It’s a subject close to our heart; the conflict between Israel and Iran. The constant tension between the people on the ground in each country, the tension between their respective governments and the heightened pressure everyone around the world feels when they see countries perpetually on the brink of war. But Researching Reform’s editor is half Persian Muslim and half English Jewish, and for us, the war is very much a political affair, which highlights the worst the human condition has to offer.
From demonising human beings, to inciting hatred and hostility, the conflict in this region of the world shares many similarities with the conflicts which flare up and run through the family justice system on a daily basis. Power brokers looking to profit from the vulnerable and political agendas which cause conflicts of interest and don’t reflect the feelings on the ground are just a few of the problems both scenarios share and which in turn break down communication and make it harder for people to reach out to one another.
Cue social media and the power of the people. This amazing video shows just how two nations, who always seem to be about to bear arms can broker peace through love, not power and create communication, not conflict. A Graphic designer from Israel decides to tell Iranians across the world that Israelis do not hate the Iranian people. And what starts out as a small idea, with just one poster, turns into a phenomenon which goes viral, opens up dialogue between the two countries and invites peace where it matters most – amongst family and friends in each country.
If our courts learned to stop demonising our families and embraced a warm and loving approach, and understood the need to open up dialogue rather than to make it a one-sided affair, the conflicts of interest would melt away and the system would provide services that actually worked. And whilst there are some corners of the system doing just that (think the incredible success of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court which fosters family support, respect for parents and children and combines this ethos with excellent professional care), much more needs to be done.
If Israel and Iran can open up a world of possibility with one computer and some well-chosen and sincere words on a poster, why can’t our family justice system and everyone who works in it, do the same?