Taking Steps for Peace - Israeli and Palestinian Bereaved Parents Work for Reconciliation

On June 14th and 15th 2016, Julie and the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament will be hosting a series of extraordinary events, bringing together israeli and Palestinian bereaved parents from the Parents Circle, and working to empower women and girls in peace-building and reconciliation.




The public event on Wednesday June 15th at 16:00 in the European Parliament will be the European launch of the Taking Steps 4 Peace campaign, promoting "The Bird of Peace", a simple accessory hand-made by bereaved Palestinian women, designed together with Israelis symbolising the desire for reconciliation. 

The photograph exhibition "Presence of the Void" a series of photographs taken by Israeli and Palestinian women who have lost a loved one, will be in the European Parliament throughout the week. The opening of the exhibition will be opened on Tuesday June 14th at 18:00 (TBC), at ASP 5G.

 For more information please email julie.ward@europarl.europa.eu

To register for the event, please click here



Taking Steps for Peace:

Israeli and Palestinian bereaved mothers campaign for reconciliation together



The Parents’ Circle is an NGO made up of more than 600 bereaved Palestinian and Israeli families all of whom have lost a loved one in the conflict. We have chosen a path of reconciliation rather than revenge and we use our stories as examples to inspire others. We run educational, public awareness and advocacy projects among Israelis and Palestinians for both youth and adults. The long-term goal of the organization is to have a reconciliation process as an integral part of any future political peace agreement.


The campaign Taking Steps was born out of a need to supplement the income of the families of bereaved Palestinian women, while at the same time spreading the Parents Circle message of reconciliation. The first design that came out of this joint endeavour of our Women's Group is the embroidered Reconciliation Bird, which was hand embroidered onto sports shoes. It has become an iconic symbol of reconciliation for the Parents Circle, which can be worn to show solidarity and raise awareness of peace and reconciliation in the region, and of women’s empowerment in peace-building.


We are building this into an international campaign, and on the 15th June we will launch the project in the European Parliament, with parallel events around that week organized in the US Congress, British Parliament, and German Bundestag.


The event in the European Parliament will highlight the constructive role the EU can play in the region, and the solidarity between MEPs, and particularly women MEPs, and Israeli and Palestinian women and men on the ground.