The Myth of "Israeli Apartheid"
By Melissa Landa, Ph.D.
Jews and Arabs Working for Peace in Israel
A New Way brings together Arabs and Jews in Israel through joint activities for schoolchildren involving music, art, drama, science, and environmental studies. By teaching the children, and as a result their teachers, aarents, and communities, about each other’s cultures, A New Way reduces prejudice and stereotypes while promoting mutual respect, trust, and enrichment.
The Abraham Initiatives has been working for 30 years on modeling and building a Shared Society for Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens. Through local initiatives in education, police-community relations, leadership training, cultural competency on higher education campuses, Arabic language and culture courses in Pre-Army Leadership Academies and at media outlets across the country, we implement programs which can be evaluated, adopted and scaled by the State.
The Adam Institute for Democracy & Peace creates and runs educational programs to promote tolerance and respect, teach conflict resolution skills and strengthen democratic principles in Israel and the region. The Institute reaches out to Jews (religious and secular), Arabs, school children of all ages, teachers, new immigrants, veteran Israelis, women’s groups and community activists. Cross-border programs include dialogue seminars for Palestinian and Israeli educators, journalists and young leaders.
Established in 1993, the Arab-Jewish Community Center, Jaffa, fosters better understanding, tolerance, and democratic values among Jewish, Christian, and Muslim populations in Jaffa while preserving ethnic, religious and national identities. The Center provides the community with a wide variety of programs, ranging from social welfare and assistance to families in need, to educational programs, empowerment initiatives, multi-cultural events and celebrations.
At the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Jewish and Arab university and graduate students cross political boundaries to conduct joint research on environmental and natural resource matters. Living and studying together, they also explore and learn about their respective cultures, building peace and a sustainable environment.
The Arava Valley of Peace initiative brings together youth from Israel, Palestine, the Middle East and Europe for a course focused on the desert, bridging between societies and cultures in the Middle East. Students and teachers explore the desert and Middle East from various perspectives — history, archeology, culture, geography, zoology, botany – and participate in environmental and sustainability projects.
The Artsbridge Institute utilizes collaborative art making and reflective dialogue to build lasting relationships between youth caught on either side of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We provide a safe environment, which cultivates creativity, voice, respectful listening and dialogue, empowering today’s youth to become leaders in the quest for peace in and between their own communities.
The Centre for Humanistic Education (CHE) at the Ghetto Fighters’ House (GFM): The CHE engages high-school students and teachers from the Arab and Jewish sectors in an examination of connections between the Holocaust, personal and social morals, and implications for present Israeli society. The CHE educational process progresses from an in-depth study of the universal implications of the Holocaust to an intensive multi-cultural Jewish-Arab humanistic-democratic dialogue. Programs include Holocaust education, a moral education, citizenship education, and peace-education through intergroup dialogue.
The Center for Religious Tolerance promotes peace and social justice through dialogue among the world’s religions and through spiritually-based interfaith activities. CRT sponsors a variety of interfaith peace building activities in the U.S., Israel, and Palestine, with a particular emphasis on the role of women of faith in building conditions for sustainable peace. We develop and evaluate peace building models, connect local and global peacemakers, and provide financial, administrative and technical support to individuals doing grassroots peace work.
EcoPeace—Friends of the Earth Middle East is at the forefront of the environmental peacemaking movement. As a regional organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists, its primary objective is the promotion of cooperative efforts to protect the region’s shared environmental heritage. In so doing, it seeks to advance both sustainable regional development and the creation of necessary conditions for lasting peace. FoEME has offices in Amman, Bethlehem, and Tel-Aviv.
Economic Cooperation Foundation ECF is an Israeli policy planning think-tank dedicated to achieving an Israeli-Palestinian two state solution; to promote peace, security and prosperity for Israel and its Arab neighbors; and to promote Middle East regional stability.
