Israelis and Palestinians seeking peace together

Israelis and Palestinians seeking peace together

As the Palestinian-Israeli conflict flares up again it’s great to remember that there are many who seek peace.

The Parents Circle Family Forum comprises 600 bereaved families from both backgrounds who come together in grief and work towards reconciliation.

Robi Damelin expressed their sentiment clearly after she lost her son:

“It was only later, after the intense shock had subsided and a heavy pain was starting to bed in, that Robi Damelin was told what her first words were on hearing that her son had been killed: “You may not kill anybody in the name of my child.” She says now: “I suppose that was some kind of prediction of what I would do in the future. But I don’t know what revenge means. How many people should I kill? Would that bring David back? I was very motivated to find something that would prevent other families experiencing this pain.”

These families try to break the cycle of violence starting with themselves. They hold meetings and develop deep connections with each other. They travel and talk to politicians and children in schools, trying to pursued them of the futility of violence and a shared interest in ending it.

Mazen Faraj, a Palestinian whose father was killed by an Israeli sniper and who was jailed as a teenager, has this to say:

“Since I was a kid, I have been dealing with the conflict,” he says. “It is so hard to live in a country without security, justice, rights. After the loss of my father, I spent a lot of time not knowing what to do. It was a huge feeling. There are options – you can choose revenge and become a suicide bomber, or you can stay at home and die slowly with your memories, or maybe you can really do something useful. To become an extremist is the easy way, but to reach a solution in this conflict through dialogue, and to find understanding, would be more helpful for me.”

My hope is that such developments will become stronger and peace will eventually win out. It might be decades still before there’s peace for Israelis and Palestinians. In the meantime there’s hope as many continue to work on building more peaceful ways of co-existing.

The Israeli and the Palestinian: ‘We have discovered this joint pain’

Savage on monogamy

Savage on monogamy

This is a lovely little summary of Dan Savage’s stand on monogamy, which I happen to share.

So many relationships could be saved by either just realising that desiring others is ok (and perhaps talking about it without doing anything about it), or by starting up a conversation on how to transition to either monogamish or non-monogamy of some sort that suits both parties.

By the way, Savage doesn’t mean that your monogamous relationship is ridiculous, he means that monogamy as a compulsory construct is ridiculous because the vast majority of humans are not wired for sexual monogamy. Also, he doesn’t downplay the importance of social monogamy for many, but the strict adherence to sexual monogamy, which is what undoes or undermine many otherwise excellent monogamous relationships. The difference between the two is important, even though for many neither types of monogamy is desirable (polyamory, open relationships) and for some both are (monogamy does suit some).