Keeping people at the heart of the conflict in charge
Raed Hadar is the co-founder of Combatants for Peace.Combatants for Peace is formed by a group of Palestinians and Israelis who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence in the region: Israeli soldiers serving in the IDF and Palestinians as combatants fighting to free their country, Palestine, from the Israeli occupation.They write on their website: “We – serving our peoples, raised weapons which we aimed at each other and saw each other only through gun sights – have established Combatants for Peace on the basis of non-violence principles.” They have started the partnership in 2006.
What’s happening now?
This year,Combatants for Peace was nominated for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize shortlist according to the Nobel Peace Prize Watch. Professor Stellan Vinthagen, the nominator to the Selection Committee wrote the following about CfP: “Combatants for Peace is a true sign of the ability of people to find common ground and stand up for humanity in the midst of hatred, oppression and violence. These men and women have shown the amazing courage to go against the armed discourse within their respective community and collaborate with the “enemy”, replacing the guns and bombs with nonviolent means of struggle, and stand united together in their cry for peace and justice. Together they make marches, nonviolent activism, educations for peace and they commemorate the victims on all sides. Every time they speak and represent the organization they are two persons: one Palestinian and one Israeli.Every position in the organization is having two persons: one Palestinian and one
Israeli.They are a true sign of humanity and hope in a time and in a situation of
violence and despair.”
To get an idea of the work Combatants for Peace does for the region, check the trailer of the
documentary ‘Disturbing the Peace’ here:
The renown documentary ‘Disturbing the Peace’ follows this group of former enemy combatants – Israeli soldiers from the most elite units, and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison – who have come together to challenge the status quo and say “enough”. The film traces their transformational journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle to non-violent peace activists. It is a story of the human potential unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us, and with the power of our convictions take action to create a new possibility.
About his background, Raed writes the following: “My name is Ra’ed al-Hadar and I am original from Yatta village and I live in the city of Ramallah. I studied and graduated from Birzeit University, specializing in sociology. I belong to the Fatah movement, and after the outbreak of the first intifada I participated in it and I was part of the circle of violence and I believed in this way at the time. I then entered the Israeli occupation prisons and spent three years. It was a transformation of several passages but actual practice was when I participated in and co-founded Combatants for Peace. I was responsible for the activities and then I was the coordinator of the organization and currently I lead the local groups. I believe that nonviolent struggle is the only way that can help resolve the conflict and end the occupation.”