List All Peacebuilders

Just Vision presents the stories of Israeli and Palestinian civilians working for peace. We will be launching dozens of such stories. They represent a fraction of the courageous Israelis and Palestinians whose peace-related efforts receive too little media attention.

Peacebuilders Search | About Visionaries

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Jerusalem
Year of Birth
1980
Profession
Radio Host
Organization
All for Peace Radio
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, English, Hebrew
Date of Interview
06/2004

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"The first time I felt that I really needed to do something about the conflict was when I opened the Al-Quds newspaper and saw on the front page a picture of a little girl named Iman Hijjo, who was killed by a missile two years ago. I opened more pages of the same newspaper, and I read about a bus bombing in Israel. There was another little boy who lost his eye because of the explosion. I looked at the two children's stories and I thought to myself, 'We have a problem. There are children on both sides that are dying.' As an individual Palestinian or Israeli, you won't be able to influence the governments, but you can feel that you are being effective by being part of an organization or project that works to restore trust between the two peoples."

Adele Zumot has been a radio broadcaster at All for Peace Radio since it was established in 2004. All for Peace Radio, a project of Givat Haviva and Biladi, is a joint Palestinian and Israeli radio station that broadcasts in both Arabic and Hebrew. Before joining All for Peace, Adele hosted shows on local Palestinian radio station such as Radio Bethlehem and Love and Peace Radio and trained at the Israel Radio's Arabic service. Her shows address both political and social issues. Adele now works with a team of Palestinian and Israeli radio hosts and producers to expose the various aspects of each side to the other with the aim of reaching mutual understanding.

Residence
Ramat Hasharon
Place of birth
Haifa
Year of Birth
1971
Profession
Former spokeswoman for the Coalition of Women for Peace and Machsom Watch
Organization
Formerly of the Coalition of Women for Peace, Machsom Watch
Identity
Israeli
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English, French, Arabic
Date of Interview
01/2005

Interviewer
Leora Gal and Nahanni Rous

"My standing at checkpoints doesn't directly further peace, but there are different stages involved in the process. Currently the groups I'm involved with and the kind of work I do oppose the Occupation. We haven't yet reached the stage of working towards peace."

As spokeswoman for Machsom Watch, Adi Dagan's role was to focus Israeli and international attention on the issue of Israeli-controlled checkpoints in the West Bank. Machsom [Checkpoint] Watch is a group of Israeli women who monitor activity at checkpoints. Adi spent two years as a volunteer, stationed once a week at Kalandia, the main checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. She was also the media coordinator for the Coalition of Women for Peace, and is now Director of Consultancy and Training at Agenda, the Israeli Center for Strategic Communications - a not-for-profit dedicated to reprioritize and reframe social change issues within the Israeli public and the media.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
New York
Year of Birth
1974
Profession
Education, Law
Organization
Middle East Children's Association (MECA)
Identity
Jewish Israeli
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew, French, Russian, some Arabic
Date of Interview
06/2005

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"More and more teachers come because they are perplexed. It is not because they necessarily are peace activists but because they have questions about how to teach values and be positive and hopeful when things are so difficult. That is a difficulty many teachers share and it crosses political affiliations."

Adina Shapiro grew up in a Jewish national religious community in Jerusalem. After national service, she taught Hebrew at Hope Flowers school in Bethlehem and went on to found MECA, Middle East Children's Association. At MECA Israeli and Palestinian educators meet in order to empower and learn and share skills and lesson learned, finding ways to educate, empower and reveal the narrative of the other and to better prepare children for the reality.

Residence
Beit Ummar
Place of birth
Halhoul, Hebron
Year of Birth
1972
Profession
Activist and founder of Al Tareek (The Way)
Organization
Bereaved Families Forum, Al Tareek (The Way)
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, English, Hebrew
Date of Interview
12/2005

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"I didn't know what to do with the pain and there wasn't an outlet for the grief. The Forum is a means of helping yourself in addition to being a means of resistance. It is a different kind of revolution for my people. This is how I view it. You are eventually drawn into this and begin to believe in the principles of what you do. I now feel that I have the capacity to face anybody in any discussion, regardless of his rhetorical abilities. I now believe this is the way to establish our rights."

