Civilised Israelis and Palestinians are working for peace

The Financial Times reports that the group of 24 young Israelis who marched through the streets of Jerusalem to protest at the eviction of several Palestinian families in the city’s occupied east six months ago has gathered support. It has now become a full-blown political movement, including some of Israel’s most prominent intellectuals. Their Friday demonstrations are attended by hundreds of people every week, with one rally in March drawing almost 5,000. 

The peace activists are at odds with the government under Benjamin Netanyahu and the general mood of the Israeli public They protest against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, about police action against their gatherings and demand freedom of speech. Bernard Avishai, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a supporter of the protests, says that one factor in the movement’s appeal is the absence of a clear set of demands. Some protesters favour a two-state solution to the conflict; others want Palestinians and Israelis to share a binational state. “There are all kinds of views at this point,” says Mr Arshavi. “But they know they are against the occupation, and they know they are against the Israeli right.” 

For years civilised Israelis and Palestinians have been working in a more low key way for a peaceful future. The imaginative ventures include: 

  • a cooperative village of Jews and Palestinian Arabs of Israeli citizenship
  • the Parents Circle-Families Forum
  • the Jerusalem ‘peace circus’
  • the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
  • a phone service linking Israelis and Palestinians
  • Surfing for Peace
  • the trading firm Canaan Fair Trade
  • the Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour
  • Combatants for Peace – former Israeli and Palestinian fighters
  • FM radio station broadcasting 24 hours a day in English to audiences across Israel and Palestine
  • the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organisation
  • Hadassah: first class medical attention to Jews and Arabs
  • School history textbooks that include both sides’ narratives of the conflict
  • Friends of the Earth Middle East: Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians work to solve joint water-shortage problems 

For more on each initiative go to the Israel and Palestine page opposite, which also gives links to relevant websites which have far more information




4 Responses to Civilised Israelis and Palestinians are working for peace

  1. Diana Schumacher has circulated this information to members of the Gandhi Foundation

  2. Malcolm Harper [Charlbury, Oxfordshire] replied that the examples of Israeli/Palestinian co-operation are:

    ” Beacons of hope in an all-too-often cloudy sky.”

    He added:

    “We sell Zaitoun Palestinian olive oil, couscous and walnuts, some of which is produced in Palestine and some in a joint Palestinian-Israeli women’s co-operative in Israel.”

  3. General D’Souza from Mumbai:

    It is only sensible people to sensible people interaction that will eventually ensure peace in that contentious and troubled area.

  4. […] the rest here:  Civilised Israelis and Palestinians are working for peace … By admin | category: Hebrew University of JERUSALEM | tags: absence, avishai, […]

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