Bassam Aramin & Elik Elhanan: Palestinian and Israeli Combatants for Peace
Update 2/12/08: You can now listen to the whole program, available for free download from Indybay.org/santacruz. Please Click Here to visit the Indybay article which contains the evening divided into 9 MP3’s of all the speakers numbered and presented in order of how they spoke.
Special West Coast Speaking tour appearance in Santa Cruz!
Wednesday Jan. 30th, reception at 5:30 pm in the basement of the Vets Hall, 846 Front Street, main program at 7:30 pm upstairs in the meetng room of the Vets Hall.
Combatants for Peace was founded by former Israeli and Palestinian fighters who no longer see each other as enemies. They forswear violence and advocate an end to the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip. Bassam Aramin, formerly a Fatah fighter who spent 7 years in an Israeli prison, now heads the Al Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue. Bassam received the Bremen Peace Award for reconciliation work and the Eliav-Sartawi Award for Middle Eastern Journalism. Elik Elhanan, served as a soldier in an Israeli Defense Forces combat unit from 1995-98 and is now a military refuser. In 1997 a Palestinian suicide bomber killed his sister in Jerusalem.
In January, 2007, Palestinian girls were walking home from school in East Jerusalem. Israeli Border Police firing rubber bullets wounded and killed 10-year old Abir Aramin, Bassam’s daughter. Combatants for Peace has joined other Palestinian, Israeli and International peace and human rights organizations in an effort to memorialize Abir to build ABIR’S GARDEN on the grounds of her school for her classmates to gather, play, and heal.
Elhanan and Aramin are part of a national speaking tour, one year after Abir was fatally wounded. Bassam’s wife Salwa and daughter Areen will be present. Suggested donation $5-$10 sliding-scale (no one turned away for lack of funds). Proceeds benefit Abir’s Garden & Combatants for Peace.
Combatants for Peace is hosted in Santa Cruz by the Middle East Program of the Resource Center for Nonviolence . The Combatants for Peace national tour is organized by The Rebuilding Alliance and Women of a Certain Age. For more information and to and support the Abir’s Garden Project go to www.rebuildingalliance.org/
Check out Bassam’s appearance on Democracy Now recently.