week of the anniversary of the expulsion of Maalul village near Nazareth in July 15th 1948 we met with Mr. Muhammad Kial, co-founder, of the commitee for the rights of the inner displaced Palestinians for a conversation about the history of the displaced Palestinians and key issues to address to solve the problem of the displaced and refugees.

Protests & Demonstrations

Protests  have been happening nearly every weekend in July in Jerusalem. Combatants for Peace activists participated informally, and towards the end of the month, the steering committee formally decided to bring CfP into the protests. Our activists marched outside the Prime Minister’s home, calling for an end to corruption and an end to the occupation. Watch a video clip from the protest.

200 olive trees were uprooted a month ago in the village of Haris. The local Palestinian communities, along with cfp activists have been praying in the field on fridays as quiet demonstrations against this injustice. This Past Friday,  July 3rd, the army did not let the community pass through the Haris gate. So we stood in front of soldiers and told them the background of the event, explaining to them the injustice they were supporting and committing. Watch the video.

USA Based Activism

  • New Hampshire volunteers are building a program that can be replicated on zoom, where they share the stories of the CfP activists and hold discussions afterwards their local communities.
  • North Carolina volunteers signed a local International Day of Peace Proclmation alongside other local peace groups in Asheville.
  • Philadelphia volunteers are organizing an online screening of Disturbing the Peace and discussion, for their local community.
  • Curriculum Building volunteers from New York and Los Angeles are working together to put together Bar/Bat Mitzvah curriculum, teaching kids and their families about the work of Combatants for Peace and educating them about the situation in Palestine and Israel.

Online Events and Webinars:

  • Learning Peace Webinar: Activism for Human Rights in Conflict Situations: Tactics and Actions Under Fire,  July 22
    With speakers, Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch and Abir Joubran Dakwar, the Unit Director of Human Rights in the Occupied Territories in The Association of Civil Rights in Israel. Watch the Recording. Watch the Recording
  • Hampshire Peace Action Peace & Justice Conversation Series: Combatants for Peace, on July 20th our New Hampshire volunteers presented to their community the inspiration they have found from meeting Combatants for Peace activists.
  • Mandela’s Legacy: Then and Now
    Organized by Social Workers for Peace & Social Welfare and Ossim-Shalom on July 19
    Featuring a panel of speakers from throughout the Peace-camp, honoring and highlighting Mandela’s legacy. Combatants for Peace activist, Souli Khatib sent a recorded video message, which was shared at the event.
  • Emanuel Synagogue Talk: “Peace Is Possible”
    Sydney, Australia on July 19 with two Combatants for Peace activists sharing their personal stories of transformation and the work they are doing to end the occupation and bring peace.
  • Discussion with United Nations Leadership & Civil Society Peacebuilders
    July 13 – Combatants for Peace activist, Souli Khatib spoke alongside Nickolay E. Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process in a private conference for civil society peace-building leadership in Palestine and Israel.
  • Art & Activism
    July 3 – Featuring CfPeace activist, Chen Alon, in a conversation about theater and social justice Watch the Recording
  • An in-depth Discussion on Israel’s Annexation of the West Bank/Palestine
    Organized by Mejdi Tours on July 2 Watch the Recording

June 2020

Anti-Annexation Campaign Continues!

Webinar Series: The Effects of Annexation on Communities and Families
Israel’s threatened annexation of the West Bank poses severe human rights consequences for Palestinian people, families, and communities in the newly annexed area. While much coverage has focused on the impact of annexation on the stalled Oslo process, it is critical that all of us who care about the future of Israel and Palestine, hear directly from Palestinians whose human rights will be affected by annexation.

June 9
Sponsored by Extend, Solidarity of Nations – Achvat Amim and The Center for Jewish Nonviolence
Featuring Combatants for Peace activists Osama Iliwat and Elie Avidor
Watch the Recording

June 14
Sponsored by If Not Now
Featuring Combatants for Peace activists Sulaiman Khatib and Galia Galili
Watch the Recording

June 15
Sponsored by Partners for Progressive Israel
Featuring Combatants for Peace activists Rafa Mismar and Shai Goren
Watch the Recording

***Recommended Talk***
June 23

Sponsored by J Street
Featuring Combatants for Peace activists Sulaiman Khatib and Tuly Flint
Watch the Recording

June 24
Sponsored by Telos
Featuring Combatants for Peace activists Osama Iliwat and Galia Galili
Watch the Recording

June 29
Sponsored by Creativity for Peace
Featuring all female activists, Rafa Mismar and Galia Galili from Combatants for Peace  alongside speakers from the women’s leadership program, Creativity for Peace. This talk  focuses on how women, in particular, will be effected by the annexation.
Watch the Recording

Israel’s Proposed Annexation of the West Bank: Implications for Statehood
Organized by Critical Connections, June 30
Featuring CfPeace activist, Osama Iliwat
Watch the Recording

  • Combatants for Peace organized a demonstration with several hundred Palestinian and Israeli activists joining together to rally against the impending annexation in the West Bank. The march started at the Dead Sea Junction at the entrance to Jericho, known as ‘Almog Junction’ and continued on Settler’s Road 90. The march was coordinated by Combatants for Peace and was supported by an alliance of Palestinian and Israeli organizations working against the occupation including Breaking the Silence, Standing Together, Zaytuna, All That’s Left, Achvat Amim, Zimam, Maavat Nidal, The Bereaved Parents Circle – Families Forum and The Zazim Foundation. Joining the protest the was also Palestinian Governor of Jericho Jihad Abu Al-Asal and former Israeli Knesset member Talab Al-Sana. Article & Photos
  • New Voice, a new group of Combatants for Peace, made a video of Israeli Knesset members speaking out against the impending annexation. View Video
  • German Friends of Combatants for Peace circulated a “call for action”,  calling upon the German government to “take a leading role against annexation and to prevent any escalation of violence in the Near East.” Read the Letter
  • Combatants for Peace addressed all members of the UN Security Council yesterday, on the question of annexation. In the letters we sent, we requested that if the annexation plan is approved by the Israeli government, UN Security Council member states should exercise their powers under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and impose sanctions on the State of Israel, as well as on the three top Israeli officials responsible for the illegal and dangerous annexation plan: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benjamin Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi. Sanctions should include the freezing of their personal assets and the imposition of restrictions on their freedom to travel. A unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank would constitute a violation of international treaties and UN Security Council resolutions. Letter to UN Security Council members 22.6.2020
  • On June 22, activists participated in a mass demonstration in Jericho, and  on June 25th in Habima, both protesting the annexation.
  • Combatants for Peace with two other anti-occupation organizations and the objector’s movement in Israel, wrote a letter to the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas. They requested that the German government, “objects to the annexation in a clear and loud voice and applies the full range of sanctions and actions of International Law to prevent its realization.” The move took place as the German Minister visited Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian counterparts yesterday. Read the Letter
  • Anti-Annexation Protest, June 6th in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv – Combatants for Peace partnered with 25 peace organizations to put together a rally against the impending annexation and ongoing occupation. CfPeace activist, Sulaiman Khatib was asked to speak (via video) alongside USA Senator Bernie Sanders and many others. Here’s a quote from CfP activists, Ella Nour about the protest: “It was exciting to see so many people, Palestinians and Jews, men and women, young and old, unwilling to accept the annexation plan. They came to the square to protest and to fight for our country, for our future and the future of our Palestinian neighbors. I was moved to see all these people gathered around the same idea. The annexation plan will only deepen the occupation. It will hurt the prospect of real peace, and of a Palestinian state next to the State of Israel. Thousands of people have come from far and wide to keep Israel democratic. We will not let the annexation plan be launched and we will continue to fight for democracy!” See photos here.

Webinars:

“Cultivating Young Leadership”
Featuring Combatants for Peace activists Chen Alon and Sulaiman Khatib, in collaboration with “Creativity for Peace”, a young women’s leadership program and musical artist Issa Noor, who performed for the first 30 minutes of the broadcast.
June 4
Watch the Recording

“The Intersection of Human Rights and Environmental Activism”
Featuring Liam Geary Baulch and Yaara Peretz, founders of Extinction Rebellion will join Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director of Ec0Peace Middle East, for a talk about Environmental activism in a conflict zone. What can anti-occupation and human rights activists learn from environmental activists? How do our movements intersect?
June 1
Watch the Recording

The Jordan Valley

The Jordan Valley Coalition has shifted its work from the north to the area around Jericho, and is walking with the shepherds nearly everyday in the villages of Rashest, Ein El Hilwae and Farsia, and in the areas around Tayibe junction and near Uja. Activists from the coalition started going out again around mid-may (after the quarantine restrictions were lifted). There is often violence from settlers and/or military, and our activists’ presence protects the local communities.

Acts of violence against Palestinians living in the West Bank are relentless, and increasing now due to the impending annexation. They take place on a daily basis. We video documented one specific case among many: the destruction of eight family homes a few kilometers from the town of Jericho. The harassment takes many forms. For example – demanding that the shepherds move away from grazing land (even if the shepherds own the land and cultivate it), allowing the settlers’ cattle to eat the produce that the shepherds planted, dispersing the shepherds’ sheep by driving vehicles into the herds, erecting fences and digging trenches to prevent the shepherds from free movement, uprooting or burning their fruit and olive trees, detaining and arresting shepherds on trumped up charges, destroying the shepherds’ home tents and stealing their property, confiscating their tractors and work tools, vandalizing their solar panels.

