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Putting together the Peaces

In an article in The Age, Greg Baume writes:

“Michal Halev’s only son, Laor Abramov, a music lover and budding DJ, was killed in a bomb shelter at Re’im Junction on October 7. She says, “When I do occasionally succeed in raising my head from my personal grief and from the infinite chasm that used to be my heart, I find one purpose for which to live, which is to seek out what I can do to help our wounded humanity heal, so there will be no more mothers who are crushed by the killing, by loss, by violence and war. There are no victors in war, nor will there ever be. We have already lost.”

Appearing on the same platform, but speaking via a video link because he is not allowed to travel, is Ahmed Alhellou, a Gazan living in Jericho, who says 60 of his family were either dead or missing in Gaza. Though angry, he too wants only to break the cycle.

“We must stand strong against terrorism, against violence, against the harming of innocents and the bloodshed on both sides,” he says. “We must say no to war, no to destruction, no to extremism and fanaticism, no to terror, yes to coexistence, to us living in this blessed beautiful land in peace and security, in dignity and freedom.”

Esther Takac, a Melbourne-based trauma psychologist, author and filmmaker, has made a film about Israelis and Palestinians who have suffered unendurable losses, but have chosen not to seek vengeance, but to campaign jointly for peace. The film is called the Narrow Bridge, which Compass featured in a recent edition of the show. It features two fathers, Bassam, a Palestinian, and Rami, an Israeli. Each has lost a child in the brutality of the Israel-Gaza conflict, but incredibly transform their grief into a bridge for reconciliation.

Esther Takac says, “The trauma right now in Israel and Gaza is immense. I’ve seen how terrible pain changes you, but sometimes after pain you may find strengths you never had before. We’ve all heard of post-traumatic stress disorder. These people show us an alternative, a road map to post-traumatic growth.”

There is a small but growing group of people prepared to fight for peace.

Has a popular movement ever started any other way?