Ali Abu Awwad grew up in a politically active family and was active in resisting the Israeli occupation during the first intifada. He was arrested for his resistance activities, which included throwing stones, participating in demonstrations and being a member of a political party, Fatah. He was sentenced to ten years in Israeli prison, however he was released after four years after the signing of the Oslo accords. During the second intifada, Ali was shot in the leg by an Israeli settler and went to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. While there, he received the news that his brother had been shot and killed by an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint at the entrance to their village. Ali and other members of his family later joined the Bereaved Families Forum where they are active in spreading a message of reconciliation and non-violence to Palestinians and Israelis. Ali Abu Awwad is featured in Just Vision's documentary film, Encounter Point; to view one of his scenes click here.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Jerusalem
Year of Birth
1964
Profession
Educator, history teacher and facilitator for educators
Organization
Tarabut-Hithabrut,Ta’ayush, MECA
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English, a little Arabic
Date of Interview
02/2007

Interviewer
Leora Gal

"I don’t know what I would if I were in [the Palestinians'] shoes, if I experienced the humiliation they do at checkpoints. If you ask me, I think violence won’t lead us anywhere."

Amnon Sadovsky was born and lives in Jerusalem. His interest and experience in social involvement began in high school in the scouts, followed by a year of community service in Tel Mond. Amnon helped found the first non-professional high school in Beit Shemesh and later participated in dialog workshops for Israeli and Palestinian teachers in MECA. After 2000 Amnon joined Ta’ayush’s South Hebron committee and taught at the Hand in Hand Jewish-Arab School in Jerusalem. His various interests connect social, economic and political struggles. Amnon helped found Tarabut-Hithabrut, an Arab-Jewish movement for social and political change, where he continues to be active.

 

After his mandatory army service, Ariel Huler trained in conflict management at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He worked with young people in the field of the religious-secular divide among Israeli Jews prior to working at Seeds of Peace. Ariel first worked at Seeds of Peace Camp in the United States, where Israeli and Palestinian teenagers (as well as groups from different conflict regions) live together, have fun, and participate in coexistence dialogue sessions every day. Along with a Palestinian partner, Ariel was a facilitator in these dialogue sessions. He now works at the Seeds of Peace Center for Coexistence in Jerusalem, where the young people who have attended camp continue to participate in year-long programs.

Residence
Budrus
Place of birth
Budrus
Year of Birth
1962
Profession
Employee at the Palestinian Interior Ministry
Organization
Community Organizer, Budrus
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
11/2006

12/2009
Interviewer
Joline Rukab, Rula Salameh, Irene Nasser

"We didn't choose nonviolent resistance out of submission or fear. Peaceful resistance requires more courage than violent resistance."

A leader of the nonviolent movement in Budrus, Ayed Morrar organized the first Popular Committee Against the Wall in the West Bank by uniting all local Palestinian political factions, including Hamas and Fatah, and encouraging hundreds of Israelis to cross into the Occupied Palestinian Territories and demonstrate in support of his village. When challenged by his teenage daughter, he welcomed the launch of a women’s contingent that quickly moved to the front lines. Ayed and the successful popular nonviolent struggle are featured in Just Vision's recent film, Budrus.

Visit Just Vision's Newsroom to see Ayed speak with the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict!

 Ayelet Shahak's daughter Bat-Chen was killed in a bombing outside a Tel Aviv mall in 1996. During the mourning period the Shahaks discovered that Bat-Chen's diaries were full of writings and poems about peace. Ayelet and her husband Tzvika have made it their mission to pursue their daughter's hopes for peace, becoming founding members of the Parents Circle-Bereaved Families Forum, a group of over 500 Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost loved ones to the conflict, and who advocate reconciliation over retribution. Ayelet, along with her Palestinian partners, lectures in schools throughout Israel and in the West Bank. The Shahaks, who are featured in Just Vision's film Encounter Point, have published Bat-Chen's poems and diaries in Hebrew, Arabic, Dutch, German and Japanese, Italian and recently in English. To view a scene from the film about Bat-Chen's poems please press here.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Jerusalem
Year of Birth
1980
Organization
Bereaved Families Forum, All For Peace Radio
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
10/2005

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"I believe that if you're not doing something, then you accept reality, and if you accept reality, then you agree with the fact that the only solution is for us to keep killing each other. It's hard for me to understand how you can accept something like that. One should do whatever he or she can to change the situation. Even if there is a tiny bit of hope, I think it is better to try to do something than sit there and do nothing."

Aziz Abu Sarah joined Fatah's Youth movement after losing his brother, who died shortly after his release from Israeli prision. Aziz published many angry and vengeful articles in the organization's magazine. Years later, Aziz and his family agreed to attend a meeting of the Bereaved Families Forum. Aziz is now a member of the Forum and co-hosts a show on All For Peace Radio; he also runs an organization aimed at empowering Palestinian youth.



