During war, Jews and Palestinians engage, help people
Saturday, 07 February 2009
Heroes - http://giraffe.org/ - are people who
stick their necks out for the common good.
They are models for the rest of us - a clarion call to active citizenship.
Hero by hero, a phoenix is rising from the ashes of war, from the inhumane, preventable inferno of Gaza and southern Israel.
Unprecedented human affection and citizen generosity is crossing the Israeli-Gaza border.
An outpouring of personal messages and truckloads of household goods are crossing the human-made border.
Being planted right now are seeds of citizen-driven interest in the "other" and acts of goodwill -- what immunizes us against war.
"Lately when I pray I alter the words. Instead of praying for all the people of Israel, I pray for all the people of this land," a woman says.
"I call all the people of Israel to be with me, to bring the human voice into Gaza, says Elad Vazana ( Elad@havayati.co.il ).
HEAR more voices of women and men who are expanding their identification, who understand that there is no individual survival - only one common future.
Messages of hope for Gaza from people in Israel to people in Gaza (3 min)
READ the blog MESSAGES OF HOPE FOR GAZA - http://messages4gaza.blogspot.com/ - in Arabic, Hebrew, and English.
YOU CAN ADD your own message by sending it to Messages4Gaza@gmail.com .
"An enemy is one whose story we have not heard," is the blogs theme as it broadcasts growing numbers of messages from citizens of Israel to Gaza's women, men, and children.
The stories of both peoples are being better understood.
Even in the three years before recent violence, a dozen precious Israeli lives and over 1,200 Gazan Palestinian souls were wasted at the hands of the other.
It is time for both peoples to reject war and see that this life of goodwill and cooperation is closer than most people imagine.
Yet another site -TO GAZA WITH LOVE - http://togazawithlove.com/ - is an added example of one U.S. citizen - Jane Reeder ( Jane@togazawithlove.com ) - giving voice to global citizens who want Palestinians and Israelis to know they're remembered, valued, and respected.
SEE a full, illustrated
account of the Jerusalem team's day-by-day process of change from
despair to creative social outcomes.
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Even during these war-times that drove people apart, Jews and Palestinians with strong bonds stayed together.
They did not let go of one another's hands.
SEE a symbolic chain of northern Israeli Arabs and Jews standing hand in hand in time of war affecting Sderot in southern Israel and citizens of Gaza.
Jews and Arabs Join Hands for Peace
by Marlene-Aviva Grunpeter
The Epoch Times - 21 January 2009
Geffen, a resident of Nahariya, isnt usually politically active, and she never
participates in demonstrations. But this time she did.
I am angry with both sides for not stopping the bloodshed and for not thinking of creative ways to achieve peace she said
Taki Jacoub, an Arab from Kfar Kara Village, Isael, said that the people in this area are sane, and will keep demonstrating how the two peoples can live side by side.
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PeacePlayers Middle East is yet another example of the youth from Israel and the West Bank staying together through the fire.
"Bridging Divides. Developing Leaders. Changing Perceptions"
Giraffe Heroes - "brave children" and courageous families.
Sticking their necks out, reaching their hands out.
Nothing but net(working).
and Palestinians unite
in basketball 'peace league'
Ha'aretz - 06 February 2009
by Steve Klein
Scores of teenage boys Thursday - Israeli and Palestinian - helped kick off the second season of the Jerusalem Peace Basketball League, a joint initiative of the Jerusalem municipality and PeacePlayers International - Middle East. The league is comprised of six integrated teams of Arab and Jewish youth, who participate in the Twinned Basketball Clubs program, and four other teams from across Jerusalem and a West Bank town.
The league is actually in its second incarnation, according to Michael Cherubin, the organization's operations manager and co-director of the league. The first, he explained Thursday, ran about six years before falling apart in the early days of the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
Cherubin noted that the involvement of Americans helped to bring this league to fruition in a city entrenched in the heart of the conflict. He said the Jerusalem municipality, which ran the first league, "thought it was a dead idea, but they were happy to financially support it as soon as they understood it was possible."
The league draws from youth who have been playing basketball with PeacePlayers since 2006, practicing twice a week in their communities and twice a month with their twin club. "They were getting older and lacked a competitive league structure," said Cherubin, who came from the U.S. after studying for a master's degree in peace and conflict resolution at the American University.
Cherubin says the league works because the kids "have been playing together for years." The neutral, American nature of the organization made it easier for Palestinians to not feel guilty about participating in such a league, he noted. After building the connections in recent years, Cherubin said, the league became an easy sell. "Instead of making a cold call to someone, I could say: 'You know me, you trust me. We want to start this league. What do you think?'"
Cherubin feels lucky to have a hand in helping the youths strengthen their bonds, especially after the recent fighting.
Still, because of the sensitivity of the ongoing conflict, the names of individual players or even the neighborhoods are not widely publicized to preempt a possible backlash against the efforts of these brave children.