OneVoice Movement

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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19 October 2014

On 19 October, OneVoice Europe will host Ezzeldeen Masri, Executive Director of OneVoice Palestine-Gaza, for an evening talk in London. He spends every day working in Gaza to promote our agenda; namely an end to the conflict by way of the two-state solution. He recruits activists in Gaza to help our cause, and works tirelessly for peace and two states. He will be joined by Tal Harris, formerly the Executive Director of OneVoice Israel, who pursued the very same agenda in Israel out of our Tel Aviv office.

The event will take place Alyth Synagogue on 19 October at 7:15 p.m. Q&A will follow.

Ticket price is£25. To purchase please click here .

Please join us for what we will undoubtedly be a very informative evening.

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12 November 2014

Join us Wednesday, 12 November for light fare and drinks at the Scandinavia House as we provide an insider's update on developments in the Middle East and outlook for a two-state solution in the wake of the latest Gaza conflict.

Featured keynote speakers:

Aaron David Miller, Distinguished Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center, DC

Rula Jebreal, Foreign Policy Analyst

Couvert: $150, includes a $100 tax deductible contribution to OneVoice

Where: Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave, NY, NY, 10016

To RSVP & Purchase Tickets: Click Here

Or email: Miriam Awadallah; 212-897-3985, ext. 267

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OVP launches “The Land is Ours” Campaign

OneVoice Palestine (OVP) launched “The Land is Ours” campaign today to encourage young Palestinians to participate in non-violent resistance to end the occupation, realize the two-state solution, and establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The campaign builds on the 2012 mobilization effort – “The Land is Ours, Leave Us Be” – which addressed the expansion of settlements by planting hundreds of trees in a number of areas threatened by confiscation.

“The aftermath of the events that accompanied the Israeli attack on Gaza confirmed the importance of strengthening public participation in political life,” said OVP Executive Director Samer Makhlouf. “It is very urgent to start dealing with the aftermath of the war on Gaza as there have been some serious setbacks to the Palestinian roadmap and national agenda adopted by the PLO. The political and diplomatic effort of the Palestinian leadership to achieve the two-state solution must: be matched by massive activities on the ground to protect Palestinians’ national rights, unite all Palestinians behind one political agenda carried out by the PLO, and reach a just and comprehensive peace agreement that preserves our Palestinian rights.”

Watch OVP's "The Land is Ours" campaign launch video.

26 September 2014 See Post

Three Days in Seoul: Summit Unites Leaders for World Peace

I was completely overwhelmed. I have never experienced anything close to this and I could see the same expression in the eyes of the people walking beside me into the Olympic stadium in Seoul…Thousands of voices were chanting at once: “WE WANT PEACE, WE NEED PEACE.” I thought at that very moment that we were one step closer to ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. >>Watch Wasim's WARP Summit Speech!

My colleague Mohammad Asideh and I had the privilege to not only represent OneVoice, but Palestine as well, at the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Summit (WARP) in Seoul, South Korea from September 17 – 19.

The summit is a gathering of secular and religious world leaders who are intent on discussing ways to achieve world peace. The summit was organized in the hopes of creating a platform for dialogue between community leaders on national, cultural, spiritual, and ethnic levels.

OneVoice was among 205 organizations participating in the summit. While the majority of representatives I met either worked for humanitarian organizations and/or are members of peace forums or youth groups, there were also hundreds of community leaders from around the globe, as well as business and religious leaders, public figures, and politicians. Mohammad and I were engaged in a global discussion on conflict resolution and peace building. The event started with an opening ceremony in Seoul’s Olympic stadium with almost 100,000 people in attendance.

Earlier that day, we were informed that the opening ceremony will take place inside a stadium, but I could never imagine this huge number of people standing and cheering for us, representatives of the world’s youth organizations. Thousands of voices were chanting at once: “WE WANT PEACE, WE NEED PEACE.” I thought at that very moment that we were one step closer to ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Many of the world’s leaders spoke during the opening ceremony, calling to mobilize youth to start building peace in areas traumatized by conflicts. It was truly an inspiring event for many of the young representatives who attended the summit seeking to contribute to world peace.

