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The Sanctity of Human Life

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 27/10/2015 Robi Damelin

2015-10-26-1445890565-4392997-DavidDamelin.jpeg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-10-26-1445890565-4392997-DavidDamelin.jpeg David Damelin, my beloved son, who lost his life in the conflict.
This week marks the 20h anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, a man who ultimately understood that peace would never come out of war and that our children deserved a better future.

And yet, here we are again -- engulfed by another wave of violence, blood guns and knives in the streets of Palestine and Israel. Palestinian children, yes, children taking the fate of the future in their hands. Perhaps they are imitating the acts of their fathers in the last uprising. They have nothing to lose. What hope is there? As I get older, I look at the soldiers wielding their weapons and realize that they too, are children having to make decisions far beyond their wisdom based on preconceived ideas of who is on the other side.

Fear, yes, fear is fueling the flames of hatred and violence. "Be careful where you walk." "Don't attract attention to yourself." And perhaps if you are of a darker hue, "You might get shot by mistake" or even worse killed in a lynch by crazed people. You might even be killed by one of your own who is attached to the "what does one of us look like syndrome."
Fear, yes fear, makes us look at everyone with suspicion and a desire to call the authorities. Don't even take your cellphone out of your pocket, it might be a weapon. How long can we all continue with this madness?

What can make it stop? Perhaps if the children from both sides, who have long since forgotten the humanity of the other, can understand what they leave behind when they are killed by trigger happy people. Perhaps the wielding of a knife can lead to a demise that will destroy their families forever. How can they understand the consequences for a bereaved family? How can they understand that they are not invincible and that knives and bullets and stones kill?

I wish I had a universal panacea for the violence. I wish I could wave a magic wand and Israeli and Palestinian leaders would come to their senses. I wish I could persuade my beloved Israel to get out of the occupied territories, as that is the root of evil. Perhaps Palestine and Israel need to get divorced so that one day we can have an amicable relationship. More than ever there is a need to give people some sense that a better future is possible and that the killing from both sides will only contribute to the cycle of violence and nothing will be achieved.

I wish that the leaders of the Quartet and leaders of the world would come to the rescue. I wish they would come to the region and bring with them a plea to stop the violence. Perhaps they could host a press conference with the bereaved members of the Parents Circle - Families Forum. The media would pay attention to the consequence of violence which is of course illustrated with all the members of our organization. After all, we have paid the highest price by losing our beloved family members to the conflict. If the media would show the devastation which the violence causes, then maybe, just maybe the children would once again protect themselves from the inevitable results.

We, at the Parents Circle, cannot afford to give up hope. We understand that the sanctity of human life is more important than any piece of land or biblical aspiration. Let us reflect on this message and return to sanity and to the understanding that bringing either side to its knees is not the answer.

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