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Invest in Peace

January 18, 2017
Posted by: JCRC Staff

Bear a Torch – Invest in Peace is a coalition of Bay Area community leaders, business owners, officials and activists promoting people-to-people partnerships among Israelis and Palestinians as a way to move toward two states living side-by-side in peace. The Invest in Peace community believes in a two-state solution with an independent, autonomous and economically viable Palestinian state living side-by-side with a democratic, Jewish state of Israel. ACT NOW and add your name as a supporter of Invest in Peace and receive updates from the campaign.

Torchbearer: Invest in Peace

Launched in 2016, Invest in Peace is a coalition of Bay-Area leaders whose aim is to promote on-the-ground groups that foster coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Invest in Peace coalition seeks to carve out a space where moderate voices and positive news can still prevail—where hope for a two-state solution can be kept alive.

Invest in Peace does this by shedding light on groups that are currently fostering peace through people-to-people engagement, from environmental NGOs like EcoPeace to educational programs like MIT’s MEET, to summer camps and athletic programs like Ultimate Peace. All of these groups are making headway on difficult ground, and are rarely featured in the charged discussions that have come to characterize the Israel/Palestine debate.

Read about the campaign’s formation and goals in J Weekly. Then visit the campaign on Facebook and join the 23k people who have shown support on social media.

A glimpse into a few of these organizations helps form a fuller picture of what Invest in Peace is all about:

EcoPeace
Founded in 1994, EcoPeace brings together Palestinian, Israeli and Jordanian environmentalists in order to protect the shared environmental heritage of the region. United by a common cause, advocates for a better environmental future have joined the unlikely coalition. EcoPeace operates with three directors: one Israeli, one Palestinian, and one Jordanian, and runs their efforts out of sister-offices in Amman, Bethlehem, and Tel-Aviv. With a united set of goals backed by local tactics, EcoPeace works to unite people with a shared ecosystem, address sustainable development and water practices, and combat Climate Change, the enormous threat of which is amplified in a water-scare region like the Middle East.

 

MIT Middle East Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow (MEET)
MIT MEET works to educated and empower the most promising high school students in Israel and Palestine to create positive social and political impact. With each graduating class composed of 50% Israeli and 50% Palestinian students, this rigorous high school program helps build a cadre of future leaders that are not only prepared to address the complex issues facing their communities, but are motivated to work together through the strength of their personal connections and understanding.

 

Ultimate Peace
Based on the idea that sports are a powerful way to build lasting connections and friendships, Ultimate Peace brings together Israeli Arab, Israeli Jewish, and Palestinian youth to play Ultimate Frisbee. By developing their athletic skills alongside conflict resolution skills and cross-cultural understanding, the 500+ youth engaged in Ultimate Peace programs are forming the exact type of bonds that foster peace. Ultimate Peace credits their success to an underlying philosophy that could describe any of the organizations promoted by the Invest in Peace coalition: “Developing understanding, caring, and appreciation for one another is our primary goal. Dialogue on the tougher issues…takes place only once those relationships have the critical foundation of mutual trust and respect upon which to build. It takes time, but the results are potent.”


The purpose of Invest in Peace is not to raise money for these featured groups – although most of the groups will gladly receive direct donations on their sites. Rather, the coalition aims to let people know that organizations like this exist and are engaged in these efforts.

At the heart of the Invest in Peace campaign is the idea that there is plenty of blame to go around – and that heaping this blame on either side is not a productive way for Bay Area citizens to become involved in this charged issue. Rather, by playing a 3rd party role, we can bring a moderate and hopeful voice to the table, which is sorely needed these days.

Additional Resources

Become an Invest in Peace supporter and learn more about EcoPeace, MIT MEET, Ultimate Peace, and these other featured organizations:

  • Arava Institute is the premier environmental teaching and research program in the Middle East and plays a significant role in preparing future Israeli and Palestinian leaders to cooperatively solve the region’s environmental challenges.
  • The Interfaith Encounter Association connects Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze for meaningful, positive encounters with people of other faiths.
  • Kids4Peace is a global organization that works to end conflict and inspire hope in divided societies.
  • Mifalot is an educational and social organization using sports to bring about social change and build relations rooted in mutual respect.
  • Co-founded by a Muslim and a Jew, Zaitoun Ventures is a hybrid investment firm focused on acquiring controlling stakes in small cap companies and investing in companies with diverse human capital.

 

PHOTO courtesy of Invest in Peace peacemaker A New Dawn in the Negev.