American friends of the Parents Circle
The Joint Memorial Ceremony, organized by Combatants for Peace (CfP) and The Parents Circle – Families Forum, is the largest Israeli-Palestinian jointly organized peace event. The Joint Memorial Ceremony provides a unique opportunity for Israelis and Palestinians to grieve together and stand strong in demanding an end to the ongoing violence.
The Ceremony takes place every year on the eve of Yom Hazikaron (Israeli Memorial Day). In Israeli mainstream culture, the ceremonies that are most often held to honor this day serve to reinforce cultural narratives of pain, victimhood, and hopelessness. Our Joint Memorial transforms this narrative by bringing Palestinians to the Memorial alongside Israelis.
Joining together to mourn each other’s pain, we aim to challenge the status quo and set the foundation for a new reality based on mutual respect, dignity, and equality for all. In mourning together, we seek not to equate narratives, but rather transform despair into hope and build bridges of compassion. We remind ourselves and society that occupation, oppression, and violence are not inevitable.
Since the first ceremony in 2006, the number of people who attend has grown tremendously. In 2022, 300,000 people participated in the live broadcast event and over one million people streamed it.
Throughout the years, participating guests have included leading intellectuals and artists such as: Mubarak Awad, Yoni Rechter, Professor Yehuda Ne’eman, Alon Oleartchik, Achinoam Nini (Noa), Mira Awad, Professor Eva Illouz, Eliezer Yaari, Dr. Amal Abu Said, David Grossman, Dr. Sami Shalom Shitrit, Richard Gere, and many others.
The theme of this year’s ceremony is “WE ACKNOWLEDGE”: bringing to light what has already been known but was suppressed, denied, or muted.
WE ACKNOWLEDGE each other’s humanity and every human’s right to security and freedom.
WE ACKNOWLEDGE the oppressive system that fuels injustice, violence, and trauma.
WE ACKNOWLEDGE our personal suffering, the suffering of our neighbors, and our part in this pain.
WE ACKNOWLEDGE our shared vision of a land where the inherent dignity and equality of all is fully realized.
WE ACKNOWLEDGE our power to transform, collectively heal, and unite to end the occupation.