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OneVoice is an international grassroots movement that amplifies the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians, empowering them to propel their elected representatives toward the two-state solution.

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Daily Summary: News from Israel and Palestine

Dear Reader,

Below you will find a selection of articles from Israel and Palestine. Please note that this is a random collection of news articles intended to give a 'heads-up' about current affairs in Israel-Palestine. It is not meant to reflect the views of OneVoice. Readers are encouraged to investigate headline stories further in other news sources for a variety of perspectives.


Violence—Arab/Palestinian Press

Wafa: Israel kills 20-year-old Palestinian youth in Jerusalem refugee camp
Medical sources in the Palestine Medical Complex Thursday announced that a Palestinian youth has been killed during confrontations that erupted north of Jerusalem.

Wafa: Human Rights’ High Commissioner urges restraint in West Bank amid deadly escalation
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said Thursday he was extremely concerned about increased tensions and violence in Occupied Palestinian Territory, and stressed that calm can only be restored on the basis of respect for human rights.

Ma’an: Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Shufat refugee camp raid
A Palestinian youth was killed and six others injured, including one critically, during an Israeli raid in East Jerusalem's Shufat refugee camp on Thursday, medics said.

Ma’an: Israeli settlers assault Palestinian minister of communications
Israeli settlers assaulted and injured the Palestinian Minister of Communications and Information Technology in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Thursday, smashing his car windows during the attack, government officials said.

Al-Arabiya: Three new stabbing attacks hit Israel, West Bank
Three new stabbings wounded Israelis on Thursday and one of the assailants was shot dead as a spate of such attacks spread fear and defied attempts by authorities to contain Palestinian unrest.

Violence—Israeli Press

TOI: 5 lightly injured in Tel Aviv stabbing; attacker killed
Stabber shot by security forces after wounding female soldier and four others with screwdriver near the Defense Ministry HQ

YNet, Roi Yanovsky: Right-wing demonstrators clash with police, search for Arabs
Hundreds of extremists march in Jerusalem, asking passersby if they were Arab; head of Lehava group arrested.

Haaretz, Amos Harel: Lone Palestinian terrorists, settler vengeance worrying Israeli security authorities
The fear is that unlike in previous times of tension, right-wing extremists may carry out vengeance attacks, like the deadly arson which killed three members of the Dawabsheh family.

Violence—International Press

WaPo, William Booth: New Israeli-Palestinian violence poses dilemma for Netanyahu
An Israeli soldier fatally shot an Arab who stabbed four Israelis with a screwdriver Thursday in the latest eruption of violence that has put Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at odds with members of his government over how to respond.

NYTimes, Jodi Rudoren: Netanyahu bars politicians from holy site in Jerusalem
Seeking to curb a rising tide of violence and unrest, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel barred his ministers from visiting a contested Old City holy site and ordered the police to stop members of Parliament from going there, officials said on Thursday.


Haaretz: Netanyahu calls for ‘broad’ unity government
Soldier moderately wounded in latest stabbing attack in northern Israeli city of Afula; earlier, seven Israelis were wounded, two of them seriously, in stabbing attacks in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Kiryat Arba; Palestinian killed in clash with police.

Wafa: Palestine’s first vote to elect committee against torture at UN Geneva
The state of Palestine Thursday participated in the Committee Against Torture’s (CAT) session held in Geneva and elected for the first time the committee’s five new members.


Al-Monitor, Ben Caspit: The real intifada is taking place within the Israeli political right
IDF personnel estimate that the current spike of terror does not foretell a third intifada and recommend the political echelon restore calm in the West Bank.

Al-Arabiya, Dr. Ghassan Khatib: We need a new paradigm on Israel-Palestine
The long stagnation in the peace process, where years have passed now since any real breakthrough, and the growing tension in Palestinian-Israeli relations invite analysts and politicians to examine why this has happened, and to suggest fresh ideas and ways forward.


Violence—International Press

NYTimes, Jodi Rudoren: Fears of new intifada accompany surge in Mideast violence
As the bodies have piled up over the past week — four Israelis killed in two Palestinian attacks, four Palestinians slain by Israeli troops — people here have been nervously debating whether they are witnessing the onset of a third intifada.

Violence—Arab/Palestinian Press

Wafa: Palestinian killed for alleged attempted stab in Kiryat Gat
A Palestinian youth was shot dead by Israeli police on Wednesday for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier in Kiryat Gat, near Beersheba, sources said.

Wafa: Two Palestinians shot, while dozens suffocate during Jericho clashes
Two Palestinian youth were shot while dozens others suffocated on Wednesday during clashes with Israeli army forces at the southern entrance of Jericho.

Ma’an: Police: Palestinian stabs, injures Israeli in Petah Tikva mall
A Palestinian man stabbed and injured an Israeli civilian in the city of Petah Tikva, east of Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Israeli police said.

Ma’an: 89 Palestinians injured by rubber bullets in West Bank clashes
Over 288 Palestinians were injured across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday as fierce clashes continued for the sixth consecutive day, including 89 by rubber-coated steel bullets and 10 with live rounds and 189 who suffered from tear gas inhalation, Red Crescent officials said.

