The 17th Israeli-Palestinian Joint Memorial Day Ceremony co-hosted by the Bereaved Family Forum and Combatants for Peace will be broadcast live on next Tuesday (May 3) 8:30pm (Jerusalem Time). The ceremony inspires hope and demonstrates another way for all people to live in Israel and Palestine, together.
Combatants for Peace (CFP), has written, that this evening’s alternative ceremony “honors the lives lost in the conflict on both sides, and builds a new narrative: rejecting violence, the occupation, and embracing another way. Year after year, the growing popular success of the event models for more Israeli, Palestinian and international audiences that non-violent, binational cooperation and humanization is feasible. We believe in peace and reconciliation.”
Following the ceremony, the Bereaved Family Forum (BFF) invited “to join us on Zoom, where we will be hosting eight zoom rooms with speakers who will offer different points of view on the complex reality of life here. We hope you will join one of these conversations, and continue to explore the essence of this special day of Memorial, and question the right path ahead. Even in difficult times, when violence is rising its head, even under closures and during Corona times and despite the criticism and cynicism – every year we repeat our message loud and clear: that we are all human beings, that we all feel pain and loss in the same way, that war is not the only path we can choose, and that we must do everything to avoid more violence and bloodshed.” Among the scheduled dialogues:
- Dialogue meeting in Hebrew
Eytan Amir, who lost his brother, and Ashraf Abu Ayash, who lost his father and grandfather, tell their personal stories, and speak about their journeys who led them to the Bereaved Family Forum. Language: Hebrew and translation to Arabic.
- Dialogue meeting in Arabic
Yakub Rabi, who lost his wife, and Kamaal Zidane, who lost two sons, tell their personal stories and speak about their journeys that led them to BFF. Language: Arabic and translation to Hebrew.
- Dialogue meeting in English
Laila Alsheikh, who lost her baby son, and Tal Kfir Schurr, who lost her sister, tell their personal story and talk about their journey to the BFF. Language: English and translation to Hebrew.
- The place of youth
Talia Balaban from Tel Aviv and Sima Awad from Beit Omer, both 18 years old, grew up in bereaved families. We’ll hear from them how they got to BFFs summer camp and how it affected them. Teenagers are especially welcome
Language: Hebrew and Arabic, translation to Hebrew and Arabic.
- The place of compassion
Tuli Flint, a social worker and Basaam Aramin, co-founder of CFP, will speak on the meaning of compassion in our lives, and in the work of bi-national organizations who take action to bring peace. Language: English, translation to Hebrew.
- The place of transformation
Tal Sagi, who grew up in a settlement and served in the Israeli military in Hebron, will speak on her journey from there to her role today, coordinating all education activities in Breaking the Silence. Language: Hebrew and translation: to English.
- The safe space
Bentzi Banderas served as a combatant in the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank and fought in “Protective Edge”, will speak on his journey which led him to his role in Breaking the Silence. Language: English, translation to Arabic.
- The brave place – The place of dialogue
Scott Rasmussen, CEO of “Hands of Peace”, will talk with the organization’s alumni about the “courage to talk and listen to the other” and about the significance – and limitations – of dialogue. Language: English, translation to Hebrew.
On Wednesday (May 4) evening Yesh Gvul will be holding its annual alternative torch-lighting ceremony at the beginning of Israel’s Independence Day festivities. As happens annually, hundreds will gather in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem to honor prominent activists who “dedicate their time and energy to lighting up the dark corners of Israeli society and politics, today and always.” This year, among the 12 lit torches: three well-know Hadash activists: Prof. Oded Goldreich, Oren Feld and Yuval Halperin.
Founded in 1982 in the shadow of the First Lebanon War, Yesh Gvul attempts to provide support to conscientious objectors and refuseniks: Israelis who object to all or some forms of service in the country’s military due to the occupation of the Palestinian territories.
For a link to the live broadcast of the ceremony and for information to join the zoom rooms: fpeace.org/he/the-israeli-palestinian-memorial-ceremony/