Recently, the United States blocked a UN Security Council statement which called for an independent inquiry into violence in Gaza that left 17 Palestinians dead, and more than 1400 injured, according to UN diplomats.
The conflict between Isreal and the Palestinian State has been going on for decades, and we mostly hear about ongoing violence, and not productive dialogue. In 2006, Isreali and Palestinian former combatants, people who had taken an active role in the conflict, laid down their weapons, and formed 'Combatants for Peace,' a bi-national, grassroots, volunteer organization.
Their core belief was that the cycle of violence can only be broken when Isrealis and Palestinians join forces, choosing to work together for peace and justice. They are the only organization, worldwide, in which former fighters from both sides have disarmed, and are working together.
Two of the members of the organization spent some time on Good Morning New Hampshire with Peter St James and Pat Kelly on WTPL and WEMJ.
Osama Elewat, a Palestinian, and Naeta Hazan, an Isreali, talked about the need for both sides to understand the humanity that exists on either side. Naeta acknowledged the differences, but said, "to kill each other and to hurt each other, we don't arrive anywhere."
Osama also pointed out that, "It's a unique thing that we are ex-fighters, who decided to change the situation in a non-violent way."
Combatants for Peace was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and are featured in a documentary "Disturbing the Peace," now available on Netflix. You can learn more about their mission, at cfpeace.org.