Manage episode 323957794 series 2785873
This week’s Nonviolence Radio show shares the stories and wisdom of two guests: Osama Elewat, an activist from Combatants for Peace (a volunteer organization that brings together ex-combatants from Israel and Palestine to find peaceful solutions to the cycle of violence in the region) and Michael Beer, the director of Nonviolence International (an organization that advocates for active nonviolence and supports creative constructive nonviolent campaigns worldwide). Both guests speak about the power of nonviolence in practical terms, revealing how its strategies can be effective even in the face of terrible conflict, specifically in Palestine and Western Sahara.
Real change in Palestine-Israel relations, Osama suggests, calls for a dramatic shift in perspective: we must see the process itself as the end and we must realize that the foundation of the conflict resolution process is the rehumanization of our perceived enemies:
"…we are honored to plant this seed of different ideas for resistance. If it doesn’t work now, it will work in the future. We are sure the situation will change in the future. And we want to tell our grandchildren in the future, if they ask us about what we have done to end this conflict, we want to say that yes, we saw each other as human beings. "
This profound yet simple idea can take many forms and Michael talks about how it can be expressed in a range of nonviolent tactics. He encourages us to see that these tactics are already at work all around us, they are simply often overlooked. By becoming more conscious of the many creative forms nonviolent action now takes, we can choose take part ourselves, to strengthen existing expressions of nonviolence and enlarge its scope:
"We want people to realize that nonviolent action is used in every country in the world, almost every single day. It’s used on a vast scale. And we want people around the world to realize that there’s an enormous toolbox of actions and tactics that people can consider to use. "
Osama and Michael ask that we open our eyes to the reality of persistent violence in the world, that we become aware of suffering, whether or not it is on the front pages. But most important, they show us the ways in which nonviolent action is simultaneously powerful and accessible – by taking small steps, we can all work nonviolently to bring about change.