Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Circle of Bereaved Parents

Today on BBC World Service I listened to this program, partly about the stories of two people, a Palestinian and an Israeli who joined the Circle of Bereaved Parents after losing two daughters in violence. I was saddened by these stories, but I was pleased that at least some Israelis and Palestinians are understanding each other and are reconciling with each other.

'Israeli Rami Elhanan and Palestinian Bassam Aramin have both lost daughters in the conflict between their peoples. But instead of demanding revenge, they are working together for peace and reconciliation. Rami and Bassam are part of a 500 strong group called The Circle of Bereaved Parents. Their stories are told in a book called "Nine Lives." '

"There is a difference between revenge and justice", says Bassam.

Also listen to this: 'Jane O'Brien hears about a scheme in the United States in which amputees from the Vietnam war help US soldiers who've lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jo Beimfohr lost both legs in a roadside bombing in Iraq in 2005. During his treatment he was visited by Jack Farley, a Vietnam War veteran who lost one of his legs in a mortar explosion.'

Miscarriage of Justice in the UK: About a week ago during a long drive I was listening to the BBC World Service and was surprised to hear this story about a British couple who were falsely accused of child abuse, after which their children were taken away from them by Social Services. This happens often in the US, and in many cases at least one of the parents is wrongly imprisoned, but I didn't know that it also happens in the UK. Being falsely accused of abusing your child, and then losing your child to Social Services, which places your child with a foster family, is another type of injustice that must cause feelings of bereavement.

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