Summer again connects

Jewish, Palestinian youth worldwide

Tuesday, 05 August 2008

Peace is not something you wish for;

it's something you make, something you do,

something you are, something you give away.

         - Robert Fulghum

All things change when we do.

           - David Whyte


     This Summer, 2008, Jews and Palestinians are again gathering in the camp-like programs of their year-long relationship-building lives.
     Their face-to-face heart connections expand their worlds and produce unprecedented creativity.
     Connecting as equal human beings immunizes people and society against violence, mistrust, prejudice, and perpetuated stereotypes --  symptoms of ignorance from lack of personal contact.
     Even today, only a tiny handful of Palestinians and Jews have ever met in the Holy Land or around the world.

     These new, brave, compelling models of human change must be replicated in vastly greater numbers, for the public peace process to finally show the way forward and give consent to now-arrested government activities to proceed and succeed.
     Consider supporting these groups and others like them.
     Encourage them.
     Bless them.
     Emulate them where you live.
                        - L&L
Visit The Sulha - - to see their Holy Land plans to continue bringing together thousands of Arabs and Jews, including many hundreds from Palestine, August 26-28, 2008.
     The Sulha Peace Project is a grassroots organization inspired by the indigenous process of mediation -- Sulha.
     Sulha is rebuilding trust, restoring dignity, not waitiing for political agendas.
     Sulha prepares citizens and society for "bottom-up" peace.
     It gives courage and invents successful models, to embolden efforts that must then be undertaken at governmental and diplomatic level.

In Israel seven Jewish-Arab (Palestinian) coexistence tennis programs help hundreds of youth continue growing together through sports and relationship building.
     It happens through the Freddie Krivine Foundation - .
     "Next year Nazareth will host junior tournaments - a tennis-first for an Arab community," e-mailed Jane Krivine ( ), dedicated daughter of the visionary founder who died in 2005.
     "We have trained more than twenty five local sports terachers and alumni of our coexistence programmes as professional and assistant coaches," writes Krivine, who is touched by the program's first hijab-wearing tennis coach.
     Their mixed Jewish-Arab team won this and last year's northern region championships.
     Match point...made.
     Together, we're better.
In Japan this August is The 6th Japan-Israel-Palestine Joint Student Conference -- .
     Student-driven by Japanese youth, it creates a safe place and opportunity for dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian students.
     The young women and men also raise public interest in Japanese society regarding these Middle East relationships - their challenges and change that comes from engaging.

In North America, for 15 years camp-like programs - - have discovered, trained and helped sustain young citizen-leaders for the Middle East public peace process.

     One, Creativity for Peace - - began in 2003 and is a year-round program that brings adolescent girls from Palestine and Israel out of the violence and conflict of their communities into the safe New Mexico countryside for a three-week summer program that teaches leadership and communication skills and promotes understanding, trust and reconciliation.
     Upon their return home, the girls continue to strengthen coexistence through regularly organized meetings, e-mail, and telephone conferencing.
     The friendships continue to thrive and grow as they help yet others to create new relationships that cross religious and cultural boundaries.
     The girls bring the power of their experiences and fresh perspective into the lives of their families and friends.
     Deep friendships result and lead to reconciliation and a deep desire for social justice and peaceful coexistence throughout their larger communities to which they return.
     SEE PHOTOS from this July 2008 session:

This August in Vancouver, Canada, one of the great models of deep relationship building and creativity will have its third, powerful program.
     Peace It Together - - will gather thirty Palestinian, Israeli, and Canadian young people in and around Vancouver, British Columbia to participate in an extraordinary dialogue and filmmaking experience.
     As they live and learn together for three weeks, they will discover their personal strengths and foster the ability to make a difference in their diverse communities.
     At Peace It Together 2008, the teenagers will work together in small mixed-cultural groups and transform their experiences into short documentary, drama or animated films.
     The films will reach hundreds of thousands of people in public screenings throughout the world and will serve as educational tools in classrooms and beyond.
     If you can fly, drive or crawl to Vancouver, you'll be inspired by these young Muslims, Jews, and Christian peace builders - creators of their films, their future.

        Peace It Together 2008 World Premiere Film Screening Evening

        Sunday, August 17th, 2008 @ 7pm

        Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

        2750 Granville St., Vancouver, BC    


     Youth need adult models and exemplars, and the inspiring, dependable shepherds of this great work are Palestinian Adri Hamael ( ) and Melanie Hamael ( ), and Jewish Reena Lazar ( ).
     No one does these programs alone, and they would be the first to elevate their dedicated support team and staff.

     TAKE TIME TO READ these two, instructional, inspiring articles.
     Appreciate these citizens' depth, vision, dedication, energy, and love that paints a picture of what life can and will look like.

Published in the Globe & Mail (Canada) - Wednesday, 30 July 2008


Searching for peace through a camera lens

Young Israelis, Palestinians and Canadians gather on a B.C. island

to make movies and, more importantly, friends

by Tom Hawthorn

Published in the Vancouver Sun - Friday, 01 August 2008

Achieving peace one step at a time

Teenagers from Israel, Palestine and Canada brought together by Peace it Together

by Gerry Bellett