The basis of our work in the Jordan Valley consists of accompanying Palestinian shepherds in the West Bank in order to deter the Israeli settlers and soldiers from harassing them, and when necessary we use the services of a lawyer to try to right the wrongs that are being done to the Palestinians. We also help the families who need things like clothes, shoes, toys, cooking utensils and sometimes money to pay for medicines or fines. In June we made a collection to buy special food for newly born premature twins.

In addition, this month there is activity with internally displaced Arabs from the village of Ma’alul in the Galilee. A meeting is planned with Palestinian citizens of the state who were displaced from their village in 1948 to express solidarity and see what we can do to help the community. They have been living about 2 km outside their own village and are not allowed to return to their homes.

  • We also joined the many protests against the deplorable killing of a young autistic Palestinian, Eyad, that occurred on May 30 in East Jerusalem.
  • Lectures for Internationals: one lecture was organized by Amal Tikva for Tulane University Students, a second was organized by West End Synagogue in Manhattan, for their community, and  a third was organized by a private book club in New Jersey.
  • Combatants for Peace activists spoke to two groups of Israeli teens before they entered the military next year. Many of these kids had never heard stories of the occupation before. Our Palestinian speakers were brought in through webinar, since there are no permits available for Palestinians to enter Israel.
  • Combatants for Peace activists have been participating in regular protests in the Palestinian village of Haris, ever since an olive grove was demolished in late May. Every Friday the community has been gathering in prayer at the olive grove, as a quiet protest against the injustice. At the scheduled protest on June 26th, the community was not allowed to go through the Haris checkpoint, so Combatants for Peace activists held the line, and instead held the protest in front of the dozen or more soldiers who were were blocking freedom of movement for the community.

May 2020:

Launch of our Anti-Annexation Campaign

The first step was sending a letter, written by a high-profile human rights lawyer, to every member of Knesset in Israel. The letter advised that MK’s should receive private legal council before voting in favor of annexation, explaining that despite support from Gantz, Bibi and Trump, annexation is in violation of international law, and anyone voting in favor of annexation could be committing a war crime, as outlined by international law.

Combatants for Peace sent letters from high-profile Human Rights Attorney Eitay Mack, to the Prime Minister of Greece, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Josep Borrell (the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy), and Israel’s Prime Minister. The letters stated that if the West Bank is formally annexed by the Israeli government, then the trainings for security and military personnel from Greece and Cypus in Israel would be unlawful and *must* be canceled. Once the Israeli government formally goes forward with annexation, these trainings would unlawfully include foreign military trainings in the West Bank. The letter states that the continued training, “will be of great symbolic importance, circumventing international law and ridiculing the EU’s opposition to annexation.”

Read the Letter

Read the Press Release

Nakba Memorial Event
Our first year, launching a collaboration event with Palestinians and Israelis honoring and commemorating the history of the Nakba (Palestinian “catastrophe”) together. This is the Palestinian community’s primary day of mourning, and the first time in history a commemorative event was organized with Palestinians and Israelis together. 21,000 people watched the Ceremony online.
May 14, 2020
Watch the Recording

  • On May 29, Israeli and Palestinian CfP activists met with villagers from Hares, in the northern West Bank, for a nonviolent protest and midday prayers. We came in solidarity for one particular villager, Amjad Sultan, whose olive orchard had been partially bulldozed by nearby settlers. Activists vowed to continue in their nonviolent protests until the village was safe from the military and settlers threatening their land and lives.
  • The Jordan Valley Coalition resumes after quarantine. Our work in the Jordan Valley, walking with shepherds to protect them from settler and military violence, has resumed after the quarantine. Our activists are going out nearly every day to protect  communities in the Northern Jordan Valley.
  • Mothers Day, Listening to the ‘Stories of our Mothers’ online lecture, featuring Sarah Khatib, mother of one of our leading activists, speaking  about the time  her son was in jail, May 10
  • Finding Light Amidst the Darkness: A Talk with the Euphrates Institute – “Opposition between good and bad is often compared to light and dark, but if we look at it in a different way, we will see that when light shines, darkness does not disappear. It doesn’t leave; it merges with the light. It becomes the light.” – Thich Nhat Hanh. Global peace-builders from Palestine and several conflict zones in Africa dive in to these questions and more.
  • Combatants for Peace moved into its first-ever office space! We are using these few weeks to update our online systems, complete a re-evaluation of our organizational structure and improve the professional quality of our NGO.

April 2020:

Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Ceremony

The largest joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial peace event in History: 200,000 people around the world watched the event live. Over 60 NGO’s around the world sponsored and promoted the event from Israel/Palestine to South America, Canada, and groups throughout Europe and the USA. This was the largest collaborative peace event in history, held on Israeli Memorial Day.
April 27, 2020
More Information
Watch the Recording

Quarantine Activism: Our Webinar Series:

“Art, Music and Theater as Forms of Resistance”
with special guest speaker and Israeli visual artist, Hanoch Piven
alongside Samira Saraya, acclaimed Palestinian actress and Chen Alon, leader of the Theater of the Oppressed in CfP
Sunday, April 19
Watch the Recording

Screening of Disturbing the Peace
followed by a talk with singer/songwriter Noa (Achinoam Nini)
April 18
Disturbing the Peace is available on Amazon Prime
Watch the zoom conversation that followed the screening

“Personal Storytelling, a Tool of Transformation”
with Special Guest Speaker, Author Scott Bergstrom
April 13
Watch the Recording

Screening of Disturbing the Peace
Followed by q&a guest speakers: filmmakers Steve Apkon and Marcina Hale
April 11
Disturbing the Peace is available on Amazon Prime
Watch the zoom conversation with our activists after the screening

“Faith in Activism: Freedom or Oppression?”
in Partnership with Churches for Middle East Peace
Tuesday, April 7
Watch the Recording

“USA Based Activism, How Can We Help the Cause?”
Wednesday, April 1

Online Talks & lectures (nearly all activism was online due to the coronavirus)

  • Educational lectures with Israeli teens, pre-military groups, April 2 & 4
  • Hebrew screening of Disturbing the Peace, followed by online question and answer session with CfPeace activists, April 4
  • International Lecture with with CfPeace activists, Sulaiman Khatib speaking to J Street U Students from the United States.
  • International Lecture about the background and details of the Memorial, with Memorial Ceremony organizers Nathan Landau and Adam Rabee, April 15
  • Hebrew lecture on being an Arab-Israeli doctor during Corona, with CfPeace activist, Orna Sajeda, April 16
  • Hebrew lecture about Palestinian Prisoners in coordination with Breaking the Silence, April 16
  • Lecture with Achvat Amim and J Street U, on using Storytelling as a tool for activism, April 20
  • Lectures with ‘Track Two Diplomacy’ an NGO based around cultivating diplomacy tactics worldwide, and a sponsor of the Joint Memorial Ceremony, April 22 &  23
  • We organized regular meetings f0r the Midrasha Freedom School,  continuing the Internship program we built before the quarantine and continuing to cultivate the skills and strengths of our Young Adult Leaders.

Tree Planting! After Israeli settlers uprooted and stole about 500 trees owned by Osama Ali Ibrahim Sabah from the Al Khader village (south of Bethlehem), Combatants for Peace donated and planted 100 olive trees. CfP adhered to the Ministry of Health’s guidelines for the Corona quarantine by keeping the participants under 10 people, who on their side will keep a safe distance from each other. April 15

March 2020:

Webinar: “How is the Corona Virus affecting life in Israel and Occupied Palestine?”
With CfP Activists Galia Galili and Sulaiman Khatib
March 26, 2020
Watch the Recording

  • We held our closing Ceremony of the “Freedom School,” launching a new generation of young adult leaders and activists into the world. The young leaders were scheduled to begin four month internships with the Peace NGO of their choice upon this “graduation,” due to the quarantine, some were able to begin these internships digitally, while others had to postpone their plans.
  • We held two meetings with Israeli pre-army student groups. The first was in the beginning of March, when we met with the students live and in person. When the Corona Quarantine hit, the 10-15 other student lectures we had planned had to be canceled. As communities slowly got more used to shifting to a digital reality, the lectures have been rescheduled, and we held our first virtual lecture with Israel teens at the end of march.
  • Our Activists launched a series of digital events, webinars and conversations, starting on March 9th with a Webinar on the current state of the Israeli elections. CfP activists Galia Golan and Osama Elewat led that call. See above for more digital events held throughout the quarantine.
  • We launched a digital campaign called #OccupationUnderCorona – documenting the human rights abuses that have increased in Occupied Palestine because of the virus. This information was circulated on our social media daily, starting the last few days of March, and will continue for as long as the quarantine continues.
  • Planning for the Joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Ceremony is well underway, with a professional production team working on the broadcast. Plans were thrown for a loop this month as the planning team had to entirely shift gears from organizing a live event to an entirely online broadcast. Over a dozen international groups, NGO’s, religious communities and others have answered the call to sponsor and promote the event worldwide.