Ma’an: Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian at security checkpoint
Israeli forces shot and injured a 30-year-old Palestinian on Wednesday evening, after the man allegedly attempted to drive his car through a security checkpoint near Maale Adumim, Israeli Media reported.

Violence—Israeli Press

YNet, Raanan Ben-Zur: Third stabbing attack in a day wounds one
Police overpower Palestinian from Hebron who stabbed and lightly wounded a man next to Petah Tikva mall; two people lightly wounded in suspected car attack near Jerusalem.

Haaretz, Nir Hasson: Palestinian man stabs soldier, snatches his weapon in Southern Israel
Assailant shot dead by police after pursuit; earlier, a Palestinian woman was shot after stabbing a Jewish man in Jerusalem.


Haaretz, Jack Khoury: Abbas to Haaretz: I’m not inciting violence, I want to restore calm
Palestinian president blames Israel's 'aggression against the Al-Aqsa Mosque' and says the status quo 'with continued construction in the settlements cannot go on.'

Al-Monitor, Daoud Kuttab: Is the Oslo Accord at death’s door?
President Mahmoud Abbas maintains that as long as Israel refuses to adhere to some stipulations agreed upon in the 1993 Oslo Accord, then the Palestinians will not be the only ones "committed" to their implementation.

West Bank

YNet, Roi Yanovsky: Residents of settlement ordered to stay home following rock ambush
A motorist narrowly escapes attempt to physically remove her from her car near Tekoa in the southern West Bank; man lightly wounded in stabbing attack in Jerusalem.


+972, Amjad Iraqi: Palestinian citizens will always be enemies in a Jewish state
The Or Commission’s report on the October 2000 events was a symbolic indictment of Israel’s ‘enemy doctrine’ toward its Palestinian citizens. But Israel has not absorbed the lessons of the report, because demands for equality remain anathema to the state’s raison d’être.

+972, Nathan Hersh: Oslo has become a tool for Israeli expansionism—it’s time to let go
The Oslo Accords have been manipulated for the unspoken goal of Jewish annexation of West Bank land. So long as both governments adhere to this failed system, they will be unable to pursue a real peace agreement.

Haaretz, Amira Hass: Palestinians are fighting for their lives; Israel is fighting for the occupation
That we notice there’s a war on only when Jews are murdered does not cancel out the fact that Palestinians are being killed all the time.



Al Arabiya: Abbas does not want ‘escalation’ with Israel
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday he did not want the current violence in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank to escalate into a military confrontation with Israel.

NY Times, Diaa Hadid: Dispute Over a Burial Reveals Palestinian Divisions
Where to bury Fadi Alon, who was shot dead by the Israeli police, became part of the debate over which political faction should lead the Palestinians’ fight against Israel.

Times of Israel, Jonathan Beck: IDF officer to meet Palestinian security officials in West Bank
Meeting is the first of its kind since last wave of terror attacks began; military says PA wants to avoid escalation


Al Arabiya: Israel toughens measures against Palestinians
Israel announced harsher measures to tackle engulfed violence with Palestinians on Monday as a Palestinian teenager was killed in a clash with Israeli soldiers near the West Bank town of Bethlehem, a Palestinian hospital source said.

BBC, Kevin Connolly: Can Israel and the Palestinians contain spiraling violence?
After a week which has seen a sharp and sudden escalation of violence in Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the mood on both sides of the deep and bitter political divide is both edgy and angry.

Haaretz, Amos Harel: Killing of Palestinian Youth in Bethlehem Was 'Unintentional,' Preliminary IDF Inquiry Finds
Probe concludes Abed a-Rahman Abdallah was hit by an Israeli bullet, but apparently the target was an adult standing next to him.

West Bank

Ma’an: At least 39 Palestinians injured in Ramallah-area clashes
At least 39 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces in the Ramallah area Tuesday, as tensions remained high across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem following a spate of killings by Israeli forces and Palestinians.

Times of Israel, Eric Cortellessa: Palestinian activist aims to ‘start an intifada against Israel in the US’
On 5-week speaking tour, anti-Israel advocate Bassem Tamimi, whose 12-year-old son featured in viral video when IDF soldier tried to arrest him, bids to galvanize American youth to take up Palestinian cause

Wafa: Israeli Forces Block Main Entrance of Hebron Town Following Clashes
Israeli forces Tuesday sealed off the main entrance of Bani Na‘im town, east of Hebron, with earth mounds, said a local municipal source.


+972 Magazine, Noam Sheizaf: 'The problem isn't Arab protesters, it's the society that sees them as an enemy'
Fifteen years since the events of October 2000, in which Israeli police killed 13 Arab protesters, Hassan Jabareen, head of Israel’s leading Arab civil rights organization, talks to +972 about the lessons Israel’s Palestinian population learned from the killings.

Haaretz: Temple Mount Is the Issue, Not Terror
Netanyahu must show seriousness about the Temple Mount’s status quo, or bring in observers – Palestinian or international – to monitor the site.

Israel Hayom, Yoav Limor: Time for tough decisions
Despite the complex situation on the ground, Israel must spare no effort to prevent a full-fledged Palestinian uprising.



