New, old summer camps train

more Palestinian, Israeli youth leaders

Sunday, 24 August 2008


     "One World, One Dream" continues greeting our eyes from the Olympics in China these days and nights.
     Over and over is televised across Earth the basic understanding of our existence.
     The key to our survival and rise to excellence together.
     Only together.

     Where do we better experience our full humanity, interconnectedness, and personal best than at summer camps?
     Camp-like programs for the Middle East public peace process continue in North America - - and overseas, and new ones are being born.

New this summer
The Peace Camp Initiative (in Pennsylvania, USA)

     Not long ago, Californian Robert Kent ( ) was acknowledged by NPR's "This I Believe: A public dialogue about belief - one essay at a time."
     His original essay "I Believe In Summer Camp" is at

     Kent followed his dream to create THE PEACE CAMP INITIATIVE: Improving the Israeli-Palestinian Relationship - A Few Kids at a Time.
     He first created a simple Web site - .

     To his delight, Kent received a Ben & Jerrys (ice cream) Peace Pioneer award.
     Rob immediately applied the prize funds this July to bring Israeli Jews and Palestinians to a traditional American summer program at Camp Susquehannock in Pennsylvania.
     At his side and adding much to the camp success was Jamie Leno Zimron ( ).
     She's Director of the Mideast Aikido Peace Project, with much experience helping Jews and Palestinians to engage and build relationships that matter in the U.S. and Holy Land.
     SEE the newest COVER STORY and PHOTOS:

Published in The Almanac (California) - Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Teaming up for peace

Menlo Park resident brings Israelis and Palestinians to a summer sports camp in the U.S.

by Selena Simmons-Duffin



Second year
PeaceInsight (in England)

     In July-August, 2008, PeaceInsight held its second three-week summer camp for Israeli and Palestinian teenagers at Wellington College in Berkshire, U.K.
     This SONG for PeaceInsight was written at camp by an inspired 2008 Palestinian participant, Steve Ghattas.

Packing all my feelings getting on a plane

     Don't know where I'm going but I know I come from pain.

 Ready for some action my fears will not explode

     Want to share my feelings 'cause I'm ready to unload



I look once I see an enemy, I look twice I see a friend

     Spending time together, hoping this will never end.


When we first started we couldn't understand

     We had to live together we couldn't just pretend

 When we started listening we didn't lose control

     We surrendered all our power and let emotions roll




Cherishing the progress and hoping it will last

     Searching for the future and forgiving all the past

 Back into reality all things seem the same

     But I know deep inside of me how different I became.




     A STORY and PHOTOS are
     More PHOTOS are at
(2.3 MB)

Fifteenth year
Building Bridges for Peace (in Colorado, USA)

     For 15 years, Building Bridges for Peace - - has faithfully developed leadership and understanding among young Israeli, Palestinian and American youth.
     In Summer 2008, at Highlands Presbyterian Camp near Allenspark, Colorado, students again learned how to talk and listen to one another.

Published in The Denver Post (Colorado) - Thursday, 21 August 2008

Finding a peaceful place

Israeli, Palestinian and U.S. teens learn to listen to one another

during an emotional two weeks in the Rockies.

by Electa Draper

New beginnings
Summer Camps for Sports & Peace (Middle East)

     Two special 2008 week-long summer camps "Summer Camps for Sport and Peace"  120 boys and girls from Gaza and from Sderot, Israel, met for coexistence workshops, sport instruction, excursions and general relationship building.
     It was the first time since 2002 that Palestinian children from the Gaza Strip participated in sports activities of the Peres Center for Peace, coordinators along with implementation support from the Region of Tuscany and the Palestinian Dialogue Center.
     In recent years, the communities of Gaza and Sderot have been heavily affected by ongoing violence, so this program provided much-needed opportunities for youth to humanize the  "other" while experiencing coexistence and positive dialogue with respect.
    In addition, a week-long summer camp was held for 60 Palestinian and Israeli boys from Kiryat Gat, Tulkarem, Ramallah, and East Jerusalem.
     Sponsored by Irish Aid, supported by Irish Foreign Minister MicheᬠMartin and implemented in cooperation with Palestinian partner the Al-Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue, the "Football Village for Hope" offered recreational, educational and peace-building activities to the young participants, including football training, art seminars, coexistence workshops and a meeting with the players of Israeli football club Maccabi Haifa.
     The young campers trained with professional staff from the Football Association of Ireland.
     They were also encouraged and inspired during meetings with the former captain of the legendary Argentinean football team, Daniel Passarella, as well as Irish Ambassador to Israel H.E. Michael Forbes.



Peres Center for Peace - Summer 2008