West Coast Speaking Tour

Jan 26- Feb 10, 2020
Speakers: Ismail Assad, Yoni Kallai and Galia Galili
Schedule of Events

February 2020:

  • Rally against the trump plan in Tel Aviv, Feb 1st. Our co-founder Souli Khatib was quoted in Haaretz: “Building a shared future is based on respect and trust of both sides. Both sides must decide upon the future of this region.”
  • ”We hosted a “Learning  Peace” Seminar in Tel Aviv on February 2nd with guest speaker Israeli photo journalist and anti-occupation activist Oren Ziv. Oren presented photos and discussed issues connected with photo-activism for peace. His lecture was followed by the personal testimonies of two CfP activists.
  • We met with dozens of Israeli teens who are about to join the military. Most of these kids have never met a Palestinian, nor had the chance to hear his story as an equal human being. Moreover, few have been raised understand the impact of the occupation on their own people, so hear a former soldier speak out against the occupation is often revolutionary for these young people. This is the only opportunity these young teens will have to meet the “other” as a human being face-to-face, before being given a gun and ordered to stand at a checkpoint.
  • We participated in a tree-planting in the Northern West Bank village of Yasuf. The Goal of this activity is to help struggling Palestinian farmers keep their land from being confiscated by the military occupation. One critical way we do this is by planting olive trees.
  • We began a five-week long intensive political training (“Freedom School”) started for 10 young Israeli adults who recently completed their military service. Combatants for Peace has partnered with Breaking the Silence and Hashomer Hatzair to organize a variety of activities: lectures, discussions, personal development work and field visits. At the end of these five weeks, the students will participate in a 4-month internship with a peace organization of their choosing. We are hopeful that these young adults will become the next generation of activist leaders.
  • The Memorial Day Team has been assembled, and they started preliminary meetings on arranging content & finding a location for the event in April.
  • We held two international tours  – one in the  USA for two and a half  weeks, and one in Germany. We met well over 1,000 people internationally.

January 2020:

  • The Theater group put on a very successful play in Beit Jala, using theater as a form of activism, to showcase the effect of the occupation on the civilian Palestinian population, and to engage in a process of healing for both sides.
  • The Jerusalem-Bethlehem group organized a tour in the East Jerusalem neighborhood, Isaweia to introduce Israelis to the situation of life on the ground in occupied Palestine. They also participated in a protest in partnership with the villagers, protesting military brutality, home demolitions and demanding a better life.
  • Leadership workshop – learning deeper tools to help our leadership engage in successful movement building and 2020 planning.
  • Rotary Conference for World Peace: CfP activists were invited to attend the conference and gave a lecture to the  attendees.
  • We are proud to announce that after a deep and tireless search we hired a new Israeli Director! We are honored to add him to our team. Read about Yonatan here.

December 2019:

  • The village of Maalul was destroyed in the 1948 Nakba. Our activists are led a tour for Israelis and Internationals to the area, to learn about the history of Palestine & the Palestinian people.
  • CfP activists built a water catchment system for a community with no access to running water in the West Bank, followed by a tour for Israelis to see the situation under occupation in the Jordan Valley.
  • Led a tour of the East Jerusalem city of Isaweea, to expose Israelis to what life is like for Palestinians under the occupation in East Jerusalem.
  • In celebration of the first night of Hanukah (the festival of lights), Combatants for Peace activists – Israelis and Palestinians together,  lit a message, demanding freedom, in fire-light on the separation wall.
  • A meeting with Israeli teens, in Marda near Ariel Settlement. The Palestinian teens from Marda cannot go to the university that sits on top of their village, because the University will not accept Palestinians – even though the school was built on lands taken from their families.
  • The Center Group (Hares-Tulkarem) planted olive trees on the land under threat of confiscation by the Israeli Civil Authority. The land belongs to the residents of Hares and is located between the settlement of Ariel and the industrial zone Ariel West. By planting olive trees, Combatants for Peace helps Palestinian communities proclaim ownership of their land enabling more freedom of movement.
  • Steering Committee Workshop on Organizational management/planning and development – plans for 2020 are in the works.
  • Protests in East Jerusalem. Hundreds of activists from an array of organizations, including CfP demonstrated in Issawiya against the systematic violence targeted by police against the local residents. Residents often face police brutality, including violence, shock grenades, tear gas, and arrests of children.
  • Meeting of the Jerusalem – Bethlehem Group. During the meeting, residents made signage, declaring that a local water spring (which the Israeli government is hoping to claim for Jews only, by moving the checkpoint to prevent Palestinians from coming in) – should be available for *all* people. They put up these signs by the spring in the middle of the night, voicing their dissent to the government’s policies of land confiscation and separation.
  • CfP activists from the North Group joined the residents from Shufa Village, near Tulkarem, in the Northern West Bank, for a rally against the wall and settlement expansion. Residents of the village, village councils and local activist groups all called for action. The activities began with Friday prayers. After the prayers, people marched together in a nonviolent demonstration.
  • Ramallah – Tel Aviv Meeting: The Israeli Central Group and the Ramallah Palestinian group, met together near Jericho. They spent almost four hours getting to know each other, starting from learning names, They spoke about the hardships at home and outside, that the occupation creates – and they planned activities that will strengthen their community as they work together against the occupation.
  • CfP joined Breaking the Silence, Peace Now, Zazim and Standing Together to organize a tour of Hebron, in response to Defense Minister Naftali Bennett’s announcement of a new Jewish neighborhood on the wholesale market grounds in Hebron. Under the current plans, the ground floor of the residential buildings will be reserved as market stalls, but it is unlikely that local Palestinian residents will be able to access the neighborhood. We stood in solidarity with local Palestinian residents in Hebron and will continue to object to these plans which encroach further into Palestinian land

November 2019:

  • We are in an organizational restructuring/transformational period, evaluating and re-evaluating the best way to structure both CfP and AFCFP for maximum effectiveness.
  • Our local groups are getting stronger. The Bethlehem-Jerusalem met as well as the Ramallah group.
  • The theater group started to work on a new project, a filming day in Kfar Mallik. Unfortunately, a group of settlers violently attacked them and prevented them from finishing their film.
  • We organized the preparations for a new tree-planting in Kfar Mallik, but because of the settler violence we didn’t feel safe enough to go there. It was planned for the end of November, but we are postponing until preparations can be made to ensure the safety of our activists.
  • The Palestinian half of the women’s group hosted an Olive Harvest and launched a plan to rebuild and strengthen the women’s group.
  • Tour for tour guides in the Bethlehem area.
  • Seminar and tour in cooperation with Breaking the Silence and Ir Amim for tour guides who lead pre-army Israeli teens on tours of Hebron.
  • And along with the regular work happening in the Jordan Valley (on a nearly daily basis), we also spent two Saturdays with the movement in the Jordan Valley, working with the local community and Shepherd’s families there.
  • One of our leading activists, Galia Golan, gave a lecture in Ramallah to over 500 people.

East Coast Speaking Tour

November 2-14, 2019

Speakers: Tuly Flint & Sulaiman Khatib
Tour Schedule & More Information

October 2019:

  • Protest in Kfar Mallik, seeking to protect the village from infringing “out-posts” and land-theft.
  • American Friends of CfP “Fellows” Speakers Training Retreat
  • Olive Harvest in the village of Haress. Protecting the local community from violence.
  • Meeting & Lecture with the “Scouts” Movement Leaders in Israel for Israeli Youth leaders.
  • Solidarity visit to the ruins from the Army’s demolition of the Palestinian village of Walaje. Listening to the stories of the local villagers.
  • Nonviolent Communication & Nonviolent Action Training Weekend for the Moment activists.
  • Speaking at the Music Festival INDINegev to young Israeli party-goers.
  • Building a Water Reservoir for a Palestinian community in Hadidia, a community without any access to running water.

Disturbing the Peace Film Screening

Thursday, October 24th, 7pm 2019
West Asheville Library, 942 Haywood Rd, Asheville, North Carolina

Lecture by Galia Golan

Friday, September 27
Washington, D.C.
Sponsored by the Foundation for Middle East Peace

Nonviolence Training in Beit Jala

Saturday, September 26
Nonviolence training in Beit Jala with Combatants for Peace activists and our allies. Over 60 people attended the day-long training seminar. Just as Martin Luther King Jr. trained his activists in nonviolence in preparation for their civil resistance, so too, Combatants for Peace follows this model.

Meeting with Israeli Students in Jerusalem

Saturday, September 26
Movement activists met a group of Israeli students in Jerusalem. Our activists shared their personal stories and then provide a detailed explanation of the reality of life under Israeli occupation, and the ongoing work of the movement nonviolent civil resistance aiming to bring peace and equality to both peoples.

Collaboration Building with ALLMEP

Friday, September 25
Combatants for Peace meet with ALLMEP, The Alliance for Middle East Peace, to discuss the evolution of our projects and possible collaboration activities. As individuals acting alone we can do very little – together we can grow this movement into a force for change.

