Monday, March 1, 2010

Israeli and Palestinian families stand together against the Occupation

John Pilger has written a moving piece in the New Statesman on Israelis Rami and Nurit Elhanan, the founders of Parents Circle- Families Forum a forum that brings together Israeli and Palestinian parents who have lost children during the conflict.

Pilger's piece tells how the Elhanan's lost their 14 year old daughter in a suicide bomb attack in Jerusalem and how they are assisting a Palestinian family whose 10 year old daughter was killed by a rubber bullet fired by an Israeli soldier at point blank range.

Rani Elhanan has written a long piece on his personal story and how he came to be involved in the Forum. In it are these quotes:
"As the son of a holocaust survivor, I believe the world had a responsibility for what happened 60 years ago when my grandparents were sent to the gas chambers. The world also has a responsibility today as well, and the world’s behavior is a shame! Today, while these two crazy peoples are massacring each other without any mercy, the free and civilized world led by the US is not only stand aside but rather supporting one side unconditionally at the expense of both sides, prolonging the suffering of both sides. More pressure needs to be put on both sides and especially on the stronger side to return back to the negotiating table and sit down and talk instead of killing each other"
"As far as I’m concerned, the basic and most important thing about The Forum of Bereaved Families for Peace is that it is a joint venture of the two sides. It is a venture of people who paid the highest price possible yet are still able to put aside the anger and the natural will to retaliate by talking. They see this path as the only means of getting anywhere and breaking the endless and meaningless cycle of violence. And this is really the message, if we who lost our loved ones and paid the highest price possible… if we can talk to one another then anyone can. We are proud that this is not a political organization. We won’t tell the politicians where to draw the lines or how to phrase the articles of the peace treaty because this gives us enormous power to talk to anyone despite the very deep political divide in Israel"

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