WHO ARE COMBATANTS FOR PEACE?

Combatants for Peace is a grassroots movement of Israelis and Palestinians, working together to end the occupation and bring peace, freedom and dignity to both peoples. It is the only organization worldwide that was founded by former fighters on both sides of an active conflict. The movement began in 2005 and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 & 2018.

Combatants for Peace serves as a model and catalyst for democracy, equality, freedom and dignity for all Palestinians and Israelis. We are building a just and peaceful society from the ground-up, through egalitarian community building, grassroots organizing & joint nonviolent civil resistance.

A Moment of Transformation

by Adam Rabee, CfPeace activist.

This is the fifth year I will be attending the Joint Memorial ceremony, and the third year that I am involved in producing it. Today it is clear to me why I participate in this Ceremony, but the journey to get here was not easy.

When I first heard about the Joint Memorial, I was curious. I wanted to be there and to understand what the event was about, so I signed up to be one of the guests. Memorial Day is usually an Israeli-only occasion, and at first I felt very out of place. As I sat there I felt the old warrior in me was resisting and anxious, and raising questions: how can I be here while the occupation is still going on? Like in a film, the pictures went through my head: home demolitions, administrative imprisonment, settler violence, herdsmen and shepherds’ broken voices separated from their land, cries of mothers fearing the fate of their children. But the more I listened, the more I realized how this ceremony is a place where something extraordinary was happening….

I remember being surprised to see Israelis who wanted peace and who acknowledged the pain of the Palesinian community. I did not know, throughout my years in the resistance, that there was pain on the other side. I could not imagine that a soldier (who I always felt was a threat) had a mother who would cry if he was killed, just as my mother would cry if I was killed.

At the ceremony, I saw tears in people’s eyes, and I couldn’t identify if they were Israeli or Palestinian. I saw people who believed in each other. I saw emotions, thoughtfulness, compassion.  I saw that there is a place where I could share my pain and also feel the pain of the “other.”

I remember the moment when they announced the arrival of the Palestinian guests, and the whole crowd – thousands of people – applauded for long minutes. It was so exciting … I felt like I was in the right place. This is the world I want. I want the respect and compassion that I experienced here to grow and expand to the whole country.

200,000 people attended this historic event in 2020.

Donations can also be mailed to:

American Friends of Combatants for Peace
P.O. Box 27671
San Francisco, CA, 94127

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