Residence
Neve Monosson
Place of birth
Tel Aviv
Year of Birth
1946
Profession
A former retailer
Identity
Israeli
Languages spoken
Hebrew, a little English
Date of Interview
05/2009

Interviewer
Leora Gal and Anat Langer-Gal

"Governments sign treaties, people make peace [...] I deal with humanitarian issues, working in ways I think Israel should, and I think wants to manage its affairs."

Assisting Palestinians in need of healthcare in Israel and supporting their families, organizing soccer tournaments and day trips for Israeli and Palestinian children, helping Palestinian farmers harvest their olives, collecting food for the hungry in Israel – these a few examples of Buma Inbar’s work. Buma chooses to work independently, occasionally cooperating with other organizations in order to promote a civil agenda for peace, that will affect the lives of Israelis and Palestinians.

Residence
The Hava & Adam Ecological Farm, Modi'in
Place of birth
Tel Aviv
Year of Birth
1974
Profession
Farmer, Ecologist and Educator
Organization
The Hava & Adam Ecological Farm
Identity
Israeli, activist, environmentalist, farmer, humane, non-political
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English, Arabic
Date of Interview
05/2008

Interviewer
Leora Gal

"Study Arabic. Meet and get interested in the local crops of this region. Meet with people, there are lots of groups. There's me and millions of people like me [...] that's where you really make peace."

Chaym Feldman practices and teaches "Bio-falha" - an intensive yet sustainable farming method that integrates local and traditional elements - at Hava & Adam near Modi'in. A teacher for Israeli children, Chaym leads workshops for Israelis and Palestinians, which include working with West Bank Palestinian farmers on their lands. Chaym views joint farming a way to demonstrate solidarity against the Separation Fence and establish positive relationships between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as part of a global struggle for sustainable lifestyles.

Residence
Tel Aviv
Place of birth
Tel Aviv
Year of Birth
1927
Profession
Educator
Organization
Machsom Watch
Identity
Israeli
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
06/2010

Interviewer
Anat Langer-Gal

"This conflict of oppositions is constantly true at checkpoints, too. We protest, yet we assist the Occupation’s existence. We stand by the soldiers and seek to modify their aggression, yet the soldiers perceive us as enemies, not as assistance. But, among us are mothers and grandmothers, whose sons serve in the army. So we encounter a conflict: I’m not against the soldiers, I oppose the policy.”

As the daughter of Eliyahu Golomb, one of the founders of the Haganah and a leader in the Zionist movement, Dalia Golomb’s adolescence was heavily influenced by the presence of the Haganah, the Labor Party and Mapai. For the past eight years, Dalia has worked with Machsom Watch, an organization of Israeli women who oppose the Occupation and advocate for the right of Palestinians to move freely. Today, Dalia and a close friend from the organization co-guide tours of Palestinian villages in the West Bank, and assist with addressing various challenges several of the Palestinian residents in these villages face as a result of the Occupation. Dalia has initiated and worked on projects aimed at increasing the mobility of Palestinians on their land and connecting villages to electricity and potable water.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Syracuse, New York
Year of Birth
1951
Profession
Lawyer
Organization
Terrestrial Jerusalem (TJ)
Identity
Israeli
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew, a little French
Date of Interview
12/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"Things were not nearly as good as they appeared to be in the summer of 2000, but they're not nearly as bad as they appear to be today. There's a viable city here [in Jerusalem]. It's not a utopian city; it's politically achievable, but it's not going to happen tomorrow morning. We are years away from a genuine political process in Jerusalem I believe, but I also believe that we're not decades away."

In January 2010, Daniel Seidemann founded Terrestrial Jerusalem, an Israeli non-profit organization that works to identify and track developments in Jerusalem. Prior to founding Terrestrial Jerusalem, Daniel conducted legal work with Ir Amim, where he took on cases defending individuals, families and communities who were negatively impacted by the wall and the expansion of Jewish settlements in and around Jerusalem.

Residence
Haifa
Place of birth
London, England
Year of Birth
1949
Profession
Development Consultant
Organization
Middleway, Gisha, The People's Voice
Identity
Liberal Israeli
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew, German, French
Date of Interview
12/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"Often in discussion with Palestinians, I have made the point of how the Israelis are afraid and how the soldiers are afraid. They say, 'What, really, the soldiers are afraid?' I say, 'Oh yes, you have no idea how a soldier with a flak-jacket and a weapon is afraid of a ten-year old kid who may have an explosive belt on him.' It is as important for Palestinians to recognize this as it is important for Israelis to understand and be sensitive to the endless humiliation that the Palestinians suffer every day."