Haaretz, Raviv Drucker: What Israel Really Means When It Talks of Peace
Deciphering three Israeli peace proposals.

Israel Hayom: Before Jerusalem attack, terrorist warns 'third intifada is here'
"Our people will not put up with how the Jews humiliate us ... at Al-Aqsa mosque," Muhannad Halabi writes on Facebook just hours before going on deadly stabbing spree in Jerusalem's Old City. Halabi's home in al-Bireh set to be demolished.

Times of Israel: Abbas asks UN for international protection as violence rages
PA blames Israel, Hamas for escalation in West Bank as Red Crescent says 450 Palestinians hurt in past day; Israel does not confirm figures.


+972 Magazine, Michael Omer-Man: Settlers hurl burning tires, boulders at Palestinians
Hundreds of settlers launch dozens of attacks against Palestinians across the West Bank, in the wake of two Palestinian attacks that left four Israelis dead. Rights groups demand the army intervene to protect Palestinians from settler violence.

Al Arabiya: Israeli air raid hits Gaza after rocket attack
Israel has carried out an air strike on the Gaza Strip early on Monday in response to a Palestinian rocket attack from the territory, an army statement said.

Al Arabiya: Tensions engulf Jerusalem as clashes intensify
Violence intensified in Occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank on Sunday after Israelis were targeted in two stabbing attacks and a Palestinian was killed in a clash with Israeli troops, officials said.

NY Times, Diaa Hadid: Two Palestinian Teenagers Killed as West Bank Clashes Continue
Two Palestinian teenagers were killed on Monday, as clashes with Israeli forces near checkpoints and military watchtowers in the West Bank continued.

West Bank

Al Monitor, Asmaa al-Ghoul: Headscarves in schools: On or off? Policies vary
Measures to force female students to wear — or not wear — the hijab seem to be erratic between state schools in Gaza and the West Bank.

Al Monitor, Ahmad Melhem: Executive branch in Palestine muzzles peaceful activists
In the West Bank, the executive power is arresting political activists and bloggers on charges of inciting sectarian strife, based on legal texts experts argue are outdated.

Wafa: Red Crescent Declares Emergency State in West Bank
In light of settlers’ flare-up of violence across the West Bank, including Jerusalem, the Palestinian Red Crescent raised the alert status across the West Bank to third degree, declaring a ‘State of Emergency.


+972 Magazine, Nathan Hersh: Oslo has become a tool for Israeli expansionism — it's time to let go
The Oslo Accords have been manipulated for the unspoken goal of Jewish annexation of West Bank land. So long as both governments adhere to this failed system, they will be unable to pursue a real peace agreement.

Haaretz, Moshe Arens: The Curtain Falls on a Palestinian State
The Palestinian flag may be flying at the United Nations in New York, but there are clear signs that a Palestinian state will not get off the ground.



Al Monitor, Ben Caspit: Abbas at UN: Palestinian flag outside, warning flag inside
The Palestinian flag has been raised at the United Nations, but the address by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas failed to rally concern about the desperate and volatile current situation.

Al Monitor, Daoub Kuttab: Palestine’s UN envoy: Multilateralism is the way forward
In a recent interview Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour stipulated that if the Israeli-Arab conflict is not addressed, any plan for peace in the region is futile.

The Independent, John Lyndon: The crumbling of the Oslo Accords reveals the state of Israel/Palestine relations
Brave Israeli leadership would hold out the promise of statehood


+972 Magazine, Mairav Zonszein: Israeli forces wound two small Palestinian children: Where's the outrage?
Israeli security forces shoot two small Palestinian children with ‘less lethal’ bullets — one in the head, one in the thigh. The Israeli media barely notices.

BBC: Israeli couple shot dead in West Bank
An Israeli couple travelling with their four young children have been killed by Palestinian gunmen in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military says.

YNet: West Bank tensions surge in night of 'price tag' attacks
IDF sends 4 extra battalions to control 'very serious' situation in West Bank; Palestinians attacked in revenge for shooting attack on Henkin family.

West Bank

Times of Israel, Marissa Newman: At funeral of slain couple, president vows terror won’t halt settlement building
Thousands of mourners gathered in Jerusalem on Friday for the funerals of Eitam and Naama Henkin, who were shot to death in the West Bank on Thursday night. Speaking at the funeral, President Reuven Rivlin asserted Israel’s sovereignty over the West Bank and said settlement construction would continue.

Ma’an: Clashes erupt between settlers, Palestinians near Ramallah
Clashes erupted between Israeli settlers and Palestinian youth from the al-Jalazone Refugee Camp near the occupied West Bank town of Ramallah on Friday.

Wafa: Report: Over 1,996 Palestinian Children Killed since Outbreak of Second Intifada
Israeli forces have killed over 1,996 Palestinian children since the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000, according to Defense of Children International-Palestine (DCIP).


+972 Magazine, Dahlia Scheindlin: Israeli settler couple killed, and the band plays on
Our hearts are desensitized by horror fatigue, convinced that nothing can change. But we must still try, if not for the dead then for the living.

