An Israeli mother and a Palestinian father who both lost their child to the Arab-Israeli conflict sat down for a HuffPost Live interview to discuss their struggles, pains, and how they have never sought vengeance.
Robi Damelin and Bassam Aramin are spokespeople for The Parents Circle Families Forum, a joint Israeli and Palestinian organization that encourages dialogue between the two sides.
When Damelin found out her 23-year-old son was killed, she wrote a letter to her son's murderer asking to work together to put an end to the violence and pain.
"One of the first things that I said when the soldiers came to tell me that David had been killed was, 'You may not kill anyone in the name of my child.' So I wasn’t looking for revenge," Damelin told HuffPost Live's Ahmed Shihab-Eldin.
She added, "I was going all over the world talking about peace and reconciliation and here they caught the man who killed my son, so that was a kind of test to see if I really meant what I said. I didn’t think ethically I could continue this work unless I was willing to walk the walk."
Similarly, Aramin lost his 10-year-old daughter in 2007 and for him, revenge was no option.
"There is no revenge. If you go for revenge, it is very easy. You will invite the next victim from the other side so we will continue with this circle of blood forever," Aramin said.
In honor of Aramin's daughter's death, 100 former Israeli soldiers planted a garden in her school. Aramin says this message of minimizing vengeance and promoting unity is exactly what he hopes for the organization.
"You know, this is the difference. One Israeli soldier shot her, but 100 ex-Israeli soldiers built her garden in her memory in her school. And this is the difference -- it’s how to use your pain," said Aramin.
He concluded, "This is our message--that nothing deserves to sacrifice [our] lives. We are more important than any land."
Watch the full HuffPost Live interview about the Parents Circle Families Forum below: