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The Parents Circle - Bereaved Israelis and Palestinians Choose Reconciliation and Strive for Peace

  • 1310 Longworth House Office Building (map)

**Briefing for Members, Staff, and Interns - Refreshments and Pizza will be Served**

Wednesday, February 13th from 12:00-1:00pm in 1310 LHOB

Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) invites you to:

The Parents Circle - Bereaved Israelis and Palestinians Choose Reconciliation and Strive for Peace 

Dear Colleague:

I would like to invite you, your staff, and your interns to join us for a fascinating briefing and discussion with two widely respected figures in the Israeli and Palestinian peace movements, Robi Damelin and Mazen Faraj, as they share their stories of profound personal loss and their conscious choice of reconciliation. Discover the human side of the conflict and discuss why relationship-building, mutual understanding of the “other side,” and a structured reconciliation framework are necessary components of building a sustainable peace.

The Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF) is a joint Israeli-Palestinian organization made up of more than 600 bereaved families. Their common bond is that they have lost a close family member to the conflict. But instead of choosing revenge, they have chosen a path of reconciliation and peacemaking. Through PCFF education and activism programs, these bereaved members have joined together to help tens of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis on their personal journeys of reconciliation. The process is often raw and always emotional. But, according to PCFF, out of these interactions, comes change. PCFF has been a multi-recipient of the USAID Conflict Management and Mitigation Grant program.

To RSVP or for additional information, please contact Taylor Nadherny at taylor.nadherny@mail.house.gov. Space is limited, soplease RSVP if you plan to attend.

Speakers:
Robi Damelin – 2015 Woman of Impact and Israeli Spokesperson for the Parents Circle: Robi Damelin is the Israeli spokesperson for the Parents Circle. Her son David was killed by a Palestinian sniper in 2002 while guarding a checkpoint near a settlement during his army reserve service. Robi speaks to Israeli, Palestinian and international audiences all over the world to demand that reconciliation be a part of any peace agreement. Robi was named a 2015 Woman of Impact by Women in the World. In 2014, Robi was selected by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice as one of four Women PeaceMakers. She is the protagonist featured in the documentary, One Day after Peace.

Mazen Faraj – Co-General Director of the Parents Circle: Mazen Faraj lives in Daheshah refugee Camp, Bethlehem, Palestine. Mazen spent several years of his youth in Israeli prison. There, he learned informally politics, Hebrew and history of the Middle East. In 2002, Mazen’s father aged, 62, was killed by an Israeli soldier, mistaking his bags for something else. He chose the way of reconciliation and believes that it will lead to justice and peace. He is the Co-General Director of the Parents Circle.

Joel Braunold – Executive Director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace: Joel will moderate the discussion. He serves as the Executive Director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP), a network of over 110 different groups working to build relationships between Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians. ALLMEP has been active on Capitol Hill advocating for people-to-people funding and the transformational potential these programs offer.

Please join us for a presentation, Q&A session, pizza, and light refreshments with Damelin and Faraj on Wednesday, February 13th from 12:00-1:00 pm in 1310 Longworth House Office Building. This is another installment of a series we are having on people-to-people prospects for peace in the Middle East.

To RSVP or for additional information, please contact Taylor Nadherny at taylor.nadherny@mail.house.gov. Space is limited, so please RSVP if you plan to attend.

Very truly yours,
Jamie Raskin                             
Member of Congress