Lecture with American Students in Jerusalem

September 22
Combatants for Peace activists speaking to a group of American students in Jerusalem. If you’d like to bring our activists to speak to your community – please reach out and be in touch!

Lecture with German Students

September 18
Activists from Combatants for Peace, met two groups of German students in Jerusalem as part our house meetings project, aimed at raising local and international awareness about the occupation and the voice for change. We call upon the international community to join us in advocating for respect of the humanity of all people.

Protest in Kfar Malik

Friday, September 13

The villagers of Malik and Combatants for Peace activists gathered this morning for a peace prayer led by clergy from the three major denominations. The army encircled the group and prevented additional villagers from approaching; Ultimately the army intervened, dispersing the peaceful demonstrators with tear gas
The approximately 200 peace activists and the villagers gathered on village land to conduct a joint prayer and non-violent protest against the settlers’ illegal efforts to expropriate village land for the expansion of the nearby settlement Kochav Hashahar.  Following the quiet prayer and study ceremony, led by Rabbis for Human Rights, a Palestinian Christian minister and a Moslem religious figure, the group moved towards the path leading to the village itself, calling out slogans against the occupation.
The army, that had stood by watching on the edges of the meeting, now responded – dispersing the demonstrators with tear gas, and detaining one of the Palestinian journalists. One of the participants, a resident of the village, collapsed from inhalation of tear gas; he recovered after receiving first aid on the spot.

For some time now, settlers from Kochav Hashahar have been building illegal outposts on private grazing grounds belonging to the village – land expropriations that constitute war crimes.

Tuly Flint, the Israeli coordinator of Combatants for Peace said: “Only the distorted reality of occupation and apartheid can transform a non-violent demonstration of reconciliation and interfaith prayer into a scene of tear gas launched by armed soldiers against peaceful civilians.  We came here today to express solidarity with the people of the village of Malik who are standing up against the outrageous efforts by nearby settlers, efforts that are ignored – and worse – by the occupation authorities, who in fact respond with brutality characteristic of the day to day reality in the occupied territories.  At this moment, as we Israelis are about to go to the polling booths, it is important that we know and understand the depth of the iniquities that are perpetrated in our name, day after day, and the urgency of the demand to end this and to move forward.”

Rabbi Michael Marmor, Chairman of the Rabbis for Human rights Executive Committee, who participated in the prayer, said: “I came to the event to tell participants about sources from the Jewish tradition of expanding borders by trespassing. Probably some Jews, inspired by calls from state leaders for annexation and confrontation, who seek to trespass the border of their Palestinian neighbors, do so in the name of Judaism. We have come to say – it is time to interpret the sources differently. It is time to say enough for the systematic attempt to use Jewish tradition as a justification for plunder. It’s time to make it clear that there is a limit to trespassing.”

Disturbing the Peace Film Screening

Thursday, August 29   7:00 to 9:00 PM
ABQ Friends Meeting House
1600 5th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

Lecture with Italian Students in Jerusalem

August 25th
As part of the CFP House Meetings program, our activists met with a group from Italy in Jerusalem. Members of the movement gave a detailed lecture about CFP’s leading role in the joint nonviolent resistance against the Israeli occupation and for peace.

Protest in Kfar Malik

August 16, 2019
Nonviolent Protest: Combatants for Peace joined in organizing a protest last Friday to speak out against the settlers who are occupying the land of Kufer Malek, a village east of Ramallah. The protesters plan was to organize two more marches: Combatants for Peace will organize one march from outside the village, and at the same time, the local villagers will organize a protest inside the village.
Military troops closed all the roads leading to the village this morning. The official reason for this road closure was to protect an illegal Israeli outpost, which is sitting on stolen, private land. Our activists went out to protest the road closure, and the military responded with rubber bullets and tear gas. Four of our activists were injured, and scores of others were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Moreover, the tear gas fired by Israeli troops caused a fire in the nearby crops belonging to the local Palestinian villagers. In the end, the villagers managed bringing in fire trucks and to put out the fire.
At the end of the activity, Governor Abdel Fattah Hamayel gave a speech welcoming the solidarity activists and praised the efforts of activist groups, like  Combatants for Peace, for working against the occupation and settlement expansion. “Today’s activity is the beginning of a peaceful resistance campaign, aimed at stopping the theft of Palestinian land by Israeli settlers,” said Adam Rabie, activity Coordinator at Combatants for Peace. For seven years, settlers from the nearby Kfar Schahar have been expanding their settlement and seizing the (private) land of the village, all while remaining under the protection of Israeli soldiers.

Theater Production in Tel Aviv

August 19th
A theater company in Tel Aviv hosted a screening of Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet was Israeli and Romeo Palestinian. The play was presented in Hebrew and Arabic. Afterwards, the Theater company invited our activists on the stage to talk about their binational work, and their experience in overcoming the walls of separation and hatred and meeting in a place of respect and dignity.

All summer events from June, July & August will be posted here soon… or check out our FB page for more information.

Three-Part Working Member Workshop:
“COMBATANTS FOR PEACE”

Thursday, June 13, 2019 – June 20th, 2019 – June 27th, 2019
7:00pm to 8:30pm
520 Carpenter Ln, Philadelphia, PA

Weavers Way members Sheila Weinberg and Maynard Seider present a three-part workshop on efforts to envision a peaceful, cooperative Palestinian-Israeli partnership. Accomplished authors and scholars, Sheila and Maynard invite other Co-op members along with neighbors and friends to join them for three evenings designed to explore the work of Combatants for Peace. This evening’s initial session will feature a screening of the first half of the acclaimed documentary “Disturbing the Peace,” along with other footage from the ground, which will be followed by a facilitated discussion about conflict resolution and reconciliation. ATTEND ONE, TWO, OR ALL THREE. REGISTER HERE.

Learning Peace Seminar

May 30, 2019
Learning Peace Seminar: “Israel, the Occupation and the Hague” in our Lecture Series “Studying Peace.”
The speakers were Adv. Sawsan Zaher, of Adalah and Adv. Michael Sfard. After the lecture a Palestinian and an Israeli activist spoke about thier personal transforamtion from participating in the circle of violence to non-violent activism, working together to end the occupation and for a peaceful future.

Israeli Activist Detained in the Jordan Valley

May 27, 2019
As a regular part of our regular work with the Jordan Valley coalition we send activists to walk with the Palestinian Shepherds in the Jordan Valley to protect them from Settler and Israeli Military violence. Today, one of our activists was arrested, blindfolded and handcuffed as part of his nonviolent activity. Read That Story Here

Screening of Disturbing the Peace

Congregation Beth Israel, Asheville, NC
May 22, 7pm
Film screening followed by discussion. Free and open to the public
Hosted by our North Carolina Chapter of American Friends of CfP.
Sponsored by Congregation Beth Israel and Congregation Beth ha Tephila.

Lecture for American Students

May 20, 2019
An American Student group spoke to several of our activists in Tel Aviv, hearing their stories of transformation from fighters who took an active part in the cycle of violence to activists who participate in the joint nonviolent struggle against the occupation.

Leading a Tour for Israeli Tour Guides in the West Bank

May 16, 2019
Combatants activists lead a tour for Israeli tour guides in the West Bank, explaining the political situation and showing them the reality of the occupation. See Photos

Protest in Tel Aviv: Demanding a Just Peace with Gaza

May 15, 2019

One year ago, as hospitals in Gaza were overflowing with wounded protesters, the masses in Tel Aviv celebrated Netta Barzilai’s Eurovision victory. This year we will not take part in this absurd and cynical performance. We refuse to continue “business as usual”, while less than 100km away, millions of people on both sides of the fence pay the price of our apathy. On 14 May, marking one year after 64 protestors were shot dead during the Great March of Return Protests in Gaza, we took to the streets to demand an end to the siege on Gaza and a better future for all of us.

The consequences of the past year’s events are devastating: over 250 Palestinians are dead and tens of thousands wounded, the entire region is under constant threat of escalation, and residents of southern Israel are subject to frequent attacks. The pressing need for a courageous decision is clear – we must put an end to the cycle of violence. Sporadic “relief efforts” are not a solution. A life of dignity for all the people in the region is not optional – it’s a demand that cannot be ignored.

Israel’s new government must change its policy concerning Gaza. It must recognize its responsibility and obligations towards the civilian population, remove the blockade and respect the rights of the people of Gaza: freedom of movement, freedom of profession, the right to protest, the right to health and above all, the right to live in dignity.

The hackneyed claim that the Great March of Return Protests are a threat initiated by Hamas overlooks the democratic character of the demonstrations and the greater context they are taking place in: the ongoing Israeli blockade and the ensuing humanitarian crisis, within a history of over fifty years of military occupation and over seventy years of displacement and exile.

The crisis in Gaza as well as the price paid by citizens of southern Israel is neither decreed by fate nor a natural phenomenon. It is time to end the siege on Gaza. It is time to bring back the hope that a just solution can and must be reached – for all our sakes.