David Lisbona is one of the founders of Middleway and of Gisha. Middleway promotes nonviolence and dialogue, provides humanitarian and developmental support to villages and educational institutions in the northern West Bank and participates in community work in Palestinian villages in Israel. Gisha advocates freedom of movement for Palestinians. David is also involved with the European Institute for Global Peace and their Palestinian counterparts, the Holy Land Trust, as well as in the People's Voice initiative.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
New Jersey
Profession
Community Organizer
Organization
Bustan
Identity
Jewish
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew, Arabic, some French and Spanish
Date of Interview
01/2006

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"My community is not outraged against the Israeli government because of human rights violations perpetrated against the Palestinian and the Bedouin populations. I live in a community that is in some ways very satiated; those things are done to make me feel more comfortable when I get on the bus, when I go to university, so that when I'm with my partner at a café I feel safer. There is an element of justification in every conversation with my community, and it's very, very present."

Devorah Brous founded Bustan, an environmental justice organization working primarily in Israel's Negev region with Jewish and Bedouin communities, and was its executive director for nine years. The word "bustan" (fruit orchard in Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian) reflects traditional and diverse indigenous planting patterns of the region. Bustan plants and builds with low cost, sustainable technologies and advocates sustainable development that serves both Jewish and Arab populations, and promotes fair allocation of clean natural resources and community self-reliance.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Jerusalem
Year of Birth
1973
Profession
Head of the Palestinian National Christian Coalition
Organization
People's Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, English
Date of Interview
10/2004

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"I want a country that will be able to contribute to humanity in general and to the well-being of its citizens in particular. This is what I care about. I'm not losing sleep over the Zionist dream. On the contrary, as a Palestinian, I have suffered because of the Zionist dream. But the situation that we are living in today forces me to think with my mind and not with my emotions. And this is what brings me to the goal of two states for two peoples."

With the People's Campaign for Peace and Democracy, Dimitri Diliani is involved in gathering over 400,000 (and growing) signatures of Palestinians and Israelis who support a set of principles for peace drafted by Sari Nusseibeh and Ami Ayalon. Dimitri is also the assistant of Dr. Nusseibeh, the president of Al Quds University and an outspoken peace advocate. Dimitri lives in Jerusalem and his family originally comes from the West part of the city. As a teenager, Dimitri participated in non-violent protest during the intifada that began in 1987. He finished his higher education in the United States.

Residence
Nof Yam, Herzliya
Place of birth
San Francisco, California
Year of Birth
1932
Profession
Retired Teacher
Organization
New Profile
Identity
Wife, Mother, Teacher, Grandmother, Activist
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew
Date of Interview
08/2009

Interviewer
Anat Langer-Gal

“As a citizen, it is my responsibility to censure what I believe is wrong and to try to correct the situation . . . My whole family will suffer badly from a boycott, but if I have to weigh and measure the continued killing against suffering economic distress, I know where my fealty lies and what my job is.”

 

When the events of October 2000 caused Dorothy Naor to begin questioning her beliefs, she joined New Profile, a feminist Israeli organization that aims to “civil-ize” Israeli society and objects to its militarization. Today, Dorothy seeks to inform Israeli and international communities about the price Israelis pay as a result of the occupation. And, although it is a controversial and painful issue for her to address within her community, Dorothy publicly advocates for active engagement in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as a nonviolent means to ending the occupation. Dorothy has also been involved in providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinian patients in Israel.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Nablus
Year of Birth
1962
Profession
Professor at Al-Quds University
Organization
People's Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, English
Date of Interview
03/2005

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"The origin of all success is the freedom of human beings. If any person can feel freedom from occupation, from fear, that is the most important success. Therefore, collective freedom starts with individual freedom."

Dr. Khuloud Dajani is a professor and one of the founders of Al-Quds University. She is active in the fields of public diplomacy, social work and peace activism. Since the beginning of the current intifada, Khuloud has been working with the Palestinian based People's Campaign for Peace and Democracy, which works along side the Israeli based Hamifkad Haleumi. Both are grassroots initiatives gathering signatures of Palestinians and Israelis in support of a set of principles to advance peace. Since the beginning of her career, Dr. Dajani has taken part in many conferences and events both locally and in the international arena, advocating the role of women in society and empowering Palestinians to take part in shaping their future.

Residence
Tel Aviv
Place of birth
Tel Aviv
Year of Birth
1955
Profession
Historian
Organization
Peres Center for Peace, Peace NGOs Forum
Identity
Israeli
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
05/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"I believe that peace is dictated by the masses. You always need the politicians to carry it one step forward, but politicians listen to the public. And if the public is saying that it would really like to do it, you need a brave politician to master it and move forward."

Dr. Ron Pundak played an important part in starting the Oslo peace process in 1993. Through his work in the early '90s with Israeli-Palestinian economic cooperation, Dr. Pundak established relationships with Palestinian leaders. He became an intermediary between Palestinian and Israeli political leaders who had not yet held official meetings. Dr. Pundak is Executive Director of the Peres Center for Peace, which sponsors grassroots programs for Israeli and Palestinian peace and cooperation. Dr. Pundak was also part of the core group behind the Geneva Initiative, a non-governmental plan for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement written by Israeli and Palestinian civillian leaders and politicians.

Residence
Tel Aviv
Place of birth
Ofakim
Year of Birth
1972
Profession
Creating and enabling possibilities for encounters and personal growth
Organization
Formerly of the Sulha Peace Project
Identity
Jewish Arab
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese
Date of Interview
11/2009

Interviewer
Anat Langer-Gal

"I am responsible for creating change. Once I start working and stop sitting around complaining, that’s when significant change will occur."

Elad Vazana was born in the southern development town of Ofakim. Elad is an artist, an educator, an experienced mediator and facilitator; he develops curricula for facilitation, initiates and facilitates social change. He has been involved in dialogue for many years. His extensive experience facilitating Israeli-Palestinian dialogue meetings for youth led him to be one of the managers of the Sulha Peace Project, where Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians meet and build mutual trust. Elad is currently working independently to promote peace-related activity and empower institutions and individuals working for social change.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
California
Year of Birth
1970
Organization
The Sulha Peace Project, Jerusalem Peacemakers, Middleway
Identity
Israeli Jew
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew, Arabic
Date of Interview
03/2004

04/2005
Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"I try to hold the whole picture, and that includes the experience of the hilltop youth and the right-wing settlers, and the experience of the disenfranchised refugee and the Palestinian who supports Hamas. That seems like an almost impossible place to be politically— where does that leave you? But I think that's where my spiritual roots come in, to somehow be able to hold all of that and then to organize meetings, events, projects that somehow connect to that."

Eliyahu McLean is engaged in interfaith work between Jewish, Christian and Muslim Israelis and Palestinians throughout Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. His work with many organizations and on an informal basis is focused on bringing together people of different backgrounds for the sake of fostering understanding. Eliyahu is one of the organizers of the Sulha Project, an anual three-day event attended by thousands of Israeli, Palestinian, and international participants who gather for the purpose of dialogue and reconciliation. Together with Aziz Bukhari, a Muslim Sufi Sheikh, and Abdul and Ibrahim Abuelhawa, Eliyahu founded The Jerusalem Peacemakers which brings together Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze religious leaders who seek to reclaim religion as a source for peace.

Residence
Kibbutz Shoval
Place of birth
Haifa, Israel
Year of Birth
1947
Profession
Mental Health Therapist
Organization
The Villages Group
Identity
Part of something larger
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English, a little Arabic
Date of Interview
06/2009

Interviewer
Anat Langer-Gal and Nahanni Rous

"I’ve learned the skills necessary for containing the paradoxes, pain, anger, absurdities and injustices, I do only what is possible, not what is impossible."

Erella Dunayevsky grew up in Haifa and lives on Kibbutz Shoval in the Negev, where she was raised, and is a mental health therapist. Erella helped found the “Villages Group”, a group of individuals working in villages in the Nablus area and South Hebron Hills according to their strengths and capacities. Erella works to strengthen relationships and ties between Palestinians and Israelis. In the past, she was part of a group of mental health professionals who worked with Israelis and Palestinians in Nablus and Gaza.

Residence
Sderot
Place of birth
New York
Year of Birth
1965
Profession
Computer expert
Organization
Other Voice, The Center for Emerging Futures
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew
Date of Interview
06/2009

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous and Anat Langer-Gal

"Regarding those people who say this isn’t the time [for working with Palestinians in Gaza], there is no such thing. It’s never the right time, and yet it is always the right time."