[Text Box: Leaders from different religions preparing to sign the first unity of religion agreement in Seoul] The second day of the summit featured speeches by religious leaders about peace and tolerance for the greater good of mankind. I do not recall seeing so many representatives of the all world’s religions in one place. The topic of religions uniting for global peace was discussed and the leaders signed the first ever unity of religion agreement. The agreement will be presented to the United Nations in the months to come.

The last event of the WARP Summit was held on September 19. I was asked, along with three other representatives from other youth organizations, to speak about my vision for peace. Around 10,000 people were attending the event in Seoul’s Peace Plaza. I was humbled by the encouraging words I received after my speech, which you can watch on our YouTube page. It delights me to know that I raised awareness and generated even the smallest of momentum toward ending the occupation, and therefore the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It was a unique experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

The third day ended with the walk of peace in the Peace Plaza in Seoul. The guests and volunteers who joined us during the summit walked side by side chanting for world peace and calling for an end to all forms of violence. It was not the longest of walks, but it was definitely a giant step forward in uniting peace makers for a common cause.

My trip to Seoul is over. I am back in Palestine with my wife and daughters. Once I crossed the borders and stamped my passport at the Israeli customs I remembered why the work of young political activists is more important than ever. The feelings of insecurity and hopelessness haunted me for the past year. I can see skepticism in the eyes of my people every time the word peace is mentioned. There is no escape of the bitter reality of the occupation, but for thousands of young Palestinians, organizations like OneVoice continue to provide a platform to protest this reality and build consensus about the two-state solution based on a just peace agreement. The World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Summit in Seoul inspired me to continue working for a better future for my children, a future where Palestinians have their rights, freedom, independence, and peace with their neighbors.

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” - Albert Einstein

*Wasim Almasri is OneVoice Palestine's Communications Officer.

WARP Summit 2014 OneVoice Palestine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thousands of people gathered in the Peace Plaza in Seoul in the third day of the summit

26 September 2014 See Post

OneVoice Palestine Expands Reach to Palestinian Communities in September

OneVoice Palestine (OVP) branched out to several communities in Palestinian society this month, engaging with religious pilgrims on their way to Mecca and training women and young students in political efficacy and leadership.

Working in collaboration with Ali Al-Khateeb of the Union of Charitable Societies of Jenin, and Sahar Qawasmeh, the General Director of the Office of Roles for Social Change Association of Hebron (ADWAR), OVP staff trained 20 local women in Jenin on proposal and project writing, specifically addressing the issues of poverty and unemployment.  The September 11 training, a part of OVP’s Women of Influence Program, was the final in a series of advanced seminars that also included political, leadership, and communication skills.

Starting September 14—and lasting three days—OVP activists, along with Jericho’s Can’an Society for Community Development volunteers, assisted pilgrims at the Karameh Border (Allenby Bridge) crossing as they made Hajj to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.  An astounding 4,200 individuals were told about OneVoice’s mission and vision for Palestine, and our volunteers stressed to the pilgrims the need for solidarity across the faiths in the Palestinian quest for independence.

OVP’s Alaa’ Al-Salous designed an intitiative to instill values of democracy and leadership in young students, at the Saint Joseph school in Nablus on September 18.  The students, forming their own Student Council, received extensive training in how to campaign and participate in a democratic election, and 17 students were ultimately selected from 60 candidates in grades 6 to 12.

Josh Rutstein is the 2014 OneVoice US Fellow.

24 September 2014 See Post

OneVoice Europe Student Program Focuses on Extremism in the UK

Twenty students from across the United Kingdom spent September 8-10 in London to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and extremism’s implications on British society during OneVoice Europe’s Student Residential Program.

Now in its third year, the Student Residential Program engages young people in educational workshops about the conflict and equips them with conflict resolution and leadership skills. The renewed peace process was last year’s theme, and unfreezing negotiations was the focus in 2012.

The students had an opportunity to hear from a number of experts who explored complex issues surrounding the conflict and its global impact. On September 9, the students visited Reed Smith’s offices, where they Skyped with Wasim Masri of OneVoice Palestine in Ramallah and Ayala Brilliant of OneVoice Israel in Tel Aviv, providing the students with a great opportunity to put a human face to stories they hear in the news.

