"In the past, we used weapons against one another, we saw each other only through weapon sights. Now we are working together for peace and justice."
Sulaiman Khatib was one of four Palestinians on the historic "Breaking the Ice” expedition with Israelis to Antarctica in 2003. The experience provided him with his first personal contact with Israelis, and led him to establish the Abu Assukar Center for Peace and Dialogue in the West Bank, where he manages the coordination of activities in cooperation with Israeli and international organizations, helps train peace coordinators, participates in seminars, and works with organizations in youth and cultural Euro-Mediterranean programs.
A former Palestinian fighter and prisoner, Souliman is now involved with summer peace camps, religious dialogue, and many joint activities with Israeli peace partners, including Combatants for Peace. As a representative of that organization, he travels abroad and talks with people of many lands, usually accompanied by an Israeli, describing paths to peace and justice based on Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, mutual respect and common effort.
Yonatan Shapira, 32, is a Captain in the Israeli Air Force reserves. Yonatan is also a military refuser.
Yonatan joined the Israeli Defense Force in 1991 and graduated from the Israel Air Force flight course in 1993. He served as a regular in the Air Force until 1999. While a regular, he flew primarily as a rescue and assault helicopter pilot, completing well over 100 missions, including missions in Lebanon.
In 2001, while a civilian pilot and member of the Reserves, Yonatan was called back to service to become one of the founding members of the Israel Air Force's new Black Hawk squadron, for which he received specialized training in Alabama. Following initiation of the squadron, he resumed his status in the reserves. As a reservist, he served as a pilot, operations leader and instructor.
In October 2003, Yonatan, along with 26 others, signed a declaration refusing to participate in aerial attacks on populated areas in the Palestinian Territories because of the belief that these attacks are illegal, immoral and do not serve the security of Israel. Following this act, he was dismissed from service by the Israeli Air Force commander, General Dan Halutz.
Yonatan lives in Tel Aviv where, in addition to his work as a pilot, he volunteers for "SELA," the Israeli Crisis Management Center, an organization dedicated to aiding new immigrants and victims of terror.
Currently, Yonatan is working to complete a Masters degree in Peace and Conflict Studies.He composes and sings songs related to his political/humanitarian work.