This moment in history invites a desire to add to the many statements and resolutions addressing the war. I want to add to some of the brilliant writing. My soul wants to say the perfect thing: to comfort, inspire, calm, fix, but mostly, to save lives.
Yet, none of my words can fulfill that job.
I try and try again, but nothing comes. Just heartbreak.
So instead, I share with you three videos that inspired and gave me a sliver of hope.
Two contain stories and acts of mutual humanization, connection, and struggle during a time of great dehumanization coming from all sides, the media, and politicians. One is a demand for a Cease Fire from rabbis and rabbinical students. Shema Koleinu: Hear our voice.
- Holding on to Humanity & Hope – Combatants for Peace– YouTube (1:33 min)
On Friday, October 20, 2023 (8:00pm Jerusalem | 1:00pm New York) the Combatants for Peace and American Friends of Combatants for Peace community gathered for a talk on Holding on to Humanity & Hope. This conversation was led by two Palestinian activists, Mai Shahin and Jamil Qassas, and two Israeli activists, Ayala Shalev and Chen Alon, from Combatants for Peace. The discussion was moderated by two AFCFP board members, Aziz Abu Sarah and Gili Getz.
Combatants for Peace
- The Gaza War in Israel (voices from the Palestinian and Jewish left in Israel/Palestine)
Speakers: Sally Abed is a Palestinian leader of Standing Together (Omdim be’Yachad/ Naqef Ma’an), the largest Jewish-Arab grassroots movement in Israel. She is running for city council in Haifa as head of a Jewish-Arab list. She was recently profiled in a Times article about Israel’s peace movement in the shadow of war.
Uri Weltmann is the national field organizer for Standing Together (Omdim be’Yachad/ Naqef Ma’an), and a member of its national leadership. He lives in Tel Aviv-Yafo.
Kefah Abukhdeir is a Palestinian – American living in Jerusalem. She is an English teacher and advocate for equal access to education. She is also an entrepreneur working to help to create opportunities for Palestinian graduates and women.
Dr. Yael Berda is an Associate Professor of Sociology & Anthropology at Hebrew University and a non-resident fellow with the Middle East Initiative. She is a former human rights lawyer and active in many political initiatives addressing the crimes of the occupation.
Charles Lenchner (moderator) is an Israeli-American. He has been active in organizations working for peace and human rights in Israel and Palestine for more than 30 years. In his youth, he was a co-founder of the Shiministim group of refuseniks and spent time in military prison during the First Intifada.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8mAAZ9iSZM (Rabbis Demand a Cease Fire)