Updated: Apr 23
My name is Moriah Shlomot, I am a lawyer, mediator and facilitator of restorative justice proceedings in the field of sexual abuse. In recent years, I have been the CEO of Parents Against Child Detention, a group whose goal is to expose the full picture of the arrests of Palestinian children in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This is one of the most horrendous practices designed to break the spirit of Palestinian resistance to the occupation, and therefore its scope is enormous: over 1,000 children arrested in the West Bank each year and a similar number in the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem. As parents and human beings, we cannot agree to the practices that accompany the policy of these mass arrests – night arrests, hand cuffing, blindfolding, use of threats and violence, denial of consultations with lawyers, and detention until the end of the proceedings, if not longer. Each of these crimes constitute a fundamental violation of their human rights as children and as detainees. Israel acts are in contrary to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and severely and irreversibly harms the children themselves, their families, and the community around them.
After I left Baaram, the beloved kibbutz where I was born and raised, I studied Theatre. On November 4, 1995, I was already living in Tel Aviv. I remember exactly what I was wearing that day in the demonstration “Yes to peace, no to violence”. I stood in a circle around the stairs leading down from the balcony of the city hall to the parking lot to see from short distance, my heroes, Rabin and Peres. I remember the shots and watch Rabin collapsing in front of my eyes. I screamed and plucked my hairs, something I have never done neither before nor after. The next day, I joined a group which was the closest to my ideas at that
time –" Dor Shalom" [Generation for Peace]. Attending a major event of historical magnitude made me feel that I can make a change and that a change is possible. Since then I've been engaged with these kind of activities in an attempt to make a change in our society by trying to repair, reunite and bring some solace into our society.
When the second intifada broke out, I served as the secretary of "Peace Now"["Shalom Achshav"]. When Prime Minister Ehud Barak came back from Camp David, he declared that there was no partner for peace on the Palestinian side and that there was no feasibility for the two-state vision. The peace movements groups lost many of its supporters and activists. I remember the assembly room of the secretariat, turned from a bustling crowded Into empty from its operators and its content.
After that – for eight years I managed the Women's Counseling Center with a feminist psychographic approach, at the Counseling Center for Women. I acquired from the founders, my feminist education, and the gender-sensitive worldview that motivated the feminist pioneers in Israel that established a unique therapeutic framework for women.
In 2014 I finished my law studies. I worked for Attorney Michael Sfard and Attorney Michal Pomerantz, they gave me the best possible legal education. They let me look into the most important and righteous legal battles imaginable. I learnt of their battels and struggles with the state authorities, or on such work against the institutionalized discrimination, or their effort to reveal the overt and covert robbery, or issues such as immigration policy and the settlement enterprise.
About eight years ago, I joined the movement "A Land for All – Two States of One Homeland" (https://www.alandforall.org/english/?d=ltr) founded by Meron Rappaport and Awni El Mashni. The movement proposes a cooperative vision for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to which an independent Palestinian state should be established alongside the State of Israel, with relations of cooperation and trust between the two sovereign states through joint institutions that will serve as an umbrella that creates unity in various spheres of life. I am a board member of the movement and I have no doubt that the vision we propose is the most just and the most possible vision.
Although my life revolves around conflicts, I personally feel that I the world is a safe and good place for me. I only can thank for this deep inner optimism to the people I work and live with. They all are wonderful, attentive, and dedicated to human values.