Peace pair bring their message to the UK

An Israeli and a Palestinian of the Parents Circle, were in the UK to help promote Invest in Peace


An Israeli and a Palestinian who each lost a child in the conflict have addressed meetings in Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow this week on their hopes for peace and reconciliation.

Robi Damelin and Bassam Aramin, of the Parents Circle – Family Forum were in the UK to help promote Invest in Peace, an initiative between the Board of Deputies and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

Mr Aramin — a Palestinian who spent seven years in an Israeli prison before embracing peace -— told the Leeds event at St Matthew’s Church School: “One Israeli soldier killed my daughter but 100 ex-Israeli soldiers from Combatants for Peace built a garden in her memory.” 
He had come to appreciate that “if you want to make peace with your enemy, you need to work with your enemy.

“I believe from my own experience that we need to share the promised land called Palestine whether it is in two states or five states or one state. 

“We need to decide how to live side by side together or, unfortunately, we will continue to sacrifice our kids.”

Mrs Damelin, originally from South Africa, was convinced “that if we don’t have a reconciliation process as an integral part of any future peace agreement, we will never have peace. We will just have another ceasefire until the next time.”

After her 26-year-old son David was killed by a Palestinian sniper, she recognised she had a choice to make. “You can decide to go on the path of revenge but I knew immediately that I wanted to prevent other families, both Israeli and Palestinian, from experiencing this pain.”

She was advised to go to East Jerusalem, where she looked into the eyes of Palestinian mothers who had lost their children. 

“We all shared the same pain,” she said, and “that pain could be the most effective catalyst for change”. She has travelled the world in the cause.
There was no expectation of “instant reconciliation. It is a process that can happen over years or it can never happen at all.”

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