Prescribing Surfboards for Peace

in Palestine and Israel

Monday, 27 August 2007


Act as if you were separate from nothing, and no one,

and you will heal your world tomorrow.

Understand that it is about power with, not power over.

                - Conversations with God - Book 3 - by Neale Donald Walsch

"People of character do the right thing,

not because they think it will change the world

but because they refuse to be changed by the world."    

                - Michael Josephson

     Some surfers travel the world looking for the perfect wave.
     "Doc" Paskowitz went looking for peace.
     The 86-year-old Californian brought surfboards to needy surfers in Gaza.
     This story did not need to bleed, to lead.

     The MY HERO Web site already honors it.
     Reuters quickly headlined "U.S. Surfer Promotes Israeli-Palestinian Peace."
     Last night it was broadcast on CBS-TV, and is on the Web today, Monday, 26 August 2007:
                Surfing For Peace In The Middle East
                Forget The Perfect Wave, Doc Paskowitz Is Looking For Something Much Bigger
                READ the story:
                VIEW the video:

     Arab-American Kelly Slater is the best surfer in the U.S. and number four in the world.
     Jewish Arthur Rashkovan, is the Israeli representative of Surfers for Peace.
     OneVoice -- - helps moderate Israelis and Palestinians reach agreement and each other.
     OneVoice is the sponsor of the coming October 18, 2007 One Million Voices To End the Conflict history-changing event.
    See  ===>

     They got behind the dream of 86-year-old American Dorian Paskowitz, a retired physician.
     Last Tuesday, 21 August 2007, "Doc" Paskowitz, a 75-year surfer with desire and character, got 12 surfboards across the Eretz Crossing to the small surfing community of Gaza.
     This citizen-innovator wanted his gifts to help get Israelis and Palestinians on the same wave.
     There were tears in their eyes, Paskowitz said.

     Surfing is "a way to build bridges between people who speak the same language," said One Voice's Gaza representative, Moffak Alami.
     On the telephone, "Doc" Paskowitz attributed most of the credit to OneVoice, and to Alami and Muhammad Jayab from Gaza.
     "They're the most distinguished kind of men," Paskowitz said.

     READ more.
     Understand the prescription for sustainable peace.
     Riding the new wave of human activity.
     Across borders.

                - L&L

~  ~ ~  ~ ~  ~ ~  ~ ~  ~

Excerpted from The New York Times -- Wednesday,: August 22, 2007

Prescribing Surfboards for Peace
By Isabel Kershner

     JERUSALEM, Aug. 21 The noted American surfer, Dr. Dorian Paskowitz, has high hopes for Gaza, and like the waves, he will not let anything stop him trying to see them through.
     On Tuesday, Dr. Paskowitz, 86, a retired Jewish physician from Hawaii popularly known as Doc, personally delivered 15 new surfboards to Palestinian surfing enthusiasts there.
     He talked the Israeli authorities into opening up the fortresslike Erez crossing for that purpose, overcoming their repeated protestations about the volatile security situation, he said even though hardly any nonessential goods have been allowed into the Gaza Strip since Hamas took over there in June.
     We used every wily wit that any Jew could muster, Dr. Paskowitz said, deliberately poking fun at an ethnic stereotype while speaking after the event by telephone from Tel Aviv. He was accompanied by his son David, 48, one of his nine children and a former surfing world champion.
     The endeavor started with an article in The Los Angeles Times three weeks ago about a beach in Gaza called Al Deira. It featured a photograph of two Palestinian surfers with one old surfboard between them. My son and I said, why dont we go over and help them get some boards, Dr. Paskowitz recalled.
     The Paskowitzes started to pull strings. An Israeli benefactor from a sports gear chain put up a few thousand dollars to bring them over. The worlds greatest surfing pro, Kelly Slater, gave his support. And Doc activated Arthur Rashkovan, the Israeli representative of Surfers for Peace, an organization founded by the Paskowitzes and Mr. Slater, an American of Syrian descent.
     Arthur is a grassroots Shimon Peres, Dr. Paskowitz said, referring to the 84-year-old president of Israel, an inveterate advocate of peace. He knows how to get things done.
     Mr. Rashkovan, who lives in Tel Aviv, first met Dr. Paskowitz 10 years ago at a surfing camp in California. He says he persuaded four Israeli surfing equipment companies to donate the boards.
     Their passage through Erez was coordinated by the Israeli military administration there. OneVoice, an Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution organization, helped bring the Palestinians across to receive the boards.
     Among the Palestinians were the two riders whose photograph Dr. Paskowitz had seen in the newspaper. There were tears in their eyes, he said. His hope is that the new boards will inspire Gazas surfers to start manufacturing their own. From a board comes a group of guys who ride, he said. From the group comes a business, then an industry, then a fantastic amount of money. Im talking about billions, all from one board.
     That seems far-fetched for now. Since the militant group Hamas seized control of Gaza, the main commercial crossing has been closed and many local industries have collapsed.
     One of the Palestinian surfers, Muhammad Jayab, described himself in the article Dr. Paskowitz had read as sympathetic to Hamas. That did not put Doc off. To be able to go to your enemies and give them something that makes them happy is a most fulfilling adventure, he said.