Haaretz, Chemi Shalev: Netanyahu in N.Y.: Daniel in the Lion’s Den or World’s Greatest Nudnik?The prime minister is demanding peace talks 'with no preconditions,' as if he’s Golda Meir and this is 'That '70s Show.'

NY Times, Dennis B. Ross: Mahmoud Abbas’s Bombshell Fizzles
Last week, before going to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, declared that he would drop a bombshell in his speech. The much-awaited line, delivered Wednesday, was this: “We cannot continue to be bound by these signed agreements,” by which he meant the Oslo Accords, “and Israel must assume fully all its responsibility as an occupying power.”

06 October 2015 See Post

OneVoice To Feature In Arte Documentary On Anti-Semitism In Europe

Across Europe, the mercurial nature of regional politics in the Middle East has coincided with troubling increases in prejudice towards Jews and Muslims both.

In Germany, as never before, thousands are pouring into the streets to protest what they view to be the Muslim ‘take-over’ of Europe. In solidarity with victims of radical Islam, 25,000 people rallied in Berlin after the Charlie Hebdo attack, even after Chancellor Merkel had made a bold stand to say that ‘Islam belongs to Germany’, and that Muslims are central to the German character. One poll by Stern magazine has reported a sharp rise in negative views towards Muslims, with 29% polled believing Islam to have a negative influence on German life. Even more troubling have been incidents of violence by extremists: in one such instance, a home for mainly Muslim refugees was firebombed in rural Bavaria in December of 2014.

Troubling also is the increase in anti-Semitic attitudes as of late, coinciding with last summer’s war in Gaza, with vandalism and malicious rhetoric being aimed at Jewish citizens of Germany. Protests over Israel’s actions in Gaza even led to the firebombing of a Synagogue in Western Germany, which was only one of 184 anti-Semitic acts committed in June and July of that year.

In light of the rise of anti-Semitic and Islamaphobic actions across Europe, and in particular Germany, a film crew from channel ‘Arte’ is making a documentary about European anti-Semitism for German and French audiences.. Following OneVoice Europe’s recent successful tour in German schools and communities last April, the documentary will include a focus on the importance of the Outreach and Education Programme for combating extremist narratives through the humanising experience for the participants of meeting ordinary people from the conflict zone, and learning about the needs and interests of the populations on both sides: needs that are actually rooted in a complex reality involving a wide variety of international actors, an asymmetry in the situation between both sides of the conflict and polarized historical narratives.

One of OneVoice’s school sessions in Ansbach featured 25 students and was filmed for inclusion in the documentary. A follow-up session to the April tour with the same group, the format included an initial review of some of the history of the conflict, plus a renewed understanding of some of the final status issues, Israeli security fears, and facts about the current situation of ongoing occupation and settlement in the West Bank. The students then learned how to apply OneVoice’s win-win approach to the situation through listening to the two speakers representing the majority of their civil society on both sides, and explaining the needs and interests of their respective peoples.

The session concluded with the participants engaging in group work to discuss possible solutions that would deliver Palestinian statehood in a just territorial settlement based on the 1967 borders, and improve the long-term security situation for Israelis - not just in terms of the Israeli relation to a Palestinian state, but also in regards to the wider region. Various benefits of a political solution and an end to the occupation including economic and cultural factors and the achievement of peaceful coexistence were discussed and presented by the students to their fellow classmates, with comments and feedback via Skype from OneVoice’s Palestine Executive Director Samer Makhlouf and OneVoice Germany Executive Director Tal Harris. One student commented that she was “profoundly struck” by the similarity in the mutual interests of both sides, and saw the understanding of this as a possible key in the progression towards a solution. The students’ teacher, Eli Hirsch, expressed the crucial importance that the next generation of internationals are educated in depth about the conflict with a variety of perspectives so that they can be constructive future actors in support of their Palestinian and Israeli counterparts, and engage in positive dialogue with each other.

The programme’s Europe Director, Sharon Booth remarked: “The students at Theresien-Gymnasium, Ansbach are clearly an example of the bright, young political thinkers and actors of tomorrow. Many of them will be instrumental in building a Germany and a wider Europe in which mutual understanding, respect, and the skills to deal with religious and cultural diversity will saturate the prevailing culture. It is vital that we work even harder than the extremists to create the future that we want to see – our Israeli and Palestinian speakers are an example of what can be achieved in a tough reality.”

OneVoice Europe will be conducting further tours in Germany in the coming academic year, and will be expanding its outreach to build a network for establishing a similar project in France, where concerns about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are just as strong, if not more so. For more information or to offer help and support, please contact Sharon Booth on:

20 August 2015 See Post

OneVoice Europe Inspires Hope and Conversation

OneVoice Europe’s (OVE) Outreach and Education Program has undergone a period of unprecedented expansion in the past six months.  With the appointment of a new Education & Outreach Manager in February and the establishment of OneVoice offices in Germany under the direction of OneVoice Israel’s former Executive Director Tal Harris, OVE’s next year is looking to be one of its most impactful yet.

