Peace Movements - what do they do?
Jessica Benjamin talks about the function and process of peace and protest groups. Itamar tells us of the excitement and fear at the first meeting of what was to become Combatants for Peace (CFP), Israeli and Palestinian former enemies, who had stepped out of denial, and renounced violence as a solution. Bassam tells of a crisis (a ‘rupture’) within CFP which reflects the external imbalance of power. He confirms his belief in dialogue as CFP members faced their differences as well as their shared aims of ending the occupation and succeeded in repairing the rupture. Jessica Benjamin discusses the rupture common to joint groups operating under asymmetrical power and oppression. Bassam talks about the process of repair leading to stronger group attachment.
Jessica talks about forming a new identity when joining a protest group. Those who have 'transgressed' by stepping out of their collective narrative can find safety in the acquired new group identity. She wonders about the relationship between members of this group. She describes the process of personal and social witnessing as opposed to bystanding. Jessica talks of the outside world as a ‘failed witness’ when it takes sides in a conflict, and supports sending sons to kill or die rather than acknowledge their suffering.