National Press Club to Host "NEWSMAKER" -- Former Enemies Become Friends Despite Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Speak about Promise of Peace and the Documentary that Tells Their Story

Feb 20, 2013, 10:18 ET from National Press Club

Bassam Aramin, former Palestinian Combatant, current Peace Activist
Rami Elhanan, former Israeli Soldier, current Peace Activist
Patricia Smith Melton, Peace X Peace Founder
Shelley Hermon, Documentary Filmmaker

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by National Press Club:


Palestinian Bassam Aramin and Israeli Rami Elhanan – once committed fighters who were willing to kill or be killed to advance their opposing causes – will discuss their decisions to abandon the path of revenge and retaliation in favor of working together to end the bloodshed and pursue the path of peace. Joining them will be Peace X Peace founder Patricia Smith Melton and Shelley Hermon, director and co-producer of Within the Eye of the Storm, a documentary exploring their transformations from warriors to peacemakers. Aramin, Elhanan, Melton and Hermon will also discuss the challenges to, and prospects for, ending this long and ongoing conflict.

As a teenager, Bassam spent seven years in Israeli prisons for throwing stones and hand grenades. When he was released, he started movement called "Combatants for Peace" with other former Palestinians and Israeli fighters. A year later, his 10-year-old daughter, Abir, was killed by a rubber bullet to her head fired by an Israeli army solider.

The son of a Holocaust survivor, Rami served in Israel's army and fought in numerous conflicts. In 1997, his daughter, Smadar, was killed by a suicide bomber as she walked to school with two friends. Instead of seeking revenge, Rami became a leading member of "The Parents Circle – Family Forum," a group of Israelis and Palestinians who have lost relatives in this long and on-going conflict.

This National Press Club Newsmakers news conference is scheduled for 10 a.m., Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 in the club's Zenger Room on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building, 529 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C.

SOURCE National Press Club