The first OneVoice Germany tour was launched and run from the fourteenth to the twenty-fourth of April, with speakers Tal Harris and OneVoice Palestine’s Executive Director Samer Makhlouf, and OVE’s Education Director, Sharon Booth. The team travelled across three states of Germany, covering over 2,000 km, and engaging over 600 people from across civil society. The tour brought OneVoice’s message to the German public in intimate gatherings, in “Salon”-style events, and larger educational lectures with professionals, students, and politicians. The sessions  examined the possibility of ending the occupation and establishing a two-state solution amidst the current political reality in Israel and Palestine.

OneVoice’s reach was felt in Berlin, where meetings were held with Green Party members and Dr. Sarah Husseini of the Palestinian Mission to understand the German Parliament’s strategy in recognising the state of Palestine. And in nine school sessions conducted across Bavaria for high-school students, the level of engagement and discussion amongst the students was impressive—a student commented, “You have to raise your voice if you want to change something…this session was one of the most important and useful things we ever had in school… now I understand both countries better”.

19 June 2015 See Post

OneVoice Israel and V15 are charting a course for the future with the help of mainstream Israelis

Leveraging the momentum and engagement of the thousands of Israelis over the course of the last election, OneVoice Israel and their strategic partner V15 have been conferring with volunteers, activists, and local community members in conferences across the country. 

OneVoice and V15 are determined to harness the energy and positivity of the thousands of volunteers who became active during the elections. There is a determination to use this momentum in order to approach Israel’s most pressing challenges— chief amongst them the resolution of the conflict— with fresh thinking and new approaches that can disrupt the status quo and convince greater numbers of Israelis to join this growing movement. 

In Kfar Saba on April 30th, participants strongly agreed with leveraging V15’s momentum.  As one volunteer engineer put it, “this energy must continue. We will be able to affect the country by power in numbers.  We have the potential to reach hundreds and thousands of people--even just our Facebook page has massive reach!”

On May 1st in Be'er Sheva, the energy continued with V15 and OneVoice conferring with other organizations and local residents on the social justice issues pertinent to mainstream Israelis. With Netanyahu's narrow coalition formed, and prospects for the two-state solution looking more distant, it is crucial for OneVoice Israel and V15 to continue their tour of Israel into the summer in order to capitalize on the momentum teeming across the country.

07 May 2015 See Post

Another Record Breaking Month For OneVoice Europe’s Outreach and Education Program

In March, OneVoice Europe undertook two successful tours in the East Midlands and London involving four speakers from Israel. It was a record breaking undertaking: almost 1,500 people participated in sessions and events.

As part of the Outreach and Education Program to combat anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim sentiment in British schools and communities, OneVoice speakers acted as a prime example of how young people can be actors for political change in their own societies using non-violent tactics. The forces of extremist violence and hatred on both sides, in addition to an asymmetry between the two parties, have long hampered progress towards a peace deal in the Middle East and have led to a continued status quo of occupation and fear. And yet, themselves the product of an intensive OneVoice skills-training program among Palestinian and Israeli young people, these activists inspired British teenagers with their call for equal rights, justice and freedom from occupation, and their efforts to overcome the voices of the fundamentalists in their respective societies.

The day of school sessions and community events in Derby was covered by BBC East Midlands, which included an interfaith event at Derby University, and a visit to the Jamia Mosque.

Highlights of the month’s events included class-time with students at the Madani High School in Leicester, and a welcoming evening event for the local community at the school. Concluding presentations by the Madani school students on possible solutions to the situation in Israel-Palestine showed the impact of the educational sessions. Students took a constructive stand for non-violence, voiced their support for ending the occupation, and advocated for security for all.

One female student spoke at length, saying: “The people need to move away from labels and start focusing on humanity and the sanctity of human life.”

At the end of March, the OneVoice team received a warm welcome from Muswell Hill Synagogue, with an intensive discussion event focusing on the outcome of the Israeli election, and the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the West Bank. Participants made it clear that extremists in government and at the grassroots level have been harnessing the agenda with aggression and fear mongering for far too long. One audience member commented after the event: “Thanks for introducing an excellent and focused discussion last night - what I took away most of all is that it's vital to continue to build on the ideas put forward, no matter how slim the thread of hope.”

These tours continue to demonstrate that OneVoice Europe is one of the only organisations on the world stage that is successfully facilitating direct discussion, actively engaging people of all faiths and creeds in the UK and Europe, and bringing Israeli and Palestinian voices to the forefront of the battle against prejudice.

OVE will continue its work in schools and communities during the summer, and follow up opportunities for young people aged between 18 and 25 will be made available later this year, with our volunteers’ program and our student residential course.

The application for the course is now open, for more information, contact Jess Brandler:

07 May 2015 See Post

Israeli Election Headlines English Bar Event

On January 27, OneVoice held its second English-language “Peace Pays Off at the Bar” event at Patrick’s Pub in central Tel Aviv to attract Israel’s international community. The guest speaker was Daniel Ben-Simon, acclaimed journalist and former Member of Knesset for the Labor Party. The event brought in over 50 English-speaking attendees from Israel, the United States, Canada, Russia, and more.

