Thursday, January 08, 2009

Gaza and the logic of peace

If you haven't already done so, I recommend reading the statement by Jewish Voices for Peace about the attacks on Gaza and this thoughtful comment about advice for campaigners and how a people facing genocide managed to resist occupation and win their freedom while renouncing terrorism.

And to do something practical, read about the work that The Parents Circle - Families Forum are doing, here, and then make a donation to support their work, here (with thanks to Rachel, who wrote about their work here).

Consisting of several hundreds of bereaved families, half Palestinian and half Israeli, The Families Forum has played a crucial role since its inception in 1995, in spearheading a reconciliation process between Israelis and Palestinians. The Forum members have all lost immediate family members due to the violence in the region. Their mission statement is:

• To prevent further bereavement, in the absence of peace
• To influence the public and the policy makers – to prefer the way of peace on the way of war
• To educate for peace and reconciliation
• To promote the cessation of acts of hostility and the achievement of a political agreement
• To prevent the usage of bereavement as a means of expanding enmity between our peoples
• To uphold mutual support between our members

There's a quote on their website about the logic of peace and rejecting the logic of war:

"The image of the enemy is a moral and political burden because you are negotiating with someone whom only yesterday you called an oppressor, a murderer or a terrorist. You promised your followers that this person would be severely punished as a reward for the oppression they had lived through. Your followers, meanwhile, are telling you justice requires punishment. They ask: "How can you negotiate and talk to a person who is responsible for all the disasters of our people? ....I am negotiating because I have chosen the logic of peace and abandoned the logic of war. This means my enemy of yesterday must become my partner. He may still be my opponent but he is an opponent within peace, not within war."


At 7:03 am , Blogger Jo said...

The Parents Circle - Families Forum were one of the groups I met when we went to Israel and the guy we spoke to was just an ordinary guy, no different to you or I.

Their work is excellent and unlike many groups, their aims are real - and so are the people who run the group. No ulterior motives, no political aims. Shame more people who claim to haver an interest in the peace process don't take a leaf from their book.


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