Temple Beth Shalom’s social justice committee sponsors and co-hosts three Zoom seminars featuring former combatants in Israel and Palestine. The Combatants for Peace (CFP), twice nominated for the Nobel Prize, discusses methods of personal, family, and societal transformation.
Since 2006, CFP has advocated for a two-state solution in Israel. Members of the organization exchanged their personal stories in an effort to create understanding and work toward binational peace. They regularly host conversations and tours of the West Bank. “CFP works to both transform and resolve the conflict by ending Israeli occupation and all forms of violence between the two sides and building a peaceful future for both peoples,” co-founder Sulaiman Khatib told the Jewish News of Northern California in 2018. “I came to believe there was no military solution to our situation. I felt we had to have a vision not built on anger.”
The first two classes feature Khatib, who fought against the Israeli Army before being incarcerated for more than a decade. After his time in jail, Khatib emerged with an interest in pursuing peace. He created CFP with a former Israeli soldier named Chen Alon. Khatib focuses on personal change in the seminars and also talks about the status of efforts for peace in Israel and Palestine.
Khatib’s mother also appears in the second Zoom class to discuss her experience. Ultimately, four of her sons were imprisoned for anti-Israeli activity. More than a discussion on family dynamics, the session also gives participants fruitful ways of talking about the conflicts in the Middle East.
Alon and Khatib will lead the third session and recount how their unusual partnership came to fruition. They examine the bigger picture and chat about how individual change can produce larger societal reform.
Sessions are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sundays — Jan. 10, 17, and 31. To register, go to afcfp.org/transformation-series. A $45 donation per household to support CFP’s nonprofit mission is suggested.