In the afternoon, the group moved on to the House of Lords, where Maajid Nawaz, co-founder and chairman of counter-extremism think tank Quilliam; writer Antony Lerman of Independent Jewish Voices; Baroness Susan Garden, and John Lyndon, Executive Director of OneVoice Europe, provided the students with insights into the negative impact of regional extremism on the peace process and the role of extremist organizations in creating a climate of prejudice and fear. The speakers also offered their insight on the effectiveness of terrorism as a political weapon and the reactions of neighboring countries to the violence in Gaza.

Ibrahim Ali and Maggie Suissa, experts in Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, respectively, spoke to the students about the vitriol spewed on UK campuses with the conflict – and recent Gaza War – stoking the flames. The contentious issue of BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) as a political tactic and its regional, local, and oftentimes personal effects was also raised, with perspectives and concerns of both sides being heard.

Overall, the program of events highlighted the fact that extremism affects everybody – a great way to illustrate OneVoice’s focus on the spectrum of moderates and extremists that exists within all communities – and emphasized the common ground shared by peace-seeking people everywhere.

Many students felt the narrative of the ‘other side’ had been illuminated for them, and that their understanding of the conflict had deepened. Perhaps most encouragingly, many participants also added that they intended to become more involved in relevant study or activism. The young people trained by OneVoice Europe are the British counterparts of our Israeli and Palestinian youth leaders; well-informed, sympathetic, and learning to negotiate toward a happier future.

Sharon Alsoodani is OneVoice Europe's Education Director

22 September 2014 See Post

‘Abbas, Not Hamas’ Campaign an OVI Success

The latest Gaza War opened the eyes of Israelis to a message, a message that we at OneVoice Israel carried and shared for years. What is it? That there are two sides on both sides of this conflict - the extremists and the moderates. And this war played out in the same way.

In the midst of Operation Protective Edge, we at OVI knew there was an opportunity for Israelis to choose the side of the moderates. The brave steps that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made in the beginning of the war – condemning violence – made it clear to most Israelis that there is a partner for the two-state solution on the other side, what we’ve said all along.

OVI decided to give the moderate public in Israel the platform to call for the two-state solution amidst this war, differentiating themselves from the extremists who would not see it happen.

We hung banners around Israel with the slogan, "An Agreement With Abbas – Not With Hamas," calling on the Israeli government not to negotiate with the extremists and thereby strengthen them, but to choose to empower the moderates like Abbas who speak out against violence and are look for a peaceful end to the conflict.

The results were very exciting! Our activists went out night after night to hang the banners in intersections and on bridges all over Israel. We had over 100 people approach us through our Facebook page asking for banners to hang outside their houses. On the social networks, the campaign was one of the highest-viewed and liked campaigns in the history of OVI. The activists felt that they were making a real difference, and they were. “Abbas, Not Hamas!” became a catch phrase in the Israeli media and social networks because of their hard work.

Roee Neuman is OneVoice Israel's Spokesman and Government Relations Director

10 September 2014 See Post

“Unity Campaign” asked Palestinians to support Gaza truce talks

The “Unity Campaign” OneVoice Palestine (OVP) launched during the Gaza war was important for many reasons, but two stand out to me. First, OVP publically called for an immediate end to the Gaza war in a sea of loud voices calling for its continuation. Second, we asked Palestinians to unite and put their trust in the leadership and unity delegation in Cairo, lending a name to our campaign.

In Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem, Qalqilia, Jericho, and Jenin we handed out 2,000 stickers with words of support for the delegation and talked with the people about how they felt. In Nablus, I sensed some mixed feelings about the best way to end the violence and the occupation. People were unsure: should we negotiate, even though 20 years of talks achieved nothing for us, or use armed resistance, knowing that thousands died or were injured, with a chance for more of the same?

Some people we talked to didn’t change their minds and were opposed to our support for negotiations. A taxi driver stopped us and asked about the stickers and said, “it’s a shame to keep say negotiations is the way to stop the war, we have to fight until the end!” Despite reactions like this, we continue to engage Palestinians on these issues and hope they will understand that the most pragmatic way to achieve their rights is through negotiations.

We found support in a member of the Fatah Central Committee, and we explained to him what the campaign aims to. He respected our work and told us, “as long as we have active youth like you we’ll be fine and I know it’s hard for you to work under these circumstances but don’t give up – we will support you and we cheer you to continue.”

