Israeli, Palestinian shared olive harvests model cooperation:

PEACE OIL & SALAM SHALOM Olive Oil on market

Monday, 17 September 2007


     Summer is ending, and the olive harvest is nearing.
     Palestinian Hanna Elias' beautiful film, THE OLIVE HARVEST -- -- reminds us of the hazardous trap and predictable failure awaiting people who compete to dominate the same land and trees, the same hoped-for bride.

    We can do so much better -- transcend this one-sided domination, and transform confrontation into collaboration.
     Even now, we are creating small models,
so people can see what life down the path will look like.

Peace negotiations fail because

people are unwilling to go down a path where they cant see the end.

Dr. Harold Saunders

Former Assistant Secretary of State, Negotiator of Camp David Accords


"We have to create a picture of the future."

Admiral Ami Ayalon

Chief of the Israeli Navy (ret.), Former Director, Shin Bet, Israeli General Security Services

     Just look at one city -- Seattle, Washington, USA.
     It is the home for:
                2.  PEACE OIL and SALAM SHALOM Olive Oil and : Stories of cooperation since 2006

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     In Seattle, Washington, the MIDDLE EAST PEACE CAMP FOR CHILDREN is a grassroots Arab and Jewish coalition dedicated to embracing our common humanity by empowering children and youth through education, recreation and leadership development.
     READ and LISTEN to recent news reports on their Web site --

     And it's happening in the Holy Land, too.    
     A world away in the Middle East, Palestinian and Jewish young people in Jerusalem are similarly engaged.
     Like the Seattle youth, they express themselves through art -- PAINTING PAIN.  DREAMING PEACE.
    SEE inspiring streaming video of their shared creativity:

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Stories of cooperation since 2006

    (A)   PEACE OIL -- Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a joint project of Israelis & Palestinians --

     Peace Oil began in late 2005 as an idea of Israeli, Dani Livney, to export a mix of Palestinian and Israeli olive oil.
     Livney phoned his friend in Seattle, David Sokal ( ) who said "yes" to importing, bottling and labeling the new product of cooperation.
     In September, 2006, Sokal was selling PEACE OIL, labeled "The distinct, tangy flavor of fresh olives at the peak of their nutritional value."
     It wasnt exactly a mix of Israeli and Palestinian oil, but rather Palestinian olive oil grown on many small farms and pressed using traditional, natural methods of the region.
     It is exported by three fair trade groups two of which are Israel-based and represent collaboration between Jews and Palestinians:

1.  Green Action Israel

Fair trade activist, Avi Levy, of Green Action works with Palestinian olive farmers in the three villages of Maskha, Yasuf and Assawiya to export their olive oil. Green Action promotes fair trade in Israel through education and sales of fair trade goods, while promoting socio-ecological change through community service and youth empowerment.

2.  Sindyanna of Galilee

Arab and Jewish women combine sales of Arab goods with community work to promote land preservation, environmental quality, womens empowerment and labor rights. Sindyanna, a member of IFATthe global network of Fair Trade Organizations works for a future of peace and prosperity for all people. Sindyanna combines olive oil from Galilee Arab and some Jewish farmers for use in Peace Oil.

     One third of PEACE OIL also comes from Canaan Fair Trade -- -- in Jenin, Palestinian.
     These 1,700 small farmers are organized in informal cooperatives committed to fair trade and sustainable farming, as part of the Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA).
     This large cooperative of West Bank farmers is crucial worldwide in the establishment of fair trade guidelines for olive farming.
     David Sokal works directly with their US representative, Nasser Abufarha.

    (B)  SALAM SHALOM Olive Oil -- Two Farmers, One Premium Gourmet Olive Oil --
     Starting in 2007, David Sokal and Dani Livney finally realized their dream of producing a mix of Jewish and Palestinian olive oil -- SALAM SHALOM.
     Dani farms the olive grove in his home in Kibbutz Gezer.
     He found Mohammad Ata Daragh, a Palestinian farmer in a nearby West Bank village, who was more than happy to work with together.
     Mohammad has farmed his fathers grove since youth and is now teaching his sons to take on the family tradition.
     The SALAM SHALOM label is co-designed by two talented graphic artists:
                Habib Khoury, an Arab Israeli --
                Oded Ezer, a Jewish Israeli --


     From Seattle, David Sokal of Olive Branch Enterprises -- -- remembered 2005 and his first thoughts.
     "The is a good business opportunity -- something to get behind spiritually and financially."
     "I never hesitated," Sokal said.
    "I want it to succeed, to keep it alive and help it grow like a baby."
     "I keep having amazing experiences with people I never would have dreamed of meeting.
     "And I'm growing internally."

     Sokal concluded on the phone: "As a result of this work I often meet people who are surprised that anything like the PEACE OIL project could be happening.
    "Little do they know that this is only the tip of the iceberg."