There was a buzz of anticipation about the room as a steady stream of attendees arrived, pulled up chairs close to the stage. “I’m here because I saw the event on Facebook and thought it looked interesting,” said Ethan, 22, a local journalist originally from New York. “I also have friends attending the event, which made it more likely for me to come.”

OVI’s Sharon Siegel, the event organizer, brought the crowd to attention and introduced the theme of Ben-Simon’s talk: the upcoming elections. “Whether you are here for only a short period of time, or you’re planning to stay here long-term, you can get involved,” she said.

When Ben-Simon took the stage, he was quick to emphasize the importance of Israel’s March 17 election. “This election will change the face of Israel and the history of Israel,” he said, “but most people are too angry or disinterested to vote.”

Ben-Simon revealed what he believes to be the most important issue in the election: “what to do with the West Bank.” He went on to speculate that, in the discourse around the elections, the West Bank is likely to be overlooked in favor of the economy. “Most Israelis don’t feel the lack of a Palestinian state, but they do feel that their living standard has lowered so much over the last few years that they cannot afford another four years of this economy.”

During his talk, Ben-Simon criticized the government’s unwillingness to negotiate with Israel’s Arab neighbors. “You cannot close the window and say you do not see anything. We need to open Israel and be a part of this region.”

Other topics of Ben-Simon’s talk included an indictment of the religious right for stalling negotiations with the Palestinians, and the practice of recruiting celebrities to serve in political parties as a way of garnering votes. “If you have more celebrities you can get more votes, it makes a parody of the Knesset.”

In the end, Ben-Simon restated the importance of the upcoming election and urged everyone to get involved and vote. “The political game can determine how we live and if we live.”

After his talk, Ben-Simon answered a few questions from the audience, and was followed by Guy Simon, a representative of the non-profit agency, Kol Oleh, which brings information about Israeli politics and the upcoming election to English-speaking immigrants. Simon presented information about several political parties that will be important in the upcoming elections and the key issues of their platforms.

“I think these things are necessary for new immigrants - helping them figure out how to navigate the political process,” said Riana, an attendee at the event. Cydney, a photographer from Atlanta attending the event, said, “For someone like me, who is considering moving to Israel, I think it’s important to be aware of what is going in in Israeli politics. I’m definitely glad I came.” 

Guy Simon Kol Oleh

Guy Simon of Kol Oleh speaks to audience members about the Israeli elections.

27 January 2015 See Post

First English-Language “Peace Pays off at the Bar” a Success

OneVoice Israel’s (OVI) successful “Peace Pays Off at the Bar” events continued on January 6, when 150 people from Israel’s vibrant international community packed the Casa Veranda bar in Tel Aviv to learn about what it will take for peace between Israel and Palestine.

Americans, Russians, Norwegians, Brits, Germans and other internationals stood elbow-to-elbow at OVI’s inaugural English bar event organized and led by OVI intern Sharon Siegel. The audience listened intently to event speaker Gershon Baskin as he described his diplomatic experience and relationships with the people of Palestine. He endorsed a negotiated two-state solution as the only way to move forward with a peace agreement.

Baskin, a man passionate about this topic, said that the majority of the Palestinian people want peace and support a two-state solution. “What I'm saying is that this is doable; what we know about public opinion research is that the majority of Israelis and the majority of Palestinians would accept an agreement if they believed that there was a partner for peace on the other side.”

He went on to indict the current government in Israel for failing to make negotiations with the Palestinians a priority. “Israel is a start-up nation,” he said, “and we're a country that puts out new patents every morning. But on the issue most important to us, what puts lives on the line every day, we have zero initiative, and that's on Netanyahu.”

Baskin inspired hope for peace as well. “The amazing thing about human beings is our capacity to learn from our mistakes. There's no reason to think that in a negotiated agreement they'll go the same way and we'll make the same mistakes.”

At the end of his talk, Baskin turned toward the topic of Israel’s upcoming elections. “On March 17, we have to get out the vote. On March 17, we have to make a change. We as Israelis have a responsibility to bring home a government that will return to serious negotiations with the Palestinians.

“This is life and death. It matters for every single one of us, and every single one of us can make a difference,” he concluded.

After Baskin’s talk, he opened the floor for questions from the crowded room. After answering questions on topics like Hamas, the rise of radical Islam, and the current unrest in the West Bank, an audience member named David finally asked, “I wonder if you have any hope for March? Do you believe there’s a viable candidate to challenge Netanyahu?”

“I believe there is a chance that the next government will be headed by Isaac Herzog,” Baskin responded, “and if we want to have a center-left government, we need to convince people that there is hope. When people don't have hope, they vote for people like Netanyahu.”

At the end of this very successful event, OneVoice gained many new supporters from all across the international community. Alisa, a production manager from Russia, said, “it was an amazing event and I'm grateful I came here because I heard a different perspective than I've heard over the last few months. I've heard over and over that there is no partner for peace. This is the first time I've heard from someone I respect that peace is possible. This makes me want to move forward more and spread this farther.”

Gershon Baskin mingles with event particpants during OVI's "Peace Pays Off at the Bar" event.

