In March 2002 Robi Damelin’s son, David, was shot by a sniper while serving in the Israeli army. He was 28 years old. Robi now works for The Parents’ Circle, a group of bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families supporting reconciliation and peace.
These are her words, her emotions, her prayers for peace.
Before you reach for your gun, or a stone or a hand grenade or whatever weapon suits your fancy. Before you are drawn in by the manic rhetoric of protecting your holy rights, before you are swept along with the crowd, to protect all that is rightfully yours, remember the consequences. We, the Palestinians and the Israelis of the Parents Circle -Families Forum, know well what life becomes when we lose our children and brothers and sisters and family members.The Palestinians are threatening to start a Third Intifada, another uprising. Their
How invincible we all feel before the knock on the door with the news which devastates a family and all who surround it. Please protect your children for they are our future. Please, before you reach for you weapon or give in to an anger mostly created for political reasons, know that no piece of land, no matter how holy, can make up for a smile from your child you will never see again.
Please leave behind this need to be right, leave behind all that inflames you to violent reactions and look into the eyes of your children and thank whoever it is you believe in for the blessing of their love. Look into their eyes and think about their lives and the responsibility we all owe to them. They do not choose a side at birth, they as babies are not aware of color, symbols, flags or borders. They have not decided where to pray, or even how, when they cry the color of their tears are all the same.
How academic to talk on the media of a third Intifada, how academic to analyze political motivations, and how we all are herded into the machinations of political agendas without fighting back. We hear the voices of our children screaming from their graves, "Stop the violence." You of all people of Israel and Palestine know what happens when we give in to these base emotions. You of all people know that after we were gone, all that’s left is the endless longing, the hole in your heart, the bitter sweet feeling that surrounds even the most happy of occasions.
Tell them to remember us all before they reach for that weapon, there is no revenge for a lost loved one.
The people of Israel want peace, but not at any price. They will not give up their holy sites for peace, they will not give up their freedom for peace, and they will not shake hands in agreement for empty promises from their allies or foes.
There can be peace in the region, but both sides (not just one) have to want it.