With the focus so often on governmental policy, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some grassroots movements for peace in Israel and Palestine.
Oasis of Peace (Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam.)
Situated between Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, this village community of 200 people aims to prove that Israel's Jews and Arabs can live peacefully side by side. Autonomous and self-governed, the village claims to have no political affiliation. Instead their aim is to construct an "humane, egalitarian and just society." To this end they have set up the School for Peace which educates young Arab and Jewish Israelis. In turn governed by a Jewish and Arab director, the school has educated some 35,000 students since it opened its doors for the first time in 1979. Their work is guided by four basic assumptions:
1.The beliefs and outlooks on which a person’s identity and behavior are constructed are deep-seated and stable, and generally resistant to change. Our work attempts to expose these outlooks and permit people to grapple with them.
2.The conflict rests on an encounter between two national groups, not between individuals; hence we see the group as having an essential importance, beyond the sum of the individuals comprising it.
3.The group is a microcosm of reality and thus offers an avenue for learning about the society at large.
4.The encounter group is an open entity, linked to and influenced by the larger reality outside.
The village also operates a humanitarian aid programme for those, primarily palestinians, who have been affected by the ongoing conflict.
Their website can be found here.
Also interesting to look at is: