A moderated discussion with Palestinian and Israeli parents who have lost children in the conflict will show the importance of reconciliation and provide a perspective on the current wave of violence in Milwaukee.
Bassam Aramin — a Palestinian whose daughter was killed by Israeli border police in 2007, and Robi Damelin — an Israeli whose son was killed by a Palestinian sniper in 2012 — will speak as representatives of the Parents Circle Families Forum, a joint Palestinian-Israeli organization that is devoted to reconciliation. “It Won’t Stop Until We Talk — Palestinian and Israeli Parents Choose Peace” will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22 at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Student Union, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd. Douglas Savage from the Institute of World Affairs at UW-Milwaukee Center for International Education will moderate the conversation.
Consisting of more than 600 bereaved families, the Parents Circle Families Forum members share the common bond of losing a close family member to the conflict. But instead of choosing revenge, they have chosen a path of reconciliation. Through the different work of the Forum, members have joined together to take tens of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis on their personal journeys of reconciliation.
“It is often raw and always emotional, but out of these interactions, comes change,” states material distributed by the Forum. And the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, the organizers of this event, point out that one of its goals of the public program and visits with local schools and civic leaders is to offer inspiration and a model for reconciliation and peacemaking that might help improve the local community.
According to Aramin and Damelin, the Forum has begun to stir awareness about the conflict that transcends history and politics, and the first time that many have seen “the other side” as human. The group hopes for a time when political leaders reach agreement for peace, and they strongly believe that reconciliation — as an alternative to hatred and revenge — between the Israeli and Palestinian people is essential to ensuring that peace is sustainable.
Learn more and RSVP: MilwaukeeJewish.org/FamiliesForum.