Gershon Basken (center), with OVI staff from left to right: intern Aaron Pilcher, Project Manager Elanit Green, intern and event organizer Sharon Siegel, OVI activist Roise Perper, and intern Eric Canosa.

12 January 2015 See Post

Palestinian Activists Illuminate Bethlehem with Christmas Eve Popular Resistance

Christmas Eve is a day of celebration for many around the globe, and thousands of people from all walks of life flock to Bethlehem’s Manger Square to take in the sights of the season. OneVoice Palestine saw the day as primed for mass public engagement and sent 80 of our best youth leaders from 22 chapters in the West Bank to promote popular resistance against the occupation and conflict among the crowd.

Preparations for this event took place weeks ahead of Christmas Eve, with the staff and volunteers meeting, discussing, and planning to execute what turned to be one of OVP’s biggest events in years.

OVP coordinated with the chapter heads of Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, and Jericho, and it would be a lie to say there wasn’t any pressure on the staff. There were legitimate concerns about logistics and safety. Adding to the pressure was the known presence of media outlets from local agencies and news reporters from around the globe. We needed to present OneVoice’s message and vision for nonviolent activism and the two-state solution in the best way possible. We needed to paint an inspirational image for thousands of Palestinians and tourists visiting Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.

Early Wednesday morning, the youth leaders arrived in OVP’s office in Bethlehem. All donned a specially designed sweatshirt that encouraged tourists to speak to their communities about Palestine through acknowledging Palestinian rights of freedom and self-determination. OneVoice staff briefed the youth leaders about the program and divided them into small groups to reach the most people. The staff and youth leaders walked the main street of Bethlehem wearing Palestinian keffiyehs, checkered black and white scarves that are a symbol of Palestinian nationalism and an icon of Palestinian solidarity.

When we reached Manger Square, morale was high. We wanted this event to succeed, but more importantly we wanted our voices to be heard. We set up a small stand with fliers and coffee. The coffee cups carried the OneVoice logo and messages from our previous “Wake Up! What is Your Role?” campaign. We printed and handed out hundreds of brochures and “passports” with clear messages about non-violent activism, the two-state solution, the Arab Peace Initiative, and a message from our staff and youth leaders to the international community to recognize Palestine as a state on the 1967 borders.

Palestinians visiting Bethlehem found the event intriguing. They asked the youth leaders about the logo and the initiative. OneVoice offered the crowd coffee and engaged many in long conversations about Palestinian national interests. In some cases the conversation turned into long debates about the Palestinian leadership’s vision and non-violent activism. Not all Palestinians we met in Bethlehem showed support for our work, but the majority was pleased by the youth leaders’ enthusiasm and courage.

The event was remarkable. The keffiyehs were everywhere and the passports were a big hit; everyone wanted one! Internationals nodded in approval and encouraged the youth leaders to continue down the path of non-violent activism. They took photos with our activists and one in particular was shouting “two-states” at the camera! Local media outlets followed us around, too. They interviewed OVP Executive Director Samer Makhlouf and senior activist Raya Fatayer. Two hours later we ran out of passports! We were also running low on fliers. We didn’t anticipate how huge the crowd was.

Afterward, the youth leaders marched back to our office, exhausted but very proud of what we accomplished. For many youth leaders it was an extraordinary experience. For others it was a quick stop to refuel. As for the staff, we are excited for the next step. OneVoice generated momentum that day. It was a much needed win to ignite hope and a reminder why we all love doing what we do.

We dined as a team later that evening. OneVoice staff thanked everyone and reminded them why our work is important. We also took the opportunity to give out certificates to the youth leaders who participated in our training program, and celebrated the hard work of our senior youth leaders who had a wonderfully constructive year. That evening, we looked around the room and saw hope in the eyes of our youth leaders. OVP’s community shined as a great example of what hard work, popular resistance, and a simple idea can accomplish.

Wasim Almasri is OneVoice Palestine's Communications Officer.

30 December 2014 See Post

Candles Shine on Peace Talk Social at Haifa Bar

On December 25, OneVoice Israel (OVI) hosted its inaugural “Peace Pays Off at the Bar” event in Haifa at the Syncopa Bar. Despite a power outage in the neighborhood, 160 participants from all walks of life came out, making it the largest bar event to date – with or without electricity!

“Peace Pays Off at the Bar” is an expansion of OVI’s "Peace, It Also Pays Off!" campaign, which asked Israelis to consider how they would rather spend 32 billion shekels—the amount the conflict costs Israel each year at the expense of social and economic programs. 

Participants had the pleasure to hear MK Ilan Gilon and Professor Danny Gutwein speak. MK Gilon (Meretz) was deputy mayor of Ashdod as well as member of the Labor, Welfare, and Health Committee. He was chairman of both the subcommittee for pension plans and the subcommittee of the Knesset for disabled access. Professor Gutwein, a Haifa resident since birth and an associate professor at Haifa University, served as head of the Department of the History of Israel and is a member of the University Senate. Prof. Gutwein deals with economic and social issues: focusing on inequality, the dismantling of the welfare state, and the connection between the occupation and privatization.

