A Palestinian Peacemaker on the Israeli Elections


by Osama Abuayyash
Bereaved member and Palestinian co-Director
Parents Circle – Families Forum

October 28, 2022

For the first time in years, a government was formed in Israel that was made up of parties whose slogans were to reach a political settlement with the Palestinians, stop the construction and settlement of settlements, and fight against racist and nationalist incitement.

With the establishment of the “government of change,” we expected to see more action and less talk. We expected to see a reduction in Israeli control over the Palestinian people, and we expected that the discourse on a political settlement, on reconciliation and peace between the nations, would be returned to the agenda.

Osama Abu Ayyash and Yuval Rahamim, Palestinian and Israeli co-Directors of
the Parents Circle - Families Forum

But not only was the discourse on political order completely absent from the agenda of the last government– we saw a deepening and worsening of the occupation policy.

A year and a half after the establishment of the government, we can clearly say that the “government of change” not only continued the policy of annexation and occupation led by the Netanyahu governments, but even surpassed it.

According to the data of the Central Bureau of Statistics, in the past year there was a 43% increase in construction in the settlements.

According to data from B’Tselem organization, 379 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli security forces, 85 of them minors.

The Peace Now report reveals that Israel destroyed more than 800 Palestinian buildings in the occupied territories.

In recent weeks we have been hearing new and old politicians, from all ends of the political spectrum, talking about the need for a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. Gadi Eisenkot, in his first political speech, said that “we must strive for peace” and “guarantee full equality for all citizens”. MK Zehava Galon called on the left camp to “wake up from its slumber” and “return the political issue to the agenda”, and MK Tzipi Livni warned that ” One critical issue does not exist in the electoral process: the conflict between us and the Palestinians.”

The calls for a political settlement and peace must not remain mere statements. They must be translated into actions.

We, the members of the bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families, paid the heaviest price that can be paid when we lost our close and dear family members. We realized, in the most painful way, that revenge, rage, hatred and killing will not provide us with comfort or a solution, but only more bereavement and more pain.

The Parents Circle – Families Forum is not looking for new members. In order for more families not to join us, we must go back to talking about peace and making peace. Instead of more suffering, death and bereavement, a change of direction is needed. The cycle of bloodshed, which claimed the lives of too many people on both sides, can only be broken by resisting violence and striving for peace and reconciliation.

The role of the next government will be to bring the discourse of peace and reconciliation between nations back to the agenda, and it will be judged by its actions.

To donate by check, please mail to:

American Friends of the Parents Circle
4 E 95th St 5C
New York, NY 10128

To donate by check, please mail to:

American Friends of the Parents Circle
4 E 95th St 5C
New York, NY 10128