OCTOBER 28, 2007 – We want to tell you about an organisation called “Combatants for Peace.” The organisation was started jointly in 2005 by Palestinians and Israelis.
The Israelis served as combat soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces and the Palestinians were involved in acts of violence in the name of Palestinian liberation. They all used weapons against one another and now no longer believe that the conflict can be resolved through violence.
Next Sunday, November 4, 2007 in Tel Aviv, the organisation will hold a ceremony, 12 years after the assassination of Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin – “Remembering Rabin – Combating for Peace.” During the ceremony they will commemorate Rabin, a combatant for many years who became known, according to his own words as a “soldier in the army of the peace.” Members of the organisation believe, as former combatants who left their weapons and turned to dialogue, that they must continue with Rabin’s legacy.
A week later a meeting is to take place in the West Bank, where visitors will hear a personal story from each side, and afterward take part in activities in order to learn more about each other.
During this year, members of the organisation also gave lectures in the US and Europe at schools, universities and religious institutions.
So, why specifically are we telling you about this grass-roots organisation?
What touched us most had to do with one of their projects.
It’s called “Abir Aramin’s Garden- A safe place to grow”. The project is intended as a memorial to the 10 year old Abir who was unfortunately killed last January by Israeli soldiers close to her school in Anata. Abir was the daughter of Bassam Aramin, one of the founders of Combatants for Peace. The project is a cooperative effort by the Aramin family, Combatants for Peace, The Rebuilding Alliance, and Women of Certain Age.
The project was initiated in order to give the children of Anata the opportunity to play safely in an organized playground. The project plan was designed voluntarily by landscape architect Judy Green.
We are told that the project is divided into stages, in order to ensure continuous progress in the school yard improvement. The construction will be started as soon as the first budget goal of US$25,000 is reached. The construction itself will be carried out by Combatants for Peace members, Anata’s inhabitants and Israeli peace-seekers.
Support of this project, perhaps even for the great majority of pessimists living in the Diaspora, goes a long way to explain to our adversaries our love for all children, irrespective of their race, colour or religion.
Information about this project can be found at the following web site: