Picture @ Bruce Shaffer
In 2014, Ali Abu Awwad decided to base himself on a piece of land belonging to his family, situated in the middle of the Goush Etsion block of Jewish settlements on the West Bank, in order to found a center named Karama (« dignity »). He launched his first initiative Judur/Shorashim/Roots with an Israeli partner, Shaul Judelman.
They created a unique network of local Palestinians and Israelis who have come to see each other as the partners who both need to make changes to end their conflict.
Based on a mutual recognition of each People’s connection to the Land, they are developing understanding and solidarity despite their ideological differences. Roots is a place where local peoples can take responsibility. Their work is aimed at challenging the assumptions their communities hold about each other, building trust and creating a new discourse around the conflict in their respective societies. This is a grassroots and local model for making change — from the bottom up.
Since its creation in 2014, Judur/Shorashim/Roots has organised meetings between Israelis and Palestinians through holiday camps for the children of the two communities, as well as other activities such as photography workshop or languages courses and other encounters which promote discussion and reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. Due to the geographical location of the Centre, the majority of the Israelis participating in these activities are settlers – which is a first. Roots also interacts with many young Israelis during their pre-army training year. The activities of Roots have reached more than 15,000 people on the ground.
This innovative Palestinian National Nonviolence Movement focuses on engaging Palestinian society on a way forward to achieve social change and national goals through nonviolence. The movement involves all segments of Palestinian society by strengthening and supporting communities and providing independent organizations and activists an umbrella for coordinated action.
Taghyeer builds purposeful nonviolent actions on the ground in which Palestinians will find their power to become decision-makers and agents of their own liberation by transcending the limiting narrative of victimhood and the competition of suffering, develop the skill of adapting and managing anger at intolerable conditions, rather than being controlled by that anger.
Active engagement in the movement requires participants to affirm Taghyeer’s code of respecting difference, dialogue and nonviolence. Taghyeer believes in creating the framework for social development and nonviolent resistance to occupation simultaneously.
Taghyeer’s engages community leaders within Palestine to hear the priorities of their communities and together, develop ideas for purposeful nonviolent social action. By holding a series of regional leadership development workshops, Taghyeer builds expertise to implement activities in each of the communities, and throughout Palestine.
Activities will be based on community-prioritized needs for social development, including projects on women’s empowerment, youth leadership, education and individual rights, as well as countering the occupation. Taghyeer will also cooperate in peace building through a committee that engages Israelis, including Palestinian citizens of Israel.
On September 24th, 2016 more than 3,000 men, women and children from all corners of the West Bank, navigated barriers and obstacles, to gather in Jericho for the first mass action, demonstrating a commitment to nonviolent transformation.
Women Wage Peace is a broad-based grassroots movement founded after the Gaza War of 2014 (Operation Protective Edge) and counts among its thousands of members women from the political Right, Center, and Left, Jewish and Arab women, religious and secular women–all of them united in their demand for a political agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Today they are over 20,000 registered members. They hold dozens of parlor meetings every month; stand in crossroads all over Israel every week; they are working on a peace quilt, with “pieces of peace” arriving from all over the world; and more and more activities and workshops all over Israel, from the north to the south.
On October 2016 they marched, 20,000 women from all across the land, in demand of a political agreement. Their message was simple: »We are walking until there is a return to the negotiation table ». These women were supported by the actions of women throughout the World : in the Middle-East, but also in Europe, the United States and Japan. parachute
COMBATANTS FOR PEACE
In 2006, Israeli and Palestinian former combatants, people who had taken an active role in the conflict, laid down their weapons and established Combatants for Peace. The egalitarian, bi-national, grassroots organization was founded on the belief that the cycle of violence can only be broken when Israelis and Palestinians join forces. Committed to joint nonviolence since its foundation, CFP works to both transform and resolve the conflict by ending Israeli occupation and all forms of violence between the two sides and building a peaceful future for both peoples.
For over a decade they have embodied and served as a model for humanistic values of freedom, democracy, security and dignity for all. Through joint nonviolence in the present, they lay the foundations for a nonviolent future.
In keeping with their values, they work towards a mutually agreed upon solution that will allow both Israelis and Palestinians to live in freedom,security, democracy and dignity in their homeland.
Building an ever-expanding Palestinian-Israeli joint activist community based upon CfP’s bi-national regional groups that embody our vision and serve as a model for both societies and their future.
Motivating broad and effective bi-national, non-violent activity promoting freedom and security for both peoples in their homeland.
Changing attitudes on a wide scale, both within the Israeli and Palestinian public, as well as with governmental decision makers
Combatants for Peace is organizes different activities that involve group meetings with a Palestinian and an Israeli member of the movement who present the personal stories and hold open discussions with the participants . Among their many activities, B8 of Hope was very inspired by their Israeli-Palestinian memorial day ceremony – in memory of the victims of the conflict. Theatre on the Ground – political theater performances promoting non-violence.
Polyphony Foundation and Keshet Eilon, building bridges through music
Polyphony Foundation was co-founded by Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar, a classically trained violinist who serves as Executive Director of Polyphony Education in Israel. Polyphony has created programs where young Arabs and Jews in Israel can come together through classical music. It is a model for global cooperation based on cultural exchange and education, communication and partnership, in the belief that creating new channels for engagement is essential to sustaining a just and peaceful society. Polyphony programs reach more than 9000 Arab and Jewish youth on annual bases, and provide training and employment for over one hundred teachers in Israel.
The Keshet Eilon Music Center, founded in 1990 at Kibbutz Eilon on Israel’s northern border, is devoted to training and promoting young violinists from Israel and throughout the world who are intent on attaining the highest musical level. Its faculty consists of internationally renowned violin masters from Israel and the rest of the world. The Keshet Eilon credo is that music, one of the eternal symbols of humanity, can serve as a bridge between religions, peoples and nations.
A strategic partnership has developed between Polyphony Foundation and Keshet Eilon Music Center. This partnership is based on the shared understanding that Music and the Arts have the power to transcend long existing cultural and social boundaries between the Arab and Jewish communities in Israel. Driven by this belief, both entities have been working on creating opportunities for Arab and Jewish youth to make music together while encouraging excellence in the field of classical music. The joint Program The Scholar in Residence Seminar aims at creating a highly meaningful shared musical experience for talented young Arab and Jewish musicians, believing that such safe and neutral environment will enable them to overcome long existing cultural barriers and discover how much they have in common rather than the widely common misconceptions and stereotypes.