See Photos

Meeting with Israeli teens

May 14, 2019
Combatants for Peace activists sharing their stories with several groups of Israeli teens before they entered the army. For most of these teens, it is the first time they have ever met a Palestinian or heard the story from someone on the “other” side. Photos Here

Memorial Ceremony Tour in Israel and Palestine

April 30 – May 8, 2019
American Friends of Combatants for Peace led a delegation of Americans to visit Israel and Palestine and meet the Combatants on the ground, learn about their work, and attend the joint Memorial Ceremony in Tel Aviv. More Information

Memorial Ceremonies in the USA

May 7 & 8, 2019
Join us at events across the USA to commemorate the joint Memorial Ceremony with Combatants for Peace on Yom Hazikaron (Israeli Memorial Day). Events will be held in NYC, Boston, Washington D.C., Asheville and New Hampshire
Find an Event

Memorial Ceremony
May 7, 2019
www.afcfp.org/Memorial

Lobbying for Permits in the Israeli Supreme Court

May 6, 2019
The Israeli government refused permits for the Palestinians wishing to attend the joint Memorial Ceremony in Tel Aviv. In response our activists took the decision to court, where it was overturned. See the video here.

Conversations with Teens

April 14, 2019
More photos of our activists speaking to Israeli youth.. the systems of segregation: segregated schools and communities, strive to keep people apart. Many (if not most) Israeli teens will have never met a Palestinian before they join the military and serve in the West Bank or at the border of Gaza… this is how the occupation systematically dehumanizes each community to the other. In order to undermine this system, and build a community based on peace and equality, we have to begin to know each other and hear each other’s stories.

Solidarity Visit to Khan Al Ahmar

April 13, 2019
Last year, a broad alliance of activists and diplomatic pressure saved the little Palestinian town of Khan Al Ahmar between Jerusalem and Jericho from being demolished by the Israeli right wing government. Sadly, after very depressing elections in Israel this week, chances increased again that the village will be eliminated soon. We are with the people of Khan Al Ahmar, and told them today: “We support you in any way we can, that you won’t lose your home!”

Meeting with Students

April 12, 2019
Photos Here

Training Weekend for USA Based Activists

April 7, 2019
This weekend we had our first official meeting of Combatants for Peace activists who are living in the USA. We had eight participants spend a weekend together: four Palestinians and four Israelis. We brought in a public speaking coach and trained ourselves in effective public speaking and personal storytelling. After this weekend we are confident that our activists will be able to speak with clarity and confidence about their experiences living under, or participating in, the occupation. They have all undergone incredible transformations from people who (years ago) were resigned to a fate of violence, and now are dedicated peace activists, working together to create change. See Photos

Movie Screening & Q/A in Santa Cruz

April 7, 2019, 2pm PST
Speakers: Nizar Farsakh & Sophie Schor
Click Here for more information

A Day of Activism in the Jordan Valley

April 4, 2019
A day of activism in the Jordan Valley coordinated by the Jordan valley coalition, a partnership of peace activists and organizations such as Taayush, Machsom watch, CFPeace and Dahrma-Activism. The coalition serves to protect Palestinian shepherds from the violence of settlers and soldiers, who often attack when the shepherds take their sheep out to graze. By sending Israeli activists out to walk with the shepherds, it creates a protective presence for them. Photos

Running For Freedom

April 3, 2019
Combatants for Peace activist, Ahmed, running for Freedom in the Palestine Marathon. And Tuly, running in the Tel Aviv Marathon. While Tuly, who is Israeli and Ahmed, who is Palestinian are prevented from running together by their governments – our activists are sending a very clear message: peace, freedom and equal human rights for all will only be achieved when awareness of the importance of this message infuses every aspect of society. Photos

Steering Committee Meeting

April 2, 2019
General Assembly meeting for the whole CfP movement. This is the time to openly discuss and face difficulties between the two sides, strategize difference means of resistance to the occupation, and plan for future events and activities. Open communication is the key to community building and a movement based on mutual trust and respect. There is Another Way! Photos

Theater Group Rehersal

April 1, 2019
Meeting of the Combatants for Peace Theater Group. Photos of a group training in Bethlehem. CFP uses theater both as a tool of nonviolent civil resistance to the occupation and also as a means of building community and overcoming collective trauma. There is Another Way! Photos

Meeting a German Group

March 31, 2019
Combatants for Peace activists spoke with a German group, sharing their personal stories and the work the movement is doing to end the occupation and bring peace to both peoples. Photos

Meeting with the Palestinian Authority

March 30, 2019
A meeting was held in the city of Ramallah between CFP activists and members of the Palestinian Authority. Representing CFP was a group of Palestinian and Israeli activists & leaders in the movement. During the meeting, CFP activits spoke about their joint nonviolent resistance to the occupation. Among other activities, activists spoke about CfP’s House Meetings project, in which CfP activists share their personal stories with local and international youth groups in order to support and advocate for the nonviolent struggle against the occupation and for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Photos

Meeting with Israeli teens

March 28 & 29, 2019
Combatants for Peace activists sharing their stories with several groups of Israeli teens before they entered the army. For most of these teens, it is the first time they have ever met a Palestinian or heard the story from someone on the “other” side. See Photos Here and Here

Bethlehem Tour with Israeli teens

March 27, 2019
Combatants for Peace activists met with 55 Israelis and Americans from the Hartman Pre-army program, who came to learn about the occupation and its impact on the local Palestinian community. We toured in Bethlehem, and two CfPeace activists shared their personal stories. Photos

Activists Planning Meeting in the Northern West Bank

March 14, 2019
The Northern Group of Combatants for Peace held its regular meeting in the Wad Al Rasha area in the northern West Bank and met with a number of residents and farmers affected by the Wall. During the meeting CFP activists and the land owners agreed to organize work days to help the local farmers reach their land safely and plant it with olive trees. It was also agreed to work with an Israeli lawyer to help the owners of the land fight the land confiscation practices of the local settlements. Photos

Tour of Hebron

March 13, 2019
Combatants for Peace organized a tour for Israelis to the south Hebron hills area of Yatta and the villages of Al Towani and Um Al Khier. During the tour, CfP activists explained about the continued setters attacks that Palestinian residents in that area face. Last month the military and setters bulldozed lands owned by the local community and destroyed pipelines supplying Yatta and the villages of Al Towani and Um Al Khier residents with water. CfP activists held the tour in order to educate the Israeli public about the occupation, and to express solidarity with the local community. When we, Palestinians and Israelis, stand up together – then together we can create a better world, based on justice and equality. Photos

USA Speaking Tour

February 25-March 8, 2019

Speakers: Michal Hochberg & Osama Elewat
Tour Schedule & More Information

Lectures in Jerusalem

February 23rd, 2019 & March 1, 2019
Lectures with young adult Israeli and Jewish-American Leadership in Jerusalem. Photos here and here.

Planting Trees in the West Bank with Rabbis for Human Rights

February 22, 2019
The southern group in Combatants for Peace held a joint action with US based organization “Rabbis for Human rights” and planted olive trees on lands owned by Palestinian farmers from the village of Um al-Khier in Yatta area, southern West Bank. Last month, activists from CFP and Rabbis for Human rights planted olive trees at the same location but the military came and uprooted the young olive trees the activists had planted. Today we returned and replanted the uprooted trees. Photos

First Theater Group Performance of 2019

February 19, 2019
Combatants for Peace uses theater as a form of activism. Theater of the Oppressed allows people to see and experience the world through the eyes of the “other” and helps us to open our eyes with compassion and awareness. Photos

Olive Tree Planting in the West Bank Village of Al-Rakiz

February 9, 2019
A group of Rabbinical students from the USA, who are working with Rabbis for Human Rights, partnered with Combatants for Peace in a tree planting day in the West Bank Village of Al-Rakiz. This village is in C area, and is a part of a larger area in the south Hebron hills where the local people are being pushed out by the settlers. On December 31st, the Israeli army uprooted 120 olive trees in and around the village. Our activists came out to re-plant them. Photos

Olive Tree Planting in Hebron

February 8, 2019
A number of Palestinian landowners and Combatants for Peace activists suffered effects of tear gas inhalation fired by Israeli troops at participants of a solidarity action of planting olive trees on lands owned by farmers from the town of Beit Ummar – Hebron in southern West Bank. The activity today marked ‘World Agriculture Day.’ Our action also aimed to support the steadfastness of Palestinian farmers facing settlement expansion on their land. The Israeli military intends to confiscate (without compensation) private land near the settlement of Etzion, which is owned by the Aby Ayyash family. We went to the land to plant olive trees there, in support of the family. The area is known to locals as Al-Suda. Video

 Theater Group Workshop

February 8, 2019
Learning about Theater of the Oppressed and using Theater as a form of community building, trauma healing, and nonviolent civil resistance to the occupation. Using art as a form of activism. Photos

 Meeting with Palestinian Students

February 7, 2019
A meeting between CfPeace activists and Palestinian University students. The activists shared their personal stories and spoke of the importance (and effectiveness) of nonviolent civil resistance. Photos

