While a political solution to the conflict seems far off, there are many small actions that everyday people can take to create change.
Yuval Roth and his organization Road to Recovery offer a perfect example of people taking the “biggest small step” in order to build meaningful connections between Israelis and Palestinians.
After Roth’s brother was kidnapped and killed by members of Hamas in 1993, he became involved in Parents Circle Families Forum as a way to find purpose through his grief. His time with the organization led to friendships with Palestinians and, in 2006, a Palestinian friend asked Roth to drive his brother from a border checkpoint for medical treatment in Israel.
That first drive changed everything. Now, Road to Recovery has over a thousand volunteers driving Palestinians from check points into Israel in order to receive medical treatment every week. Without this organization’s work, many Palestinians would have no way of receiving medical treatment as they are not allowed to drive in their own vehicles past checkpoints.
After years of driving quietly, Roth was interviewed for a story in a Hebrew magazine in 2009. That initial press spurred on the first contributions to his work, which led to the official creation of the nonprofit and the rise of volunteers and donations that continue to grow as each year passes.
Road to Recovery not only gives Palestinians patients the ability to receive medical treatment, it also creates the opportunity for Israelis and Palestinians to engage in meaningful human connection. Each ride gives Israelis and Palestinians that may never have otherwise met the opportunity to interact, and, in doing so, create a “mini peace in an hour,” as Roth says.
In an account of his weekly trips with Road to Recovery, activist and volunteer Shuli Dichter stated:
It is just a drop in the Mediterranean and in and of itself it’s not going to solve the general problem. However, until [we reach a] political solution, there is a lot that human beings can do.
Read Nancy Strichman’s full The Times of Israel article on the organization’s work here.
Photo Credit: Road to Recovery
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