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Peace Fighters

Israeli peace activists work to reconcile with Palestinians

Three Israeli peace activists from very different backgrounds talk of their efforts, and what led them to become champions for reconciliation with the Palestinians.

Tami Cohen was born in Israel and has always felt the Israeli takeover of the West Bank and Gaza was illegal. She is one of the leading lights in a group that monitors the crossing points used by Palestinians who work in Israel. Tami has a hard time dealing with the long lines and disrespect shown to the Palestinians.

Rami Elhanan was a soldier and fought in three wars as part of the Israeli army. His life changed when his daughter was killed in a suicide bombing. Since the incident in 1994, he’s actively been working with other bereaved families to bring peace between Israelis and Arabs. As part of an outreach program, he and Palestinian colleagues give lectures in Israeli and Palestinian high schools explaining their position, and their outlook for peace in the country.

Adam Keller was born in Israel into a radical family of socialists. His mother and father were activists, and he took on the family tradition. When young he was one of the leading lights in the peace movement, sometimes attending two demonstrations a day. Nowadays, as he’s grown older, he takes more of a back seat approach as an organiser rather than a participant in peace protests.

All three have a vision for Israel where the two sides live together. However, they each are adamant that for lasting peace in the region there also needs to be reconciliation. Without reconciliation, any peace agreement will only ever be a ceasefire, and even the slightest infraction could be enough to spark another round of deadly violence.