 Tour of Qalkilya Area

February 6, 2019
Last week CfPeace activists led a tour of the Alfei Menashe-Qalkilya area, meeting local Palestinians to hear firsthand to learn about the effect of the separation wall, which often prevents the villagers from accessing their land. One local activist, who CFP helped complete and approve a master plan preventing the demolition of the local school, led us to nearby villages of Azzun, Ras A Tiya, Khirbet Ras Al Tira, and Wadi ar Rasha. Another family invited us to their home, showing us the wall that separates his village from the olive grove his family and other families in the village own. We learned about the hardship that the villagers have to go through when trying to get to their olive groves. We heard about the efforts made by other Israeli peace groups and discussed how we can join forces and coordinate our activities in order to maintain continuous pressure on the Israeli government to allow the Palestinians to reach the land they have been separated from, and cultivate it not only during the olive picking season, but also throughout the year, such that next year’s harvest will be better and more abundant. Photos

 Olive Tree Planting

January 25, 2019
Combatants of Peace South group, together with Rabbis for Human Rights activists arrived this morning with a Tu B’shvat spirit. They planted olive trees in the West Bank, as a message of reconciliation and peace. Settlers in the local community had cut down the trees of local Palestinian farmers, and our activists came out to replant them. When they destroy – we build. When they offer destruction and ruin, we offer a common future an the building of a life together. We will create hope in this place. Photos

 Children’s Day in the Jordan Valley

January 12, 2019
Video of the Children’s Day organized by the Combatants for Peace Women’s Group in the Jordan Valley. Helping children thrive, despite desperate circumstances. The women held an educational and entertainment day for the children for al Oja Bedouin community in Jericho. During the day, CFP activists taught the children about the importance of cleaning their teeth and then handed out toothpaste and toothbrushes to the children. The women also presented a theater performance and a children’s dance class, complete with face paint for the kids. At the end of the day, the CFP women group handed out gifts and toys to the children.

Lecture with American Students

January 9, 2019
CFP met a group of students from Harvard. Our activists shared their personal stories & the work they are doing to end the occupation and work for peace. When we humanize the “enemy” – and see the humanity in the “other” we will naturally treat each other with respect and dignity.

Olive Tree Planting in Hebron

January 7, 2019
CFP activists and villagers from Al Mofakara community near Hebron, planted more than 50 olive trees today that were donated by Combatants for Peace. Construction instead of Destruction. Photos

Meeting with Israeli teens

January 3, 2019
Combatants for Peace activists met with Israeli students in Jerusalem today. Representing CFP were, Moran and Adam. Members of the movement spoke about their personal stories and about the movement’s ongoing activity in joint nonviolent resistance against the Israeli occupation. The meeting ended with a discussion between the members of the movement and the audience.

Protecting Communities & Preventing Illegal Outposts

December 24, 2018
During the night settlers built a new outpost in the West Bank, on the outskirts of Batir Town, not far from Beit Jalla (Bethlehem Area), in Area C. Last Wednesday settlers came with heavy machinery and started making a road to this new outpost. Combatants Activists, Galia, Jamil and Tuli were there and took photos and called the civil administration to demand the settlers be removed. The civil administration made the settlers leave because they had no legal documents commissioning the outpost – and clearly did not own the land. In that incident the police confiscated one of our activists phones and deleted all his photos and videos of the outpost. Luckily he managed to forward it out before that (see the images below). The community in Batir have been working this land for centuries and remember paying taxes for the land to the Turkish during the Ottoman Empire. This morning the outpost was removed, but we expect this might only be “round one” and that the settlers will likely come back. On the 28th of December Combatants for Peace plans to do an action in Batir, to show solidarity with the villagers and help them to protect their land. Photos

Talk with Activists at IKAR

December 15, 2019
Los Angeles, CA
More Information

Rebuilding Homes that were Demolished

December 12, 2018
Its getting to be winter and Palestinians in the Jordan valley are continually forced to leave their homes and their lands. Today, together with our Jordan Valley Coalition, we built a tent for a family of twelve in order to protect them for the upcoming rainy season and to show solidarity in face of the forced evictions from their lands. Photos

Building Rainwater Harvesting Systems for Communities without Running Water

December 3, 2018
Combatants for Peace built rainwater-harvesting channels in Khalat Makhoul and the Haddiya, two communities in the Jordan Valley that are denied access to running water. We built two water harvesting wells, cleaned the waterways, and built two new pathways, lined with cement in order to help these families collect and store rain water from the winter/rainy season. Photos

Solidarity Protest with Adnan Ghayith, Jerusalem Governor

Wednesday November 28th, at The Hizma Roundabout on 3:30 PM
Palestinian National organizations and collations in Jerusalem invites you join the solidarity Protest with Adnan Ghayith. Jerusalem’s Governor Adnan Ghayith was arrested by Israeli occupation forces earlier in the week without any reason; he is among nearly two dozen Palestinian leaders who were detained by the occupation since the start of this week.

Building Water Reservoirs in the West Bank

November 24, 2018
We set out to Halat Machul and Hadidiya. A month ago, before the rains began, we dug water tunnels in Halat Machul. Now it was time to plaster and reinforce them so they will hold up throughout the winter. In addition, we dug new water tunnels for the neighboring Hadida community which has undergone demolition by the army this past week. This community has remained without shelter, now that the winter is here. In addition to the humanitarian aspect, we do these actions as part of our ongoing struggle against expulsion of Palestinian population from their land, and promotion of their right to hold on to their land and profit from it and from it’s natural resources such as rain water.

Tour in Germany

November 10-25, 2018
Tour with Combatants activists throughout Germany. We talked to students, activists, human rights organizations, teachers, politicians and government officials to spread our message! We want to thank each one of you for welcoming us with such open hearts and support our way of creating an alternative reality for Israelis and Palestinans alike!

Two Day Theater Workshop

November 10 & 11, 2018
The Combatants for Peace Theater group conducted a two-day workshop for CfP members to learn how theater can be used as a nonviolent activist tool.

A Reason For Hope, Tour in Israel and Palestine

Tour For Americans and Internationals
November 2-11, 2018
More Information
Register

Building a Playground

November 10, 2018
Combatants activists will be building a playground adjacent to a school for Palestinian children in Area C, in the Jordan Valley. The Israeli military controls this region (60% of the West Bank), but offers no resources for these children. Our effort will provide them a safe place to play while at school. Please use our contact page and let us know if you would like to attend.

Run for Freedom

November 4, 2018
Just as Gandhi walked to bring an end to the occupation of India in the Great Salt March, activists all over the world are running to bring awareness and attention to the occupation of Palestine. Everyone, all over the world is welcome to run with us. You can join our cause if you are an experienced marathoner or are only able to run a few miles. Read more…

A Reason For Hope, Tour in Israel and Palestine

November 2-11, 2018

More Information
Register

Olive Harvest

October 26, 2018
Combatants activists will be working with a Palestinian community in the West Bank to harvest their olives. The presence of the activists not only aids the harvest, but protects the community from violence by either the military or settlers. Please use our contact page and let us know if you would like to attend.

Nablus Tour

October 26, 2018
CFPs Tel Aviv/Nablus Group invites you on a tour to the area of Nablus, to see the reality of the occupation and learn what you can do against it. We will talk about the settlements in the area and meet with our Palestinian activists to learn how it is to live a life under occupation. The bus leaves from in front of Tel Aviv Savidor Train Station (Central Station) at 9:00, we return approx. at 16:00. The tour does not go through restricted areas and security coordination is not required. Join us!

Sit-In in Khan Al Ahmar

July-October 2018
Join us in Khan al Ahmar, as activists prepare for the imminent destruction of the village and the local school by the Israeli army. The Israeli courts have given the green light to the demolition, and activists are standing by to block the bulldozers with their bodies; record, publicize and call attention to this needless destruction; and as much as possible, protect the villagers from violence. Approximately 180 families live in this village, and a similar number of children depend on the local school. The military is destroying this Bedouin community in order to make way for a new Jewish settlement (a Jewish-only, gated community). This move is not only harmful and hurtful to the local villagers and children, but it also further jeopardizes the possibility of a peaceful solution, undermines the possibility of a free Palestinian State and it destroys the viability of a two-state solution – and of course it is also completely illegal under international law!
Help us Save Khan al Ahmar and protect the people of Palestine AND Israel!

Building a Playground

October 20, 2018
The work began on a playground in Jib el Dib, a Palestinian community near Bethlehem. The movement will be building a playground for a local school – providing the children a safe place to play outside. The playground will be finished November 1oth.

Steering Committee Meeting

October 19, 2018
We are living in times where it is very easy to get frustrated. The ongoing crisis in Gaza, the ongoing threat of demolition of Khan al Ahmar and other Palestinian villages, settlement expansions, the rise of right-wing ideas in our societies. We took the time in our steering committee to reflect on our strategy and our way. Challenges are huge but we all feel that being silent is not an option. So we took new energy and continue our way of creating an alternative reality and meetings like this give us hope and motivation, that it is possible!

EU Delegation Tour

October 18, 2018
A tour for an EU delegation from different countries, hosted by three Combatants activists in the region of Diar Estia and Wadi Qana in northern West Bank. The delegation was briefed on the theft of land and water by the settlers. Members of the movement also presented their personal stories. The meeting ended by answering questions by the audience.

