In an opinion piece for The Jerusalem Post, founder and co-chair of Israel Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives (IPCRI) Gershon Baskin discusses the organizations and movements that are tirelessly working for peace in the region.
Calling for a change in climate between Israelis and Palestinians, Baskin believes that peace can be reached if we managed to develop more positive contacts in order to be able to reach compromises through negotiations grounded in trust.
For the past 38 years, Baskin has believed in the power of bringing Jews and Arabs together to create constructive partnerships in order to work towards a future of peace. His recent book In Pursuit of Peace in Israel and Palestine focuses on how the region has failed to reach a state of peace but also how success can be found through positive partnerships.
Such partnerships are already in place as organizations and movements across the region work for a brighter future together. His own organization, IPCRI is committed to working as an in-house Israeli-Palestinian partnership organization that supports the two-state solution. Recently, IPCRI has focused on renewing joint Israeli-Palestinian working groups of civil servants from the government ministries of both Israel and Palestine.
Another organization working towards a future of peace is Combatants for Peace, which was founded by former combatants on both sides who decided to lay down their weapons and call for a nonviolent solution to the conflict. The organization works to end Israeli occupation and find a solution that will allow both Israelis and Palestinians to live in freedom and peace.
Like Combatants for Peace, Women Wage Peace works to raise awareness and open up discussions surrounding the possibility of a nonviolent political resolution that is mutually agreed upon. The movement of over 50,000 people is led by Jewish and Palestinian women focused on creating spaces for dialogue about the possibility of peace. Through demonstrations, marches, protests and a presence in the Knesset, the women of the movement bring awareness and promote the notion that a political agreement is not only feasible, but necessary.
Baskin also discusses Hand in Hand as another organization that brings hope to the region. Hand in Hand are bilingual schools bringing Jews and Arabs together in Israel through education, which has the possibility to significantly impact the future chances for peace in the region.
In conclusion, Baskin writes about The Parents Circle – Families Forum (PCFF), which is a joint Israeli-Palestinian organization made up of members who have lost a relative to the continued conflict in the region. The organization uses resources in education, the media, and public meetings to spread the idea that the process of reconciliation is necessary in order to reach a state of peace.
In his piece for The Jerusalem Post, Baskin states:
Our collective struggle is long and hard, but we will prevail because there are few other people between living between the Jordan and the Sea who are working together on a daily basis for the mutual benefit and interests of both peoples living in the Land of Israel/Palestine.
Photo Credit: The Alliance for Middle East Peace
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