Meet Alon Simon and Raja Samana, Israeli and Palestinian members of the Parents Circle, both participants in The Narrative Project.
Many of the Palestinians [in the group] had stories about violence they had experienced at the hands of the army and security services. They spoke of how they had been detained, interrogated, beaten and humiliated. We Israelis heard the stories and didn’t know how to react. I did not know what to say.
Now that I am aware of the Nakba, should I believe that Petah Tikva, the first Jewish settlement in Israel, is no different than the outposts in the West Bank, as one Palestinian participant claimed? I still cannot accept these conclusions, and I’m still looking for arguments strong enough to reject them.
My name is Raja Samana. I am the mother of two sons and a daughter. I live in the village of Beit Iba, near Nablus, and participated in the Parents Circle’sIsraeli-Palestinian Women of Influence Narrative Project.
My husband was killed in a car accident when an Israeli truck crushed his car. He was killed instantly. As a result of his death, I became filled with hatred against the whole world. During all of these years of the Occupation and prolonged attacks against the Palestinian people, especially after my husband was killed, I wondered if the Israeli people were ruthless people without law or order. This is the reason that when my friend reached out to me and told me about the peace activities and that peace is possible between the two sides, it took my a long time to be convinced and agree to participate.
Slowly, over time, and thanks to the dialogue and conversations we had around our narratives, our suffering, I started to change my mind about Israelis. I understand that on their side there are also many who lost loved ones to the conflict and I understood that a large portion of Israeli society does not support the Occupation. I started to believe and be convinced that peace is possible between Israelis and Palestinians and live in peace just like us.