Both men spoke about the social issues plaguing Israel and how the upcoming elections are so important in making a difference in improving these problems. In addition, they discussed the rise in settlement building and how much of an effect it has on the Israeli economy.

“The settlement enterprise is a compensation mechanism to the collapse of the welfare state,” Prof. Gutwein stated. “When the country eliminates social services within the country it invests more in the settlements. We don't have public housing, but the settlements are so cheap. As we undermine the welfare within Israel the settlements in the West Bank get stronger.”

Ilan Gilon had strong words on the topics of social justice and racism saying, “We are surrounded by racism in Israel where people don't rent to Ethiopian, Arab, and gay citizens. We have to change this.” He also addressed the upcoming elections. “The fight in this election is to be released from the occupation and give the country back to most of its citizens…People separate their political agenda from their social agenda but in my view there is no distinction; my political outlook stems from the concept of a social world.”

Special guest Shevach Weiss, former member of Knesset and Speaker of the Knesset during Yitzhak Rabin’s second government, attended the event and stated his belief that “the upcoming elections have the momentum to bring about peace.”

The large turnout and positive response to this Haifa Peace Pays off at the Bar event marks it as an accomplishment in the path toward public engagement and peace. Yonie, a student from Haifa University, said “this event was very worthwhile; I enjoyed myself and learned a lot from both the speakers. I intend to participate in more OVI events.”

OVI plans to hold more events with the hopes for even larger audiences in the near future.

Aaron Pilcher and Sharon Siegel and interns at OneVoice Israel.

Scene from the candle-lit Syncopa Bar during the OVI event.

MK Ilan Gilon (center) with Professor Danny Gutwein (left).

OVI northern regional director Nimrod Barnea (standing top right) with MK Ilan Gilon (center) with Professor Danny Gutwein (left).

29 December 2014 See Post

Final 2014 OVE Tour a Record-Breaker Despite Feeling Regional Reverberations

OneVoice Europe (OVE) dedicated eight November days to talk diplomacy, conflict resolution, and the importance of non-violent activism with 732 London, Birmingham, and Leicester residents – an OVE record – in the last Outreach and Education tour of the year.

Keren Nebenhaus of OneVoice Israel and a representative from OneVoice Palestine traveled with OVE’s Education Director Sharon Alsoodani to mosques, synagogues, and universities in search of proactive and productive discussions that challenged traditional stereotypes of Israelis among British citizens.

Beginning in the London Central Mosque, OVE shared a platform with speaker and Founder of Building Bridges for Peace, Jo Berry. Berry talked reconciliation and her own experience of meeting Pat Magee, the Irish Republican Army member who killed her father in 1984.

“When I met [Pat], I wanted to see him as a real human being,” Jo said. “I remember thinking: ‘He doesn’t look like a terrorist’ – he had a sensitivity about him and an understanding of the seriousness of the situation. But in planting that bomb, in using violence, he lost some of his humanity.”

The mosque invited Jo to talk about what lessons could be learned from the Northern Ireland experience for those involved in the Israel-Palestine peace process. This approach resonated with the audience – the discussion went on longer than planned as mosque members were so keen to ask questions of the OneVoice activists after the talk.

Other stops on the London leg of the tour included the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, the Al-Hikma Islamic School, and the University College School Jewish Society. Most audience members across both Jewish and Muslim groups said they felt a personal connection with the conflict, spurring the huge amount of interest in the regional speakers. It was clear that, whatever their views, young people in the UK are open to hearing from the other side; indeed, that they want to find a way to understand with them. At the Chingford Foundation School, one pupil said: “All religions value forgiveness and we need to let [hate and mistrust] go and all sit down and communicate.”

Parts of the tour were impacted by the violence in the region. Our event at Kings College was cancelled after four rabbis were murdered in Jerusalem, and as a result the students felt it was an inappropriate time to discuss peace. There can be no better illustration of the way in which violence shuts down dialogue, stifling voices for peace – it was a sobering reminder of how hard we have to work.

At the Leicester Doc Media Group, an organization that arranges local film festivals and promotes citizen journalism, we put on a small event with an audience desperate for the opportunity to vent their frustrations on this issue. The attendees were very interested in meeting with an Israeli to counter the stereotypes they read about in the news.  We discussed the possibility of making a solidarity film as well as other forms of activism in the future. Organiser John Coster, in his fifth year running the Leicester Docfilm Festival, is keen to invite OneVoice back as part of a tour based in the Midlands, and discussions are underway.

As the tour came to a close, Keren reflected on her time in the UK.

“I learned that it's very common to dehumanize someone that you don't know, and therefore it's important to insist on constantly challenging perceptions of ‘the other side,’” Keren said. “Ignorance can turn the best intentions into a danger. It reinforced my belief that people are not good or bad - they are simply human.”

The OVE tour is something completely unique in the UK, offering young people a different, more active way to get involved in the conflict, a very painful topic for many of them. It is our hope there will be some more positive developments for students to lend their support to in 2015.

The Moseley School session during the OVE November Outreach and Education Tour.

Feature Image: Students with OVE Director Sharon Alsoodani (left) and Keren (back) at the Al-Hikma Islamic School.

16 December 2014 See Post

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