Starting from November, the exhibition ‘Cartoons in Conflict’, organized by the Israeli-Palestinian association Parents Circle-Families Forum (PCFF), will visit different cities in Europe, such as Rome, Paris and Berlin, to show, in a graphic way, the pain and suffering from both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The exhibition, which has already been shown in Tel Aviv, New York and London, has begun the European tour from Madrid and collects some 50 drawings by over 20 authors from around the world.
The exhibition is organized by Parents Circle-Families Forum (PCFF), an Israeli-Palestinian association, which attempts to promote reconciliation between Israeli and Palestinian victims.
Founded in 1995, during the Oslo peace talks, the association is composed of more than 600 parents and relatives of Israeli and Palestinian victims. PCFF members believe that peace should be promoted by those affected in the conflict, not by the political establishment.
Lectures are arranged to take place, during the exhibition, by two women affected by the conflict: Siham Ikhalyel, a Palestinian woman who lost her brother after he was shot by an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint near Beit Ummar; and Robi Damelin, an Israeli mother whose son was killed by a Fatah fighter, while doing his military service. Both are members of PCFF.
In a press conference that took part, on Wednesday, in Madrid, these two women declared that the aim of the exhibition is to show the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the European society using the power of image and explain the pain experienced by both sides involved, leaving aside the bitterness and revenge.
According Damelin: ‘the conflict is based on fear and fear causes violence. If you ask to young Israeli people, most will say that they do not know a single Palestinian,’ said Israeli activist.
Therefore, PCFF recently launched a phone to stop the lack of communication and although sometimes many aggressive conversations take part, Ikhalyel declared that it is the beginning of the dialogue for many people.
Ikhalyel and Damelin agreed that it is very difficult to understand the suffering of the other side, but they stressed that it is not time to cry but to act: ‘if we don’t bury the weapons the weapons will bury us,’ they added.