Bridging the divide: 12 groups working for Israel-Palestine peace – FFA

Regardless of the terrible escalation of violence, these grassroots teams stay dedicated to attaining peace. Right here’s how

Peace has maybe by no means felt so distant for Israel and Palestine because it does now. However amid the horrors of this conflict, it’s simple to overlook that on the market – on each side of the border – are odd folks working tirelessly of their communities and throughout divides to realize it.

Listed here are a number of the grassroots teams striving for a peaceable decision.

1. Standing Collectively, Israel 

Since final weekend’s terrorist assaults on harmless civilians in Israel by Hamas, and the Israeli authorities’s subsequent and relentless bombardment of Gaza, Jewish and Palestinian volunteers residing in Israel have united to assist victims of the violence. They’re a part of the Standing Together motion, seemingly the biggest Arab-Jewish grassroots group in Israel. It mobilises Jewish and Palestinian residents of Israel “in pursuit of peace, equality, and social and local weather justice”. 

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“The longer term that we would like – peace and independence for Israelis and Palestinians, full equality for all residents, and true social, financial, and environmental justice – is feasible,” reads a statement on the organisation’s web site. “The place there may be battle, there may be hope.”

2. Combatants for Peace, Israel/Palestine  

The ex-combatants who based this joint Israeli-Palestinian nonprofit have been as soon as a part of the cycle of violence that plagues the area. Now, they’ve put down their weapons to advertise peace as an alternative. 

“For our motion, this can be a essential second the place we should all dig deep,” stated the organisation in a recent statement. “The one resolution is ending the occupation, uniting Israelis and Palestinians and focusing our collective efforts on attaining peace. We name for non-violence, a renewed sense of humanity, and higher days forward for all of our youngsters.”

 3. The Dad and mom Circle – Households Discussion board, Israel/Palestine

Launched in 1995, the PCFF is a joint Israeli-Palestinian organisation that brings collectively greater than 600 households from each side, all of whom have misplaced somebody to the continued battle. 

The nonprofit makes use of academic sources, public conferences and the media to unfold concepts of reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. It’s managed by a joint Israeli-Palestinian board and operates from two workplaces: the Palestinian workplace in Beit Jala and the Israeli workplace in Ramat Ef’al.

4. Girls Wage Peace/Girls of the Solar, Israel/Palestine 

Israel-based Women Wage Peace (WWP) and its Palestinian sister motion Women of the Sun empower girls on each side of the border to shore up assist for peace of their communities and construct belief throughout divides. 

Based within the aftermath of the 2014 Gaza Warfare, WWP has round 45,000 Israeli members, reportedly making it the biggest grassroots peace motion in Israel right this moment.

WWP refracts the Israeli-Palestinian battle – and its decision – by way of a gendered lens, and believes that ladies ought to be put on the coronary heart of peace negotiations. Its members additionally work to dismantle ‘counter-productive’ arguments made by decision-makers that perpetuate the battle. 

5. EcoPeace Center East, Israel/Jordan/Palestine 

Final yr, folks residing in Gaza loved sewage-free swimming for the primary time in years due to a cross-border collaboration to wash up the strip’s shoreline

It was thanks largely to the efforts of EcoPeace Center East, an environmental peace-building organisation working throughout Israel, Jordan and Palestine to advertise collaboration for the sake of the surroundings. 

Its efforts led to Israel approving sewage therapy upgrades in Gaza, enabling the restoration of the Gaza Strip’s greatest wetland, the Wadi Gaza, a one-time biodiversity hotspot that had been choked with sewage for 3 many years. 

“The surroundings, shared water sources and more and more the local weather disaster are problems with widespread concern, they don’t respect borders,” EcoPeace Center East’s Israeli co-director Gidon Bromberg advised Constructive Information. “We’re depending on one another.”

6. Hand in Hand, Israel 

In Israel, a rising variety of built-in colleges have been bringing Jewish and Palestinian youngsters collectively to be taught below one roof (Palestinians account for nearly 1 / 4 of Israel’s inhabitants). 

