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Issue: September 2012
Totnes Peace Day

by Ben Yeger
On 21st of September 2012 it was ‘Peace One Day’ (http://peaceoneday.org/) An opportunity for people across the world to mark, in whatever way they feel called, the potential for Peace in our times. As part of this global effort the Totnes Peace Festival organized by an amazing group of people have pulled together a wonderful array of creative events which will include dance, talks, live music and more. Profits from the Festival will be donated to Peace one day and to support the work I will be doing in Israel/Palestine in the next 12 months.

I am a MM apprentice Teacher and an Israeli ex combatant (I served in the Israeli army 83-86) I am also the UK representative of Combatants for Peace (CfP). CfP is a bi-National movement of ex combatants from Israel and Palestine who are engaged in a joint struggle to find non-violent ways to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and bring a sustainable and just peace for both peoples.  I have been a member of CfP for 4 years. After organising two CfP group visits to England, the next step in my journey to contribute to Peace between Israel/Palestine is to travel to the region for 3 extended periods of time over the next 15 months.  I will be using Movement medicine and a variety of other transformative and embodied practice to build the resilience and capacity of CfP members and the movement as a whole.

CfP is a grass roots movement dependent on the determination, strength and resilience of its volunteer members and management, meeting and working together under adverse conditions and circumstances. This process constantly stretches the capacity of members, often resulting in individual and group burnout.

The current political climate in the region is one of hopelessness and stuckness where it seems that there is little to no hope for change.  This reality is challenging for all CfP activists and means that sustaining a sense of joint purpose and effectiveness between members is essential and needs a considerable amount of support.

The impact of this project will be to strengthen the commitment, determination and abilities of members to continue to meet and bring about internal transformation and conflict resolution, becoming more effective in reaching out to each of their respective communities and leading direct actions on the ground.

My invitation is one of daring to dance and dream of a different future that can only be achieved through really facing each-other, seeing the other with all his/her complexities.  I hope that this process will transcend the point of burnout, transcend the focus on polarities and create joined-up authentic possibility for change.   It is my belief that it is possible and healing to find the embodiment of our deepest fears and challenges and I believe that we can imagine the changes we want to happen and then work together to slowly make those changes real

To truly make peace we need to face the part in ourselves we see reflected in the ‘Other’. The things we find most difficult in them, most scary, those are the things we need to really heal, transform and make peace with.

I am very grateful that Totnes Peace Festival  has chosen this work as its fundraising focus. I will be talking some more about the work on Friday evening so please come along and join.   For more info and to book your tickets see ‘peace day totnes’ at www.dancing-shapes.com  I really hope to see you there. Inshalla!! In peace!!

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www. schoolofmovementmedicine.com