The Parents Circle Familes Forum - From Media

Those left behind

Robi Damelin

Once again Israel is faced with the dilemma of freeing political prisoners in exchange for the bodies of two soldiers, missing, presumed dead, and two Israeli citizens held by the Hamas.

Before you justify the prolonging of the suffering of the families who do not know what happened to their children; before you justify prolonging negotiations by those who have the power to end them; think of the mothers who do not have a grave to mourn over. Think of every night when they try to find some solace in sleep, when they once again imagine the possibility of their beloved child being alive or not. What should the family of Hadar Goldin and the family of Family of Oron Shaul do on the next Memorial Day? Should they light candles? Should they wait for friends to come and support? How painful. We all thought that fighting this dreadful war was not for conquest, but rather for liberation from violence. Before we justify a pattern of more of the same punishment, in many cases now collective, perhaps we should contemplate a better and more peaceful solution, that is a solution born out of a pragmatic knowledge that violence begets more violence.

Before you justify the disappearance of Avra Mangisto and Hisham Al-Sayed, imagine how it would feel to wake up every morning not knowing what is happening with your beloved child. A longing so hard, they are not sure if they can go on. For most, this is impossible, but for those at the Parents Circle - Families Forum who have lost family members and who have learned the sanctity of human life of both Palestinian and Israelis it is something we live with every day.

And before you justify the punishment of not returning bodies of Palestinians, think too of their mothers, who have no grave to visit. Think of those who cannot plant flowers or shed a tear in a place where she can whisper her messages of longing and love.

Before you resist releasing prisoners, remember the sanctity of human life. Remember that peace does not equal justice and until Israelis and Palestinians and their leaders do not acknowledge this we will continue with the cycle of violence until the last man is left standing. Peace also means that those who have suffered most will have to give up their right to justice for the greater good. Northern Ireland would not have reached the Good Friday Agreement without assuring the prisoners that they would be released. These prisoners are for the Palestinians, just as important as any piece of land or Holy site.

We, at the Parents Circle -Families Forum object to the callous complacency of our leaders in their failure to stop the violence and to recognize that their failure to act is simply continuing the agony of so many who are left behind.

The Huffington Post

Read More - From Media

Engaging Grandmothers: Israeli and Palestinian Women Share Their Stories 15/01/2012
From sorrow to peace 29/04/2012
Grieving Israeli mom to Palestinians: ‘Can we talk?’ 15/08/2012
If only Israel were South Africa 02/09/2012
Ypper til karikaturfred 23/10/2012
The Israeli and the Palestinian: 'We have discovered this joint pain' 25/11/2012
Enough 22/11/2012
Partage La Souffrance de ton ennemi 08/12/2012
Blessed Are the Peacemakers 11/02/2013
The IRA veteran and the daughter of a slain MP who preached peace to Israelis 15/03/2013
Drinking tea with the man who killed my father 17/03/2013
Thousands of Israelis attend alternative Memorial Day ceremony in Tel Aviv 14/05/2013
Introducing the Parents Circle Family Forum 08/05/2013
The most dangerous myths about women and war 28/05/2013
Bereaved 13/07/2013
Peace Initiative Palestinian women in TA to promote peace 03/10/2013
What Divides Us? 07/11/2013
Can I reconcile with the man who killed my son 30/12/2013
Tent of reconciliation 15/07/2014
Letters from bereaved mothers - Israeli and Palestinian 17/07/2014
The saddest – and most optimistic – peace organization turns 20 17/10/2014
הצטרפו והשפיעו