On July 15, 2016, Combatants for Peace celebrated their 10 year anniversary during the Freedom March Protest organized by them monthly. I was honored to have been asked to give a talk during the protest. The following is a text of my talk.
Dear friends, dear you who still dare to dream and believe…
We have come here today representing different tribes, identities, religions, cultures and languages of this land. Representing the global consciousness of morality, peace, justice, freedom and the right of every individual to live in dignity, honor, and respect.
We have come here on behalf of every woman, man and child who died or suffered a loss as a result of the violence in this land. We have come here on behalf of every Palestinian home that has been demolished, every Palestinian tree uprooted, and every Palestinian child who could not find a drop of water to drink this summer morning because of the Israeli military control over even a most basic human need… water.
We send a clear message to our leaders (Israelis and Palestinians) and to the international community. On this day and in this hour and in this place, our voice is united against injustice and united for freedom and dignity. We say that the pain we experienced and continue to experience is because of the continued, growing, inhumane oppression and occupation of the Palestinian people.
We, the people of the land say that it is up to us to achieve a real vision of peace and justice. We can not deny that fear, hated and resignation have now taken over and that the task at hand may seem impossible, but true peacemakers are the ones that look the impossible in the eye and make it a possibility.
As a Palestinian let me give a message to the Israeli peace movement. To those Israelis who are here seeking peace with me because they are afraid of me and want me to become less of a threat to them, i say go back to your homes. I do not want your peace.
To those Israelis who are here because they believe in peace, they believe in justice, they believe in freedom, they believe in equality, and they are ready to commit to talking and walking this path, i do not only say AHLAN WA SHLAN, but also BEITI BITKUM. My home is yours.
Combatants for Peace has been for 10 years engaging in this understanding of peace and justice and many organizations started before them doing the same. From blood to tears, individuals have stood side by side in their nonviolent resistance to the oppression.
On this day I salute them and all other peace and justice groups for their work and call for stronger unity and activism for all those who are ready to lead us to a new and better future.