Peace and Basketball in the Holy Land -- Sports end wars

Friday, 28 July 2006


     Violence escalates and destroys, and a cloud of failed accords hangs over the Middle East.
     Wars, diplomacy and mediation continue failing to bring peace to the region.
     Can anyone ever stop the madness consuming the minds and dignity of these equally excellent peoples?

     All are violators.  None is morally distinctive, clarifies Israeli political scientist, Professor Ze'ev Maoz.

                Morality is not on our side
                By Ze'ev Maoz - Professor of Political Science, Tel Aviv University
                Published in Ha'aretz -- Tuesday, 25 July 2006

     While nations, clans individuals are attacking, defending, blaming and resisting, something else is happening, too.
     Not everyone has given up hope.
     Some citizens refuse to be enemies.
     Initiating, creative citizens are responding, engaging, creating, growing together --

     While some try to kill the dinosaur, these youth and adults are inventing the gazelle.

     A handful of brave and visionary people think one answer may lie, believe it or not, in basketball.
     PLAYING FOR PEACE -- -- unites children and their communities through basketball.
     In the Middle East, South Africa and Northern Ireland they bridge social divides and develop future leaders.

     Chad Ford ( is a Pofessor of International Conflict Resolution at Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
     He's also an ESPN basketball writer who covers the NBA draft.
      "Peace and Hoops: Basketball as a Role Player in Sustainable Peacebuilding" was his academic report in a 2006 Willamette Law Review.
     Recently Ford went to the Holy Land to check out PLAYING FOR PEACE.
     He found unlikely Palestinian and and Jewish youth disengaged in basketball -- not disengaged.
     One organizer described how it works in real life.
    "It starts with relationships, then it moves to great basketball training, and eventually we are able to delve into meaningful reconciliation work."
     "Kids who play together can learn to live togethr," says the ESPN broadcaster.

     See Ford's inspiring ARTICLE with ESPN VIDEO and PHOTOS about distinctive Jews and Arabs -- stories of  willing, interested youth, families, organizers.
                HOOPING WITH THE ENEMY
                A group of visionary risk-takers        
                offer a most unlikely solution to
                the violence in the Middle East
                Published by ESPN Sports -- Friday, 29 July 2006
                On the Web at

     Consider the article subtitles:
                Basketball Dnte
                From New Jersey, With Love
                A Modest But Meaningful Tipoff
                Into The Fire
                If You Can Make It In Tul Karem
                Building Peace, Brick By Brick
                The Other Side Of The Wall
                Optimism Grows In A Most Barren Garden
                Make Hoops Not War
                Converting A Hard-Line Dad
                The Court Of Best Resort

     Joseph Beuys said:  "Every human being is an artist - because I am talking about the 'point of freedom' that exists within every individual."
    Each of us IS an artist, free to help draw a picture of what life will look like.
     Go see pictures of what life is already becoming at .
     Picture yourself helping more Jews and Arabs to live their new life together. . . now.

                - L&L