Bullying and beyond in the Middle East and worldwide

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


"The days of humiliation, of second-class citizens

and of inequality are over and gone forever."

Gerry Adams (1948-   )

President, Sinn Fein - Northern Ireland


     Too many teenagers are willing -- even trained -- to demean, dehumanize, and further take revenge on perceived " enemies," Jerusalem Post journalist Larry Derfner ( LDerfner@netvision.net.il ) recently reminded humankind.


Training our boys to be bullies

by Larry Derfner

The Jerusalem Post -- 17 February 2010



     Another Israeli, Ronit Baras ( Ronit@togetherforhumanity.org.au ) lives in Australia where a 2008 study revealed too many youth ages 10-18 harbor much prejudice and racism, and hold dark, exaggerated stereotypes of people from other cultures they have not met. 


Students Together for Humanity:

Final independent evaluation report

January 2009



     Ronit describes her own youth in Israel and personal change.

     "I was in the first youth delegation going from Israel to Egypt after the 1980 peace Contract was signed.

     Can you imagine how brave my parents were for allowing me to go?

     It was an eye opening experience, realizing that the Egyptian kids ( we were all 16 years old) were just like us, kids and meeting with their families God, it was out of this world experience.

     Look at me now coordinating a program that will bring kids from different cultures together and help them find out that we have more things in common than we think .

     I think because of my experience, I am good at it and feel I am making a difference."

     Ronit is now Queensland Coordinator of TOGETHER FOR HUMANITY, an Australian multi-faith organisation to reduce prejudice at its source with positive experiences of diversity among Muslims, Christians, Jewish and Indigenous people and others.
     Face to face and shoulder to shoulder, they lead by example to help Australia deal with difference in a true celebration of diversity.
     VIEW VIDEO and more:


Together For Humanity

Teaching kids about difference...differently


     The JERUSALEM INTERNATIONAL YMCA PEACE PRESCHOOL -- http://ellazimm.co.uk/gan/ -- has been a model of living together for decades.
     Today Forsan Hussein ( Forsan.Hussein@ymca.net ) is its first-ever Arab CEO.
     While the media may not show it and you might not know it, the diverse children of the YMCA's Peace Preschool in Jerusalem make coexistence a normal way of life.
     Refusing to go up and down with the headlines, the YMCA Peace Preschool has been succeeding for 25 years.
     VIEW VIDEO at:


Coexistence in Israel - YMCA Peace Preschool

3 minute video


West Bank - North America
     ENCOUNTER -- http://www.encounterprograms.org/ -- corrects one-sided views by providing Jewish Diaspora leaders from across the religious and political spectrum with exposure to Palestinian life.
     Directors are Rabbi Melissa Weintraub ( Melissa@encounterprograms.org ) in North America, and Ilana Sumka ( Ilana@encounterprograms.org ) in the Middle East.
     They have taken over 750 current and rising Jewish leaders and change agents from across the political spectrum on educational visits to the West Bank and its people.
     Through ground-breaking tours to Palestinian cities and follow-up programming in North America, American Jewish engagement regarding the Israeli-Palestinian relationship is being transformed by training key Jewish leaders to address issues and foster safe, honest intra-Jewish dialogue about Israel across ideological lines.



5-minute video - March 2010


Pennsylvania, USA
     Two exemplary evenings in Bucks County, Pennsylvania lifted citizens to a new level in their local relationships and global understanding.

     = =  1 = =
    In Newton, Penn. "Bringing the Faiths Together: A Conversation" was convened for citizens on March 21, 2010 by The Interfaith Community for Middle East Peace (ICMEP).
     The host was Rev. Bill Jacobsen, trained by The Compassionate Listening Project --  http://www.compassionatelistening.org/ .
     Jacobsen is also President-elect of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution, and Executive Director of Trenton Mediation Services.
     The 16 tables of attendees were facilitated by Muslims, Christians, and Jews -- mostly individuals from the 2008 interfaith journey of the Compassionate Listening Project to Israel/Palestine.
     "It was an absolutely amazing event," wrote participant-organizer Larry Snider ( LD.Snider@yahoo.com ).
     READ much more:


Different faiths come together

by Manasee Wagh

Bucks County Courier Times -- Monday, 22 March 2010



     = =  2 = =
     In Yardley, Penn. CREATIVITY FOR PEACE -- http://www.creativityforpeace.com/ --  summer camp and year-around program for the MIddle East public peace process provided two Palestinian and one Israeli young women of excellence to speak of their first-hand experiences living amid war and their efforts for peace, in a program at Yardley United Methodist Church.


'I found that the enemy doesn't exist'

by Gema Maria Duarte

Bucks County Courier Times (Pennsylvania) -- 12 March 2010



     See PHOTOS and details of all five public events by the young Israeli and Palestinian women from Creativity for Peace:



March 2010 - Pennsylvania public gatherings




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These and hundreds of other success stories are preserved at http://traubman.igc.org/messages.htm