August 9, 2022

Statement from Robi Damelin, Director of IR at Parents Circle Families Forum, following escalation in Gaza

Read below the words of Robi Damelin, Director of International Relations at ALLMEP Member Parents Circle Families Form, following the escalation in Gaza on August 5th, 2022


To the mothers of Palestine and Israel,

We may not speak the same language, we may not share equal privilege. We may not live under occupation without access to equal justice or even freedom of movement. One thing, however, is unequivocally true. We share the same love for our children. These children are the victims in every battle. What kind of adults will those who survive be? Will they be filled with anger and revenge and look for a way to continue to kill one another? And who could blame them?

Mothers in Gaza, how do you feel when the bombs start falling and you have nowhere to run?  No shelter to protect your children and yourself. You are at the mercy of fate. We, who have already lost children, know better than anyone what happens when you lose a child. Life will never be the same for the mothers of the 68 children who lost their lives in the last war. Who will remember their names apart from their mothers? They did not have celebrity status so that someone would take notice. Those who died during the past few days, will someone else actually remember them after the cease fire? There is no safe haven for the children of Jabalya, Deir al Balah, Khan Yunis. They are at the mercy of lady luck.

Mothers of Ashkelon, Sderot and the surrounding kibbutzim who only have a few seconds to get to the shelters, who of your children will you push to safety first? And what if one happens to be in a wheelchair? Who would you save? The trauma persists and some children aged twelve and more are still wetting their beds and having nightmares.

So we assassinate leaders with great skill. But let us be reminded of Hydra in Greek Mythology; another head will arise to replace the one we cut off. Perhaps it is time to look for another way.

Violence begets violence. All these incredible masterminds in battle. Surely, they can put their minds to a solution which would not perpetuate violence that would not leave behind devastation and no hope for the future.  

Mothers of Palestine and Israel whatever the situation and no matter what news you are fed, one thing is clear; when we, who have lost our children stand over their graves, the tears that will fall will be the same color and the pain that we experience will be the same. Let us jointly appeal to the powers that be, to stop the killing and to use their skills for a solution. Peace will not come from war.

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