09 September 2014 See Post

OneVoice’s statement on Israel’s recent land seizure announcement

The Government of Israel's illegal seizure of 1,000 acres of Palestinian land has no justification, represents an act of collective punishment against and further alienates Palestinians, and destroys the trust needed for a negotiated peace that will end the occupation and the conflict. As Prime Minister Netanyahu's public support dramatically declines, it is evident that this land grab is a cynical ploy to appease his right-wing critics in the face of universal international condemnation. The people of Israel should send an unmistakable message to their government that such illegal acts only serve to isolate Israel.

 
 
04 September 2014 See Post

OneVoice mourns the loss of friend and Honorary Board of Advisors member, John Mroz.

From The New York Times obituary: John Edwin Mroz, a consultant to governments in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere who conducted secret talks with Yasir Arafat on behalf of the Reagan administration in an unsuccessful effort to persuade the Palestine Liberation Organization to accept Israel’s right to exist, died on Aug. 15 in Manhattan. He was 66.

Mroz was founder and the chief executive of the EastWest Institute and a member of OneVoice's Honoary Board of Advisors.

You can read more about the life and career of John Mroz here.
04 September 2014 See Post

OneVoice Statement on Egyptian-brokered Unlimited Ceasefire in Gaza

OneVoice welcomes today's announcement of the Egyptian-brokered unlimited ceasefire in Gaza.  As we have said over the course of the last 50 days of conflict, the tragic loss of life on both sides is proof that the status quo that fostered this latest round of violence in Gaza is unacceptable and unsustainable.  We welcome new diplomatic initiatives to rebuild hope for Israelis and Palestinians exhausted by the violence and the absence of meaningful progress to end the conflict. Direct, good faith negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel are essential to achieving this historic goal. We believe the end of hostilities in Gaza provides the best opportunity in many months for moderate Israelis and Palestinians to hold their leaders accountable to resume negotiations. OneVoice will redouble its efforts in the days and weeks ahead to mobilize and empower those moderate voices.      

26 August 2014 See Post

OVI’s Elanit Green underscores need for negotiations at UJIA debate

OneVoice Israel Project Manager Elanit Green (pictured above, right) participated in a Youth United Jewish Israel Appeal/Jewish Chronicle panel entitled, ‘Why Always Israel? The Debate,’ on Tuesday, August 19 in London. Participants included: Stephen Pollard, Editor of the Jewish Chronicle; Rony Yedidia-Clein, Minister-Counsellor for Public Diplomacy, Embassy of Israel; and moderator, Clive Sheldon QC, Barrister at leading chambers and Co-Chair of Masorti Judaism UK. Over 70 young professionals attended the UJIA headquarters.

The event was part of series of events that aimed to educate young professionals about the history, facts, and key arguments surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This particular session looked at what influences Israel’s media image and political policies, as well as how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might be solved.

Elanit was asked about the latest Israel-Gaza violence. She spoke of  “many missed opportunities” during the negotiations spearheaded by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, but said that as violence flairs Israel is obliged to protect its citizens – within reason. At the same time, Israel must strengthen moderate Palestinians – namely President Abbas – in order to put a permanent stop to the cycle of violence.

"If Netanyahu is serious about peace and wants an end to the conflict he has to strengthen Abbas,” Elanit said. “At OneVoice, we launched a national campaign, ‘Negotiate with Abbas, not with Hamas,’ to show Israelis there is a moderate voice and to empower them to demand from their government negotiations with the Palestinians that ends all claims and allows us to live in a lasting peace.”

Audience members asked whether Israeli society shifted to the political right in light of the violence. Elanit explained that during times of conflict people become more nationalistic for a time.

“Israel unifies and people rally around the flag,” she said. “But once the violence ends, people will talk about real issues; they will begin to criticize the conflict. For example, issues of the budget will surface – as will others. We will start to see criticism of how this war was conducted.”

Despite the situation, Elanit told the audience she sees space to change the status quo for Gazans.

“While this conflict is terrible, it also brings an enormous opportunity to improve the life of Palestinians in Gaza; to lift the blockade by introducing a moderate leader in the territory. We must empower Abbas, giving him the opportunity to lead moderate voices.”

26 August 2014 See Post

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