Combatants (against) Peace

‘Combatants for Peace’ is a radical left-wing organization, founded in 2006 by Israelis and formerly convicted Palestinian terrorists, who claim to oppose the occupation and violence. The organization consists of both Jews and Arabs with many roles manned by a Palestinian and corresponding Israeli, in addition several committees are composed by both Jews and Arabs and divided by geographic regions.

Avner Vishnitzer, one of the founders of the organization who while serving in the reserves in the IDF refused to serve in Judea and Samaria, said the organization was established after a group of Fatah and Tanzim activists from the Bethlehem area invited him and his friends to a series of meetings in Beit Jala. The organization was founded following these meetings. The organization holds meetings and joint activities, including protesting the security fence and Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Their main events include a joint memorial service for Israelis and Palestinians, held on Israel’s national Memorial Day for fallen IDF soldiers and victims of terror attacks, with freed Palestinian terrorists and their families in attendance.

Additional activities include meetings between Palestinians and Israelis intended for the public and for youth in both high schools and pre army programs. This study is based on personal correspondences between members of the organization over the past decade, giving an authentic glimpse ”behind the scenes” of the organization’s activities, discussions, updates and coordination. This glimpse provides us the ability to examine the true attitudes and goals of the organization and its members, not through the organization’s inauthentic official publications.

These correspondences also reveal the organization’s modus operandi as recorded in real time throughout their events.