Shortly after completing her service as Casualty Officer during the Second Intifada, Tal hurried to return to her roots in New Zealand. The shame or trauma was so deep, that she did her best not to be reminded of being Israeli.
Still, her identity followed her. In a bridging project with youth from different backgrounds, she was collaborating with a second generation Palestinian. The module they chose was the Middle East. Her ‘Israeliness’ was still there, despite all the effort she had put into ignoring it.
Tal returned to Israel in the middle of the Gaza War of 2014. She donated blood in a Palestinian hospital, and she received a task: writing the English subtitles for the film, Disturbing the Peace. This was her first contact with Combatants for Peace, and the origin of her desire to be part of CfP. In 2015, Tal officially joined CfP.
“Being part of CfP settled my identity issues”, she says, “finally I had a place where I could speak without people thinking I’m some crazy leftist; I also felt like I wasn’t alone.”
It seems that activity in CfP has somewhat healed the rift for Tal, and has provided her with a platform to be, in her words, “a proud citizen who demands a healthier future”.
Tal is also aware of the special role of women in CfP. Naturally, CfP is viewed as a masculine organization. It is because of this especially, that women must have their own voice in CfP. “Our role as women is to bring empathy to the personal level, and to remind the Palestinian women that it’s their story, too.” The men, she says, can’t do this alone.