With so much misinformation and division out there regarding Israel-Palestine, it can be hard for those wanting to learn the real realities on the ground and make a truly positive difference.
Media outlets, Facebook forums and YouTube conspiracy-led videos are filled with anti-Semitic and Islamophobic commentary and politicians. What’s more, certain NGOs and groups are failing to call out those and dissociate with those who perpetuate violence.
There are a lot of raw feelings on both sides but also some wonderful groups out there working to break down barriers are build peace. Unfortunately, we don’t often hear about them! That’s why I’ve brought together the best six organisations I’ve found that are breaking down barriers, forging friendships and striving to build peace.
Take a look at their incredible work – and make sure you’ve got a tissue to hand!
Born in 1995, The Parents Circle – Families Forum (PCFF) brings together Israeli and Arab bereaved parents across Israel and Palestine. Over 600 families have joined – each of whom have lost an immediate family member in the conflict. By encouraging bereaved parents to meet and work together, PCFF is striving for reconciliation and peace. It’s some pretty powerful stuff!
Check out this video below of two fathers – one Israeli (Jewish) and one Palestinian (Arab) – who have both lost a daughter and instead of seeking revenge have gone on to form a heartwarming alliance.
Seeds of Peace is a US-based NGO which trains and equips children and educators to become their very own peacemakers. Whilst their work is not specifically focussed on Israel-Palestine, they are making a real difference.
“Seeds of Peace gave me hope that one day we’ll be able to live in peace — a just peace based on the elements of respect, dignity, and basic human rights and values for every Israeli and Palestinian.” — Adham (Palestinian Seed)
Watch the video below and see how they’re working with young Israelis and Palestinians to build dialogue and understanding.Find out more about Seeds of Peace via their website and social media channels (Facebook and Twitter).
Friends of Roots are an inspiring grassroots movement bringing together Israeli and Palestinian activists in Israel/Palestine. Activities include shared iftars (breaking the Ramadan fast meals), summer camps, youth groups, lectures and inter-religious exchanges including Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim groups.
Take a look at some of their great work:
Based in the UK, Children of Peace work to build trust and friendships between Israeli and Palestinian children aged 4 to 17 years old. Using arts, education, health and sports programmes, they’re reconciling communities and building peace.
The NGO supports local organisations on the ground to achieve their aims. Here’s a video from one of their many affiliate partners:
Formulated after the the Gaza war in 2004, Women Wage Peace is an Israeli-based peace grassroots NGO which campaigns to bring peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian authorities and include women in the peace process.
Working with women of all backgrounds – Jewish, Muslim, secular, Israeli, Arab and from across the political spectrum – Women Wage Peace is building bonds between both Israeli and Palestinian women demanding “a mutually binding non-violent accord, agreeable to both sides”.
Here’s some of their great work:
Formed of former IDF soliders and Palestinian combatants, Combatants for Peace is an Israeli-Palestinian grassroots movement based on the principle of non-violence. It’s committed towards building a two-State solution in which both Israelis and Palestinians can live in security, freedom and democracy.
Working to changing attitudes within both sides of the public and governmental circles, Combatants for Peace are building an ever-growing Israeli-Palestinian activist community in the hope of bringing peace and stability to the region.
Hear what motivated co-founders Sulaiman Khatib (Palestine) and Chen Alon (Israel) to start the movement:
There’s some amazing work happening. So please spread the word and do not fall into the divisional narratives. There are some fantastic people working for peace – from all backgrounds – and it’s only through building trust, creating dialogue and developing understanding that long-lasting peace can ever be achieved.
Salam, shalom, peace! ♡