“I believe we’re making a mannequin of what Israel can and will appear like,” stated Lee Gordon, co-founder of Hand in Hand, which has six built-in Jewish-Arab colleges in Israel, in a 2020 interview with Constructive Information. 

College students be taught Hebrew and Arabic on the colleges. Hand in Hand additionally facilitates conferences between dad and mom. “We organise discussions, picnics, built-in sports activities groups, group gardens, dialogue teams,” stated Gordon. “Dad and mom are sometimes not used to assembly one another.”

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Final yr, folks residing in Gaza loved cleaner water due to a cross-border collaboration to wash up the strip’s shoreline. Picture: Gus

7. Jerusalem Peacebuilders, US 

Jerusalem Peacebuilders (JPB) brings collectively Israelis, Palestinians and People, and supplies them with the abilities they should grow to be future leaders for peace. 

Posting whereas sheltering from the assaults in Israel, the nonprofit’s founding director The Rev Canon Nicholas Porter wrote: “This assault exhibits the lethal futility underlying the belief in arms to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian battle. Warfare begets solely conflict; hatred begets solely hatred. Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druze don’t want to reside like this. 

“A brand new era of management each younger and outdated is required for a greater future. JPB’s peacebuilding work with academics, girls, and youth trains leaders with the abilities, confidence, self-awareness, and understanding to forge that future.”

8. Highway to Restoration, Israel 

Road to Recovery is an Israeli affiliation of volunteers who drive Palestinian sufferers, primarily youngsters, from checkpoints within the West Financial institution and Gaza for life-saving remedies in Israeli hospitals. 

Its members additionally assist with the acquisition of medical gear, and organise holidays and outings for sufferers and their households. It has greater than 1,200 volunteers, each Israeli and Palestinian, who “present a possibility for therapeutic by way of one easy gesture – driving”.

9. Lengthen, US  

Extend’s on-the-ground studying programmes have linked American Jews with Israeli and Palestinian leaders preventing for democracy and human rights since 2013. Its excursions convey contributors to communities throughout Israel and Palestine. 

The latest battle is more likely to affect such journeys, which try to supply audiences with nuanced views in regards to the Israeli and Palestinian previous, current, and future. 

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A dedication to peace: Jewish Voice for Peace’s protest exterior the Worldwide Affiliation of Chiefs of Police annual convention final yr. Picture: Joe Piette

10. Jewish Voice for Peace, US 

California-based Jewish Voice for Peace is a multiracial, cross-class, intergenerational motion of US Jews who promote freedom for Palestinian folks. The organisation has strongly condemned the bloodbath of Israelis by Hamas, and Israel’s bombing of Gaza. 

In a weblog publish it stated: “To level out Palestinian oppression will not be, as so many commentators have alleged, to justify the unjustifiable killing of Israeli civilians by Hamas. It’s merely one other means of asking that we deal with Palestinians with the empathy and decency that we ourselves lengthy for, and to really take the steps obligatory to make sure the one actual and lasting peace – the sort that may include Palestinian freedom, justice, and equality.”

11. Options Not Sides, UK 

Options Not Sides is an schooling programme within the UK that gives schoolchildren with critical-thinking abilities to assist them resolve battle, promote dialogue and problem prejudice. 

Its weekly newsletter supplies fact-checked updates and various views on the Israel-Palestine battle, trying to chop by way of the bias whereas giving voice to totally different teams. 

12. Salaam Shalom Kitchen, UK 

Latest occasions have lent poignancy to Wednesday dinner occasions at Nottingham’s Salaam Shalom Kitchen. The joint Muslim-Jewish undertaking within the English metropolis each Wednesday serves sizzling meals to people who find themselves experiencing meals poverty and loneliness. It was based to interrupt down boundaries between Muslim and Jewish communities, and increase group cohesion extra typically. 

“It’s about bringing folks collectively to indicate our joint dedication as communities to one another, but additionally to the town, to show our shared values of compassion, dignity and repair,” co-chair, Sajid Mohammed advised Channel 4 information.

Fundamental picture: Levi Meir Clancy

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