Olive Harvest

October 13, 2018
Combatants activists will be working with a Palestinian community in the West Bank to harvest their olives. The presence of the activists not only aids the harvest, but protects the community from violence by either the military or settlers. Please use our contact page and let us know if you would like to attend.

Talk with Human Rights Monitors

October 12, 2018
Combatants activists spoke with dozens of international volunteers who came to Israel/Palestine as part of the Ecumencial Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine. The volunteers serve as human rights monitors who witness life under occupation and go home to promote change. The volunteers undergo a month-long training and it was within that framework that CFP activists spoke to them. Our activists told their personal stories, and through those stories, the current situation in Israel and Palestine and how CFP seeks to intervene in it. Following that meeting 50 members of the group visited Khan al Ahmar and talked at length with several more CfP activists who have been a part of the ongoing solidarity presence there.

Learning Peace Seminar

October 6, 2018
On the occasion of the release of the book “Emptied Lands”, Combatants for Peace invites you to a special LEARNING PEACE event in Haifa next Saturday. Prof. Sandy Kedar from the faculty of Law at Haifa University will speak about “The new National Law and Land Policy in Israel”. We discussed if the new Nation-State Law will create a change in Israel’s land policy.

Olive Harvest

October 6, 2018
Combatants activists will be working with a Palestinian community in the West Bank to harvest their olives. The presence of the activists not only aids the harvest, but protects the community from violence by either the military or settlers. Please use our contact page and let us know if you would like to attend.

Balloons & Protest Tent in Khan al Ahmar & Kfar Adumim Settlement

October 2, 2018
What a day in Khan Al Ahmar! Settlers from the nearby Kfar Adumim Settlement released their waste water to Khan Al Ahmar. In a symbolic act we filled this sewage water in bottles and brought it back to the settlers. We opened a protest tent in front of the settlement asking to immediately stop this aggression. We released hundreds of balloons from Khan al Ahmar, demanding the cancellation of the demolition. These balloons are expected to land all over Israel. We marched, Palestinians and Israelis together on the main highway to let everyone know what is going on in this village. We will not be silenced! And we wont stop until the people in Khan Al Ahmar have a guarantee that they can stay!

Letter to German Chancellor Merkel

October 1, 2018
German Chancellor Merkel is coming to Jerusalem tomorrow. We wrote her a letter on the upcoming demolition of Khan al Ahmar:

Dear Mrs. Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel,
we warmly welcome You to Jerusalem! We, Israelis and Palestinians, all former fighters in the endless wars our region has gone through, would like to address you with urgency regarding the village of Khan Al Ahmar. We call upon you to also listen to us, a vivid civil society of Israelis and Palestinians, who work for equality and justice for our both peoples on the ground.

While you are dining with Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and consult within the Israeli Knesset, you should know that at the same time, there are people living in constant fear of losing their homes. In the next days, a village for hundreds of Palestinian Bedouins and a school for more than 100 students, will be demolished and the people forcefully evicted – just half an hour from Jerusalem.
Khan al Ahmar has become a symbol of hope in the civil, non-violent resistance against Israeli settlement policies. We, members of Combatants for Peace, together with many internationals, and other Israeli and Palestinian civil society organizations, have been present in Khan Al Ahmar since weeks, around the clock, to protect the village from demolition.

It is even more than “just” demolishing the homes of dozens of families – it creates another hard fact on the ground, and the Israeli settlement policy, illegal by international law, would move a big step forward, if the demolition takes place. The occupied territories would be basically split in two parts, if the village gets demolished and the surrounding settlements get extended.
With appreciation, we have followed the statement of the European Union to immediately stop the demolition order for Khan Al Ahmar, but we are in times, where lose statements do not help anymore.

We see Germany as an influential friend of our Jewish-Israeli society, and as a friend of our Palestinian people. Therefore, we call upon you to convince the Israeli government to stop the demolition of the village of Khan al Ahmar. This is in the interest of all of us who believe in
coexistence and peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike. History has taught us, violence leads to nothing more than even more desperation, frustration and more violence.
We invite you to meet with us and listen to our personal stories. We have served in the Israeli army and we were fighters in the violent Palestinian resistance. We all understood that this endless circle of destruction does not lead to anything. We all went through a deep personal transformation which formed the basis for our movement “Combatants for Peace”. Today, it is the largest, joint Israeli-Palestinian peace movement. We work towards another reality in our region every day, where Israelis and Palestinians live side by side in peace and dignity, with equal rights for all. Clearly, the occupation is the biggest obstacle in achieving that. Please help us to make our dream come true!

In November, 19th – 23rd, representatives of Combatants for Peace will come to Berlin. We would love to get in touch with you and convince you that there is another way. A way of hope for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

With our highest esteem,
In peace from Israel and Palestine,
Combatants for Peace

Read More in Haaretz

Drawing a Smile

September 20-21, 2018
Combatants for Peace organized a recreational activity for the children of Khan al Ahmar called “Drawing a Smile on Children’s Faces”. Thursday, Combatants activists brought face paint to decorate the children’s faces, and one activist dressed up as Micky Mouse and danced with the kids. Even the adults of the community joined in – as did a film crew for Al Jazeera. On Friday morning, 21.09.2018, CFP activists and Khan Al Ahmar children painted and decorated car tires and then everyone then moved to a nearby hilltop overlooking the community, and drew “Khan Al Ahmar” in Arabic letters with stones, and painted them. Later on, the activists went to the Al-Khan Al-Ahmar school where Micky came back and put on a nice show for the children. The children were also given drawing books and crayons to play with. The activity ended just before the midday prayers Friday with activists of CFP handing out toys for the children. This activity aimed to alleviate the effects of the occupation on children and support the steadfastness of the people. The military has decided to demolish the Khan Al Ahmar School and the surrounding Bedouin community. The Bedouins were first displaced by the occupation in 1948 from their original areas in the Negev. Since the occupation began implementing the plan to deport the Al-Khan Al-Ahmar community, CFP activists, both Palestinians and Israelis, have been present to support the steadfastness of the people there.

Building a Water Reservoir

September 16, 2018
Combatants for Peace activists spent the day in the region of Tubas (in the northern West Bank) building a water reservoir for the local Palestinian community. While the settlers and army bases around the village enjoy their fresh, clean water right from the tap, the Palestinians have no access to running water and depend on collecting the rain water in the desert. Clean, safe water access is a human right.

Demanding Freedom of Movement

September 9, 2018
Combatants for Peace activists, in cooperation with a number of anti-occupation & Peace building NGOs organized a protest on Sunday in support of Palestinian farmers from the village of Kafel Haris, in front of Ariel settlement in the northern West Bank. Protesters demanded the farmers rights to reach their land near the settlement. More than two months ago, the new security chief of Ariel decided to prevent local farmers from reaching their own land, which is planted with olive trees. The activists and farmers demanded that the farmers be allowed farmers to reach their lands, especially as the olive harvest season approaches! The Olive harvest supports the livelihood of 25,000 Palestinian families from different parts of the West Bank. After more than two hours of demonstrations, the soldiers agreed to allow farmers to pass, and agreed to allow for permanent access in the future.

Protest in Qalqas, West Bank

September 7
Denying Freedom of movement is WRONG. Combatants for Peace will stand up for what is RIGHT. Dozens of activists from Combatants for Peace joined the residents of Qalqas village, in south of Hebron, in a march demanding the opening the village entrance, which the Israeli military closed for the last 14 years. Friday prayers were held near the dirt barrier erected by the occupation, and then the participants gathered at the closed entrance of the village where Israeli soldiers prevented them from reaching the nearby Road 60. The participants chanted anti-occupation slogans and demanded the opening of the street. “The closure of this street causes permanent suffering to the residents and it is a clear violation of human rights. There is no justification for the occupation to keep this street closed. So we will continue our resistance until the entrance to the village is open. “Adam Rabee, the Palestinian activities coordinator of CFP. Since 2002, the Israeli occupation has closed the main entrance leading to the village from road 60, mainly used by Israeli settlers, forcing residents to use a 30 kilometer road to reach Hebron. The closure of the entrance to the village impedes the movement of residents to and from their work, exposes school-aged children to car “accidents” by settlers and obstructs the access of health services to the village. This week, after years of court cases, the Israeli court decided to keep the road closed.

Protest in Khan Al Ahmar

September 7th, 2018
CFP members joined scores of local, international and Israeli activist in the Friday prays and a protest in Khan Al Ahmar Bedouin community. This week, the Israeli military court decided to give the green light to the army to demolish the Bedouin community in the Al Khan Al Ahmar area located between Jerusalem and Jericho in the Central West Bank. CFP have joined dozens of activists from other institutions and residents of the area since July 2018. Israeli bulldozers began to build roads in the Al Khan Al Ahmar area in preparation for the destruction and deportation of the Bedouin population. The region is home to more than 50 Bedouin families. In June, the Israeli occupation forces attacked the demonstrators, injuring more than 12 civilians, including one from CFP. The occupation also arrested three foreign solidarity activists during the protests. Since June, the occupation authorities have decided to demolish their homes and deport them to an area next to a garbage dump outside of Jerusalem that the department of health has deemed unfit for human habitation. The children’s school in Khan Al Ahmar serves nearly 200 children, all of these children will be left without a school. The Bedouins of the Al-Khan Al-Ahmar area were originally displaced from the Negev in 1948.

