How can we heal together if we can’t even see one another’s dis-ease? Like COVID-19, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict knows few borders, and flares across boundaries. In the absence of visionary leadership, the old wounds of division and disparity fester into co-morbidities, burying the hopes and dreams of too many.
Monday, April 27, Yom Hazikaron, is Israel’s Memorial Day. The wars dating from the 1947 founding of the State of Israel have scarred Israeli society, and the dead must be honored and remembered. The same conflicts have scarred Palestinian society, and those dead must be honored and remembered. Official celebrations have remembered one at the expense of the other. What eludes government is sometimes best accomplished by the people themselves.
Beginning in 2005, Combatants for Peace gathered Israeli and Palestinian activists, advocates and artists to create the Joint Memorial Ceremony, and occasion to mourn together and bear witness to the pain that knows no borders. Now in its 15th year, the Joint Memorial Ceremony gathers nearly 10,000 people. From personal histories of violence and loss, participants build bridges toward mutual respect and understanding, and ultimately, peace.
COVID-19 precludes an in-person ceremony this year, but also opens a unique opportunity for Grace Cathedral to co-sponsor a virtual Joint Memorial Ceremony. With compelling personal narratives and musical performances by Israelis and Palestinians of diverse ages, religions and political perspectives, the 2020 Joint Memorial Ceremony promises beauty and hope. And you don’t have to fly to attend! Register here and raise up the hopes and reams of a region, and world, to heal together.