Nobody could doubt the friendship between them. As they speak together in public they exchange ideas and support. On stage, he gives her hand a reassuring squeeze during tough moments.
Her eyes sparkle with admiration as his powerful words generate ripples of applause throughout the audience. They share the headset for a simultaneous translation device – an earpiece each – when caught short.
Robi Damelin and Ali Abu Awwad come across as close, trusting friends. But according to the political narrative of their region, they should be the worst of enemies.
Robi Damelin is a 65-year-old Israeli whose son David was killed by a Palestinian sniper seven years ago, while he was serving military reserve duty in the occupied West Bank.
The 37-year old Palestinian Ali Abu Awwad lost his elder brother Yousef in 2000, when an Israeli soldier shot him in the head just outside the family’s home village near Hebron.
Now the two speak together all over the world, to the media and to parliaments, at public events and in schools, synagogues and mosques.
They are united in their message, calling for reconciliation between their two sides, which have for decades been locked in a brutal, deadly conflict.