Solidarity Tour with Breaking the Silence

September 2nd, 2018
The tour visited the settler outpost of Mitzpe Yair in the occupied South Hebron Hills, where settlers violently attacked six human rights activists from Ta’ayush last week. The Israeli army first tried to stop the tour through a military order and later, when we arrived, detained Breaking the Silence director Avner Gvaryahu, Achiya Schatz as well as human rights attorney Michael Sfard.

50+ Backpacks & School Supplies for Bedouin Children

August 30, 2018
Marking the new school year of 2018/2019 the Jericho-Jerusalem group of Combatants for Peace handed-out more than 50 school bags full of school supplies to children at a number of Bedouin communities in the Jordan valley in the central West Bank. These children would otherwise have no access to school supplies and the CFP activist came to support their right to education, despite living through with school and home demolitions, frequent confiscation of their family’s livestock and lack of water access.

Bethlehem Tour

August 17, 2018
Combatants activists, in partnership with the Parents Circle, led a tour of the Bethlehem area to show Israelis the reality of the situation in the occupied areas. In order for healing to take place and human rights to be established, the truth of the occupation must be revealed. There is no other way.

Protest of the Nation-State Law

August 12, 2018
Combatants for Peace activists join tens of thousands of protesters in Rabin Square to protest the racist nation-state law. We demand equality for ALL people, regardless of race or religion!!! This was the largest joint protest of Jews and Arabs in the history of israel. There Is Another Way!

There have been massive demonstrations in Tel Aviv against the recently enacted a new Basic Law known as the “Nation-State” law. As Israel has no written constitution, a number of Basic Laws have been enacted over the years which are difficult to change and serve as a constitution.
The protests to the Nation-State law revolve around it prioritizing Jewish citizens, omitting even the word equality (or democracy) from the law as it lays out the official language, symbols, holidays and building preference for Jews, ignoring mention of minority citizens of the state. It does mention Arabic, which has been demoted from an official language to one of “special” status. In essence, the Nation State Law divides the citizenry, prioritizing Jewish citizens while ignoring non-Jewish minorities, most notably the 20% of Israelis who are Arabs. 

Normally CfP does not deal with domestic Israeli issues not directly linked to the occupation or the occupied territories, but since this new law so changes the very character of Israel and flaunts the essence of democracy, namely the principle of equality, the movement has felt it essential to join in the protests. The first step has been to participate as a movement in the mass demonstrations. Further, we plan to conduct at least one or two “Learning Peace” events on the topic as well.

 

Bethlehem Tour

July 28, 2018
A CFP tour of Bethlehem, showing people the reality of the human rights crisis on the ground. Only through education will we expand awareness and heal the situation.

Storytelling training/workshop

July 28, 2018
Part of the training for CFP activists on personal story telling in front of local and international audience. The course started on Friday July 27th and will end on Saturday 28th in the city of Beit Jala. During the training, participants will be trained on how to tell their personal stories and how they deliver it to the public. The first day had an intensive program of training and concluded with a screening of “Disruption the Peace” film by American director Steve Apkon, which highlights the movement work and nonviolent struggle against the occupation.

New Members Meeting

August 11-12, 2018
Two day new recruits workshop that was held at Beit Jala town southern West Bank. During the day veteran CFP members took turns in doing lectures and groups sessions to explain the objectives of CFP and its continued work in the nonviolence resistance against the occupation. At the end of the first day, new members watched the film, “Disturbing the Peace.”

Planning Meeting with the Mayor

July 27, 2018
Meeting with the mayor of Bani Naem in south Hebron to discuss a partnership and working together on starting new activities in his area with Combatants for Peace.

Meeting with International Students

July 27, 2018
Combatants activists speaking to a group of Italian youth visiting for a 15 day scout camp.

Youth Group Meeting

July 21, 2018
Today we started with the first meeting of our newly established youth group on the Palestinian side of CFP. Our activists Khouloud, Jameel and Nazih facilitated a workshop on CFP’s way of nonviolent resistance. Ahlan wa Sahlan (“welcome”) to all Newcomers!

 

House Meetings in Hebron & the Negev

July 19, 2018
Our regular house meetings, like these ones in Hebron and the Negev desert aim to provide a platform for getting to know each other, exchange our personal stories and plan our joint nonviolent resistance for peace and dignity.

A Month of Sit-Ins in Khan Al Ahmar

July, 2018
Updates from Khan al Ahmar: People in Khan Al Ahmar are still living in uncertainty. While an official court decision has postponed the demolition, the army has declared the village as a closed military zone and prepares everything for the demolition. We will stay in solidarity, day and night, until the order has been cancelled completely!

Screening on Independence Hall

July 7, 2018
Screening photographs and video footage of police/military violence against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank onto the outside wall of the Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. 

Disturbing the Peace Screening

June 24th, 1:30pm
Boston center for psychoanalysis
1581 Beacon St. Brookline, MA
More Information / Event Flyer

Protests against the Seize in Gaza

May 15
“We will block the road until you stop the fire in Gaza” – Solidarity protest now in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. More than 1000 people went to the streets in Jaffa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in a joint protest against the killings in Gaza and against the decades of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian people in a joint protest of Combatants for Peace and many other Peace groups, blocking one of the main streets in Tel Aviv. Arabs and Jews refuse to be enemies!

May 18
Protesters demand an end to the violence at the Gaza border! Remove the siege!

May 20
Tonight in Haifa: 500 Israelis and Palestinias clearly demand: remove the siege of Gaza! We won’t sit on the side while the Israeli government leads our two peoples into a great disaster. We won’t be silenced when you shoot and kill unarmed protesters in Gaza. The police is using force against activists! It is time to fight together for an Israeli-Palestinian peace, for safety, dignity and respect for our both nations.

May 19, 2018
Following the violent arrest of 22 peaceful demonstrators in a Gaza-Protest on Friday in Haifa, CFP activists among them, we underline the right to free speech and opinion and go back to the streets tonight! Join our struggle to end the occupation, lift the siege of Gaza and promote a reality, where Israelis and Palestinians can live peacefully side by side in coexistence! Tonight, 20:30, German Colony, Haifa.

Learning Peace Seminar

May 7, 2018
What is going on in occupied Palestine? What kind of strategy is behind the actions of the Israeli government in Area C of the West Bank? Hear the answers given in our “Learning Peace” discussions in Tel Aviv for the Israeli public. Today with a lecture from Lior Amichai from Yesh Din.

New England Tour

April 21-May 4, 2018
Speakers: Shai Eluk, Osama Elewat, Netta Hazan & Kholud Abu-Raeya

Schedule of Events

Bozeman, Montana Film Screening

April 24th, 7:00pm
The Rialto: 10 West Main Street (Doors open at 6pm)
Featuring Osama Elewat and Shai Eluk joining via skype
Purchase Tickets Online

Israeli-Palestinian Joint Memorial Ceremony

On April 17, 2018 we witnessed history. 8,000 people came to the joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Ceremony, marking it as one of the largest Ceremonies in all of Israel.  The Ceremony made major headlines all across the mainstream Israeli news media.

To those who say there is no partner for peace on the other side – we say loud and clear: There IS a Partner. Join next year’s Ceremony and see for yourself what courage truly looks like. If we act together, a new era of justice and peace will be upon us. As author David Grossman said in his speech at the Ceremony: “I discovered that every time I am tempted to rage and hate, I immediately feel that I am losing contact with my son. I made my decision. And I believe that those who are here tonight also made the same decision.”

For the last 13 years, the annual Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Ceremony has united thousands worldwide to mourn, hope, and raise our voices for peace. What began as a small ceremony of 50 people in 2005 is now one of the largest Memorial Day events held in all of Israel. We have a powerful message non-violence and mutual dignity, and some would prefer that this message be suppressed. It’s no secret that the right-wing Israeli government and it’s allied political groups are trying to silence organizations like ours, organizations that are taking a stand against the occupation – and a stand against hate.

In 2017, just two days before the event, permits were revoked for hundreds of grieving Palestinians planning to attend the ceremony. We were forced to hold two separate Ceremonies, one in Tel Aviv and one in Beit Jala. In 2018 Permits were again revoked at the last minute – but we went to the Supreme Court of Israel to fight the ruling and we won! Permits were granted and we held the Ceremony together!

In 2017, during and after the event violent demonstrators outside threw urine and garbage on the grieving Israeli families. This year we held meetings with last year’s protesters, introducing them to the movement and listening to their concerns. Slowly, even these people started to open their hearts and transform. The Mayor of Jerusalem tried to shut down these meetings, but again we went to the courts and we won!

In 2018 we were unable to find a venue willing to host us. One excuse after another was offered, from security concerns, to political concerns, to simply, “No!” The only option left was to hold the event outside, in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Last year the hall in Tel Aviv held 4,000 people, and the rest had to be turned away at the door.
This year, the field in Yarkon Park held 8,000 people!

We will not be silenced.
Together we can end the occupation and bring peace to both peoples.

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