A Brave Man Who Does Not Seek Revenge
Bassam Aramin lost his daughter in January. Bassam is Palestinian; his daughter was killed by the Israeli army.
Most people would seek revenge–especially someone with Bassam’s background. He spent seven years in an Israeli jail, for terrorism.
But Bassam, and the small group of people he works with on Israeli-Palestinian relations, understands that more violence doesn’t bring his daughter back.
Bassam is a co-founder of Combatants for Peace, a remarkable group that brings people together on both sides–not just bystanders or even activists, but people who formerly participated directly in continuing the violence.
Bassam has a beautiful essay in the Jewish Daily Forward: “A Plea for Peace From a Bereaved Palestinian Father.” I urge you to read it.
Here’s a little piece:
I will not rest until the soldier responsible for my daughter’s death is put on trial, and made to face what he has done. I will see to it that the world does not forget my daughter, my lovely Abir.
But I will not seek vengeance. No, I will continue the work I have undertaken with my Israeli brothers. I will fight with all I have within me to see that Abir’s name, Abir’s blood, becomes the bridge that finally closes the gap between us, the bridge that allows Israelis and Palestinians to finally, inshallah, live in peace.
I heard some members of Bassam’s group, a former Israeli soldier and a former Arab terrorist (not Bassam) just days after Abir Aramin was killed, and I was deeply moved by their story of seeking peace even as their own hands had built the violence. Here’s the report on that event.