Combatants For Peace Tour: Fall 2015
Members of Combatants For Peacevisited the US for speaking and fundraising events on both the east and west coasts in October, 2015. On Wednesday October 14th, IWagePeace,Founder Bruce Barrett, held a fundraising event with the members from Israel and Palestine, Sulaiman Khatib, Uri Ben Assa, Maya Katz and Mohammad Owedah, as his guests in Milford, Connecticut.
Some believe that history is pushed from behind, that the past causes the future, that war causes suffering, fear, anger, and retribution, leading to more war: the cycle of their inheritance. They believe hope lies in dominating the struggle for survival. Some believe that history is driven by outside forces, that economics, geography, God, genetics, luck, and the weather are the key instruments of historical change. They believe hope seizes opportunity when it comes.
I believe, (and I am not alone) that history is called forward by imagination, inspiration, and perspiration. That as a community, we carry within ourselves the divine capacity to listen, respond, and leverage the world’s forces to create a future determined by our faithfulness to that call.
The Combatants For Peace, whom you support today, are visionaries daring to embody the change they hope for our world. Small in number, great in heart, they answer the call by creating the conditions on the ground necessary for a lasting peace. You who are here today have answered the same call and with all my heart I answer back with a warm and grateful “Thank You.”
Clockwise From Top Left: Mohammad Owedah, Uri Ben Assa, Sulaiman Khatib and Maya Katz
- Tuesday October 6th 7:00 pm ~ Tuft's Institute for Global Leadership and NIMEP, Medford, MA
- Wednesday October 7th 7:00 pm ~ Hampshire College , Amherst, MA
- Thursday, October 8th 7:00pm ~ Congregation B'nai Israel , Northampton, MA
- Friday, October 9th 10:00 ~ Friend's Meeting ,Northampton, MA
- Saturday , October 10th ~ Young Adult Police Commissioners, Bridgeport, CT
- Sunday, October 11th 5:00 pm ~ JStreet Pittsburgh Chapter Reception, Pittsburgh, PA
- Monday, October 12th 4:30 pm ~ Carnegie Melon University, Pittsburgh, PA
- Wednesday, October 14th 6:00 pm ~ IWagePeace Fundraiser, Milford, CT
- Thursday, October 15th ~ private fundraiser, New York, NY
- Friday, October 16th 7:00 pm ~ A Gathering by Hosts Jessica Benjamin and Barbara Kane, NY, NY. RSVP : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wednesday October 21st 7:00 pm ~ Congregation Rodef Shalom, San Rafael, CA
- Thursday October 22nd 7:00 pm ~ Israel Committee of Congregation Beth El and St. John's Presbytarian Church, Berkeley, CA
Combatants for Peace, founded in 2006, is a non-profit, volunteer organization of ex-combatant Israelis and Palestinians, men and women, who have laid down their weapons and rejected all means of violence. We are working together to end the occupation of Palestine, bring just peace to the land, and demonstrate that Israelis and Palestinians can work and live together.
CFP’s mission is to build the social infrastructure necessary for ending the conflict and the occupation: communities of Palestinians and Israelis working together through non-violent means to promote peace. We believe that such communities can serve as a role model for both people, demonstrating through action that there is a real alternative to the cycle of violence. We believe that disseminating such activities widely can and will affect attitudinal change at the societal level and policy change at the political level.
Over the Years: Combatants for Peace US Tour Delegates
L to R: Adi Greenfeld, Khadir Najar, Nour Shehadah, Erez Krispin, Mohammed Owedah
Washington Leadership Meetings
IWagePeace organized meetings with Senate and Congressional leaders and the Combatants for Peace delgates in Washington DC during 2012 and 2013. The Combatants presented each Member a letter outlining the purpose of their visit.
Carnegie Endowment for Peace
Rotary Club Tours
During this IWagePeace sponsored tour, Combatants for Peace members Erez Kripsin and Nour Shedaha spent a week speaking to Rotary Clubs across southern Connecticut. The Combatants met with Governor Malloy, spoke before a meeting of the Teamsters Local 1150 in Stratford and participated in Interfaith Services at Woodmont United Church of Christ in Milford and Comgregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden.
Painting for Peace: Combatants for Peace and Kids for Peace in Vermont
As part of their 2011 tour, Erez Krispin and Nour Shehadah spent time at Jerusalem Peacebuilder's Acer Farm in Brattleboro Vermont and along with 32 American, Israeli and Palestinian youth from Kids4Peace. Together they handpainted our "Peace in Jerusalem is Possible" mural as an act of unity. After their weekend of painting, the group traveled to Connecticut to see their handiwork displayed on I-95 in Bridgeport. The sign flys regularly here on the Connecticut interstates.
Our Documentary Film: The Billboard From Bethlehem featuring The Combatants For Peace
"Through this billboard we wish to send a message of hope to Americans and...invite them to be more active in our struggle for peace."
Avner Wishnitzer, Israeli member of Combatants for Peace
The Idea for the Billboard from Bethlehem originated inside the walls of Temple Emanuel in Orange CT. The Palestinian, Sulaiman Al Hamri and the Israeli, Elik Elhanan were sharing their stories of their life as combatants and their decision to join forces non-violently to end the suffering of their people. IWagePeace Founder, Bruce Barrett, was present. He was incredibly moved by their words and invited them to come to his sign shop and paint a sign promoting their organization, Combatants for Peace. Quite unexpectedly,they asked him if they could paint the sign in the West Bank. He surprised himself by immediately answering, “Yes,we will find a way” And so the project was born.
In May 2007, over 45 Israelis and over 50 Palestinians joined together to paint the Peace sign, as planned, on time, with chaos, laughter, and spilled paint. The 14 foot high, and 48 foot work of art was received at religious services in the West Bank before delivery to the United States for a blessing and then a posting on the Interstate highways in Connecticut. The journey with this sign is the subject of the documentary"The Billboard From Bethlehem",produced and directed by IWagePeace.Org's Bruce Barrett.