Combatants for Peace: From Soldiers to Neighbors

October 17th, 2021 - by American Friends for Combatants for Peace

From Soldiers to Neighbors: Freedom. Dignity. Equality.

American Friends for Combatants for Peace

(October 16, 2021) — Combatants for Peace is a grassroots movement of Palestinians and Israelis, working together to end the occupation and bring peace, equality and freedom to our homeland. Committed to joint nonviolence since our inception, we use civil resistance, education and other creative means of activism to transform systems of oppression and build a free and peaceful future from the ground up. Launched in 2005, we are the only movement worldwide that was founded by former fighters on both sides of an active conflict. As a result, we were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 and 2018.

There is another way.

ACTION: Join us on Tuesday Oct 26 from 7 PM to 8:15 PM ET via ZOOM for an update, answers to questions and an open-ended discussion. For Zoom details, please RSVP

Activists Attacked While Delivering Water

Israeli troops use potentially deadly knee-to-neck pressure hold.

Combatants for Peace

 (September 27, 2021) — Six of our activists were injured and seven more arrested while delivering water to a Palestinian family outside of the village of Al-Tuwani, in the South Hebron Hills. The military stopped our convoy with the water tankard by shooting tear gas and stun grenades at those delivering the water.

Why? Because the village is only permitted water on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays — and we brought in the water on a Friday.

The Israeli military/government does not allow the village access to running water, nor are they permitted to gather rain water or dig wells. So, the villagers are forced to purchase water in expensive tankards from Israeli companies… but only limited water on limited days. With such little access to water many families struggle to have water to drink, cook with, clean their homes with, feed their livestock or farms with, or even bathe with.

Depriving Palestinian families of water forces them to leave their homes and villages, making way for settlement expansion. This deliberate, discriminatory policy of forced displacement must end. By bringing these communities water, we give them the opportunity to stay on their land and in their homes. As a result of challenging this racist system, our activists were brutally attacked with extreme, stunning violence.

Eli, who is in his late sixties, underwent eye surgery as a result of being thrown to the ground and beaten by Israeli soldiers. Tuly was also shoved to the ground, a soldier pressing his knee down hard on Tuly’s face and neck (as you can see in the photo above).

Both Adam and Kholod received burns from stun grenades fired at them in close range. Tear gas was also fired heavily at the activists in short-range. The seven activists who were arrested were handcuffed, several were blind-folded, and all were locked in a sweltering van for hours. They were summoned to court, but in an act of civil disobedience, they did not appear.

The Israeli military issued a statement that they were responding to a “violent protest” which is a blatant lie! The officer who put Eli in the hospital was let off with nothing more than a gentle slap on the wrist. Local mainstream newspapers and media outlets have been buzzing.

This incident is being discussed throughout Palestine, Israel, and internationally. Yet, while there has been intensive coverage about the violence of the soldiers, the fundamental issue of water rights is largely being ignored.

Without water no one can survive. The disparity in justice between Israelis and Palestinians is flagrant: every Israeli Settlement — whether built with or without permission from the Israeli government — is immediately connected to the water grid and provided running water.

Soldiers’ attack water convoy injuring six, including a reporter.

But many Palestinian villages in the same locations are not connected to running water and are systematically denied access to water. These same families live in substandard sanitary and dangerous conditions. Ultimately, this policy is an integral part of a larger strategy to impoverish and expel Palestinian communities in order to make way for larger settlement expansion, depriving Palestinians of fundamental human rights and forcing them off their land.

Depriving people of water and intentionally pushing them off their lands is ethnic cleansing. It is up to us to end this unjust and discriminatory policy. Our campaign for equality cannot and will not be deterred, no matter the response of the military.

This experience has only strengthened our resolve.
Water rights are human rights, and human rights are non-negotiable.

Ways You Can Take Action:

Volunteer or work with American Friends of CfP

There are many volunteer opportunities available and many more creative ways to get involved. Interested in a job or an internship? Here are some opportunities to work more closely with us. We also have regional chapters throughout the USA. If you would like to join a chapter or start your own, let us know!

Screen our documentary, “Disturbing the Peace” 

Screen the award winning documentary Disturbing the Peace in your community. Afterwards, host a Q&A with two of our Combatants for Peace activists for a thirty minute discussion to answer questions about the conflict and our movement. Read More.

Join a Combatants for Peace Tour in Israel and Palestine

Join us on a trip to Israel and Palestine. You will have two guides: one Palestinian and one Israeli, and learn about the conflict from both narratives. You will have the chance to meet our activists, learn about the movement and participate with the Combatants for Peace in their activities. Join us on one of our established trips, or create your own. Read More.

Bring Activists from Palestine and Israel to speak in your community:

Public events can be held in synagogues, mosques, churches, community centers, universities and more. We have also spoken in private homes, to Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom Chapters, and to Rotary Clubs. The Combatants are sure to engage and inspire. Learn More.

Organize a book group or film series

Along with Disturbing the Peace, there have been several films made about Combatants for Peace — or which tell the stories of our activists including Objector and Within the Eye of the Storm. There is also the four-part BBC mini-series, The Promise, which features Combatants for Peace in a guest appearance. Host a series on the topic of Israel/Palestine. In addition, several books have come out about our work as well, including the award winning, Apeirogon and In this Place Together

Host a “Transformation Series”

This is an intensive, three-part series featuring one of our leading activists, diving deep into his or her personal experience as well as your own. This series is meant to transform on every level, from the personal to the political. Learn More.

Host a “Living Room Dialogue” to bring Palestinian and Israeli voices to your friends and community

Join us as local activists in your community share the stories of the Combatants for Peace leaders. These readings will be followed by a training on the techniques of “Compassionate Listening” followed by a discussion. Learn More.

Run For Freedom

Are you an experienced runner? Or just looking for the motivation to begin? Join our community of runners from Palestine, Israel, New York City and beyond, and use your athleticism and/or enthusiasm to support Combatants for Peace. Sign up for a local run, and donate the money you raise to Combatants for Peace Learn More.

Bring Social Justice into your Passover Seder

Make your family or community seder a seder dedicated to freedom for all people. Download our two Passover Hagaddah inserts and bring real questions of freedom into your seder this year. Four Sons & Four Questions & Second Cup of Wine.

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