Combatants for Peace started with personal stories. It remains the sum of all our stories, and more.

The first meetings between the Palestinians and Israelis that eventually led to the establishment of the Combatants for Peace, were mostly devoted to telling the participants’ personal stories. It began spontaneously, as the people who participated in those meetings knew nothing about their counterparts and the process that has lead them to meet their potential enemies. As the movement consolidated, the use of personal stories developed into a coherent ethos that places the activists’ experience at the center. We all have a story worth listening to, a story that reflects something of the horrors of this conflict, but also the potential of breaking out of it. Our personal stories, Palestinians and Israelis, are the stories of life here, of the violence to which we were partners or witnesses but also, the story of choosing a path of non-violence and partnership, a path to a different future.

By telling each other our personal stories (in seminars and workshops) we get to learn about our counterparts and to think and re-think ourselves: what was violence for us in the past? What did we know about the other side? What has lead us to Combatants for Peace? Who are we now? Who do we want to be? By telling our personal stories to our audiences (in countless public talks we give regularly), we allow people to put themselves in their enemies’ shoes, to see reality through their eyes, to make sense of what at first seems senseless, to feel pain and hope instead of numbness. Through encouraging attentive listening we invite our audiences to care about our stories, Palestinians and Israelis, and to join us in writing their next chapters together.

    Ahmed Helou

    Ahmed was born in Jericho. At the age of 15, Ahmed joined the local Hamas movement. He raised Palestinian flags and threw stones at soldiers. In 19...

    Kholod Abu-Raeya

    I am well aware that I am an unusual phenomenon. A Palestinian woman in an organization such as Combatants for Peace is uncommon; but the truth is,...

    Maia Hascal

    As a social worker in the second Lebanon war, I had close contact with many Israeli families who spent the war hiding in their shelters as well as ...

    Jamil Qassas

    My family is originally from the village of Al-Qubeiba, which was forcibly evicted in 1948. My story and the suffering of my family starts from tha...

    Noga Harpaz

    In my childhood, my grandparents (whose parents immigrated to Israel in the Third and Fourth Aliyah, 1919-1931), told me stories about their Palmac...

    Mohamad Owedah

    I grew up in the biggest village in Palestine, but it was also very popular amongst settlers due to its proximity to the City of David. When I was ...

    Shai Eluk

    My parents made Aliyah from Morocco in the 1970s, and after a period in a transit camp, they moved to Jerusalem, where I was born and raised on its...

    Osama Elewat

    I was born in Silwan to a Palestinian family that had to move to Jericho when I was eleven years old. Until then, I had never met a Jew or an Israe...

    Netta Hazan

    I remember when I was a young teenager, during the second intifada, wanting to travel and be independent – but terrified to ride the bus. ‘Mayb...

    Sulaiman Khatib

    Growing up, my family was badly impacted by the occupation. There was so much suffering all around me: my friends’ homes were being demolished, c...

    Chen Alon

    My grandfather immigrated to Palestine before the Second World War because he was a Zionist. He was the only member of his family to escape the gas...

    Udi Gur

    For me, CfP is a community in which I have partners and friends with whom I share the dream, the willingness, and the path....

    Loading...