Combatants für Peace: Solidarity beyond borders

In the midst of countless challenges, the American Friends of Combatants for Peace write to thank for the solidarity, generosity and partnership that has strengthened the activists of Combatants for Peace (CfP) in 2023 and supported their work during this terrible time. And they report on the activities in Israel and Palestine at the beginning of this new year 2024.

The movement has started the new year with determination and action. This week, CfP Freedom School alumni and activists helped organize 4 lectures in Tel Aviv hosting conflict resolution experts. More than 150 young adults participated in these meetings—learning how to move from fear and enmity to reconciliation and partnership. 

The CfP movement also held a seminar in Beit Jala to ask the questions, "What does it mean to be a peace activist after October 7th?" and "How can we begin to imagine peace when we are still grieving?" CfP invited 50 experienced activists as well as those who are new to the field to connect, share their stories, and meet Palestinian partners.

With the theme of 'Where do we go from here?', activists listened to CfP lectures on the history and people of Gaza, shared ideas and visions for political solutions, and explored the themes of identity and what it means to truly be an advocate.

There is no doubt that events since October 7th have deeply impacted Palestinian and Israeli communities. Many find it harder to connect with each other. Many retreat and question what they are supposed to do. Combatants for Peace is providing a safe place for people to come together and ask the difficult questions, share their fears, and collectively create a spark of hope. CfP will soon repeat the seminar for Palestinian groups, where they will meet their Israeli partners. From there, they will organize a joint meeting of Israelis and Palestinians coming together to share ideas, overcome the hatred and separation, and prioritize humanity above all.

One participant shared, "I came with a desire to sort out my thoughts, strengthen my hope, feel part of a community, and receive tools and ideas for the rest of the way. I definitely got what I wished for. And beyond that, I realized that Combatants for Peace is a movement where I can truly belong."

CfP's Israeli and Palestinian movement is growing as a model of a vibrant, hands-on community that powerfully works in solidarity across borders. They are showing how it is joint communities that are capable of and vital for creating a future of justice and peace. As we move forward and take action, let us continue calling for a ceasefire, freedom for all held captive, an end to the occupation, and collective liberation. In all that we do, let us do it TOGETHER.


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