Ein Bustan is an educational initiative and Jewish/Arab kindergarten, bridging the gap between the Arab and Jewish population through a joint, multi-cultural educational setting based on the Waldorf approach. This approach emphasizes humanistic values, social responsibility, nature, the arts, and music. Utilizing this method, Ein Bustan facilitates and fosters true friendship, trust, and a shared culture and language between Jewish and Arab children.
The Embodying Peacecollective streamlines the process for internationals to directly engage with grassroots efforts in Israel-Palestine in order to empower peace. Their core project, the Embodying Peace platform, provides pathways to deliver greater capacity-building support from abroad to on the ground efforts. The other side of their work encompasses the development of a peace curriculum centered around profiles of peacebuilding organizations.
Freddie Krivine Foundation The Foundation was created in 1998 to promote co-existence and equal opportunity in Israel through tennis. Today it continues to encourage Jewish and Arab children to play tennis in a variety of programmes across the country, with new projects opening every year. We now manage eight tennis schools and a growing number of Jewish/Arab tennis programmes during the school curriculum. More and more Arab and mixed Jewish/Arab teams of children compete in regional and national junior tennis tournaments, winning medals and making new friends. We provide grants for young Arab players to become professional tennis coaches, and offer travel and coaching grants to young players showing potential.
Hand in Hand is a growing network of bilingual and multicultural accredited public schools for Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel, educating the next generation, from kindergarten through high school, who will create a more democratic, secure, and peaceful future. Its far-reaching impact extends to government leadership, communities, and educators across the country. Its award-winning schools in Jerusalem, the Galilee, and Wadi Ara focus on academic excellence, and its pioneering curriculum fosters mutual understanding as well as pride in one’s heritage.
Heartbeat Jerusalem uses music’s power to build trust between Israeli and Palestinian youth. Under a Fulbright-MTVu grant, Heartbeat first convened a group of outstanding teenage musicians for a weekly musical-dialogue. By listening, playing and writing music together, the students learn about each other’s communities, histories, political views, identities, and hopes and develop tools for self-expression and social change. Heartbeat is working to include many more musicians, open a music studio in Jerusalem, and organize a series of community-wide events for Israelis and Palestinians to share music, build understanding and increase mutual trust.
Israel-Palestine: Regional Creative Initiative Center for Research and Information (IPCRI), founded in Jerusalem in 1988, is the only joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think-tank in the world. Devoted to developing practical solutions for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, IPCRI promotes dialogue at various levels between the Israeli and Palestinian civil societies, including through active information activities and joint Israeli-Palestinian forums.
The Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization capitalizes on the universal nature of science to promote dialogue, openness, and mutual respect. It does so by funding high quality proposals submitted jointly by Israeli and Palestinian scientists and scholars who want to work together in the region. Projects are generally for three years and cost about $100,000 per year. IPSO has received more than 100 proposals over the last three years. It has funded 10 projects to date and is now seeking the additional financial support for more than a dozen additional very worthy, peer reviewed projects.
The Jerusalem International YMCA offers a host of programs which bring together Arab and Jewish children and adults to learn about each other’s cultures, languages, and religions. The YMCA fosters tolerance and understanding through youth leadership programs, pre-school, and other intellectual, physical, and social activities. JIY’s signature program is Moderate Voices for Progress, a nine-month young adult program of training in conflict transformation skills and community building.
Jerusalem Peacebuilders (JPB) is an interfaith, non-profit organization with a mission to create a better future for humanity across religions, cultures, and nationalities. Integral to that mission is the belief that the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world. To that end, JPB promotes transformational, person-to-person encounters among the peoples of Jerusalem, the United States, and the Holy Land. JPB’s interfaith programs focus on uniting Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans and providing them with the opportunities, relationships, and skills they need to become future leaders for peace in the global community. A passion for peace drives our mission and partnerships power our program.
At the Sir Charles Clore Jewish-Arab Community Center in Acre, our goal is twofold: we work to administer a wide range of activities for a population for whom there are few, if any, other informal educational, leisure or community services, while bridging the gap between Acre’s Jewish and Arab communities.