Eric Yellin lives in Sderot. Together with other citizens of the Sderot area and the Gaza Strip, Eric helped found Other Voice, which promotes hope and nonviolence. Eric is also the Israeli coordinator of the Center for Emerging Futures, where Israelis and Palestinian create partnerships in various fields. Eric writes a blog with a Palestinian friend in Gaza, addressing and reflecting the conflict’s effects on the lives of civilians in Sderot and Gaza without the media’s intervention. In their joint blog, Eric is Hope Man.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Germany
Year of Birth
1924
Organization
Interfaith Encounter Association
Identity
Jewish Israeli Zionist Holocaust survivor
Languages spoken
Yiddish, German, Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
02/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"I don't think [interfaith work] is rare. But it's not interesting for the newspapers, because when we meet it's not a conflict, so why write about it? When we shoot each other it immediately gets into the news."

As a young girl, Ester Golan escaped from Nazi Germany and lived in an orphanage in England. Her parents were killed in the Holocaust. In 1945 she immigrated to Palestine three years before the state of Israel was established. Ester first became involved in inter-religious meetings in Haifa in the 1970s. Now a great-grandmother living in Jerusalem, she actively continues to participate in interfaith dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian Muslims, Christians and Jews. One of her grandsons was killed as a soldier in Jenin in April 2002.

Residence
Bethlehem
Place of birth
Bethlehem
Year of Birth
1962
Profession
High School Principal
Organization
Bereaved Families Forum
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, English
Date of Interview
03/2005

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"The hardest part was to meet with people from the other side despite all the pain they caused us. It was difficult to clear our hearts of hatred, have a clear conscience and face the other side with forgiveness. It isn't easy to control ourselves; this requires strong determination, deep belief and a high level of forgiveness."

Three years ago in Bethlehem, George Sa'adeh, his wife Najwa and their two daughters were driving home from the supermarket. Israeli soldiers opened fire on their car, killing twelve-year-old Christine. Less than a year later, George joined hundreds of other Palestinian and Israeli families in the Bereaved Families Forum who work together for reconciliation and against violence and occupation. He is a school principal in Beit Sahour and recently became the deputy mayor of Bethlehem. George Sa'adeh is featured in Just Vision's documentary film, Encounter Point; to view one of his scenes, please press here.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Long Island, New York
Year of Birth
1956
Profession
Professional Practioner in Negotiations, Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking
Organization
IPCRI (Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information)
Identity
Israeli
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew, Arabic
Date of Interview
05/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"It was important for me to know that there was a starting point for Israelis and Palestinians to talk to each other that was based on the possibility of mutual recognition, not one on the account of the other, and not one in the place of the other... I always believed that the basis for coexistence is existence, that you can't have coexistence if one side is wiped off the map."

Gershon Baskin moved to Israel from the United States in the late 1970s. He worked with Jews and Arabs within Israel until the first intifada, when he began promoting dialogue and opportunities for cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. He is the founder of IPCRI, a jointly-run Israeli and Palestinian think tank that works with hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians in government and the private sector. IPCRI was first based in Jerusalem, and in the late 1990s moved its offices to Bethlehem. Because of current travel restrictions, IPCRI has relocated to Tantur, near Jerusalem and next to the main Bethlehem checkpoint, in an effort to find an accessible and comfortable meeting place for Israelis and Palestinians.

February 2012. Gershon is coming to the US and Canada on a cross-country speaking tour. If you would like to invite him to speak on your campus or with your community, please contact him here.

Residence
Tel Aviv
Year of Birth
1963
Organization
EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
12/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"Dialogue for dialogue's sake is part of peace building. But if you're also able to have dialogue that shows real on-the-ground, concrete change, then you're more empowered to respond to the critics, because there are so many critics, and the critics are very powerful."

Gidon Bromberg is an environmentalist who works to promote peace and sustainable development through environmental education. He is Executive Director of EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East, which has offices in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. The organization works on policy and at the grassroots level, with a major focus on water resources. In one of the organization's cross-border projects, communities of Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians work together to learn about and protect their shared natural water source.

Visit Just Vision's Newsroom to see Gidon's TedxYale Talk!

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Iselin, New Jersey
Year of Birth
1946
Profession
Peace and Human Rights Activist
Organization
Women in Black
Identity
Feminist, Peace Activist
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew
Date of Interview
04/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"My message is that ending the Occupation is better for Israel, let alone better for Palestinians. If people are really interested in the welfare of Israel and Palestine, they will find a way to force us to negotiate a peace that works for both sides."

Gila Svirsky is an activist and feminist, and became a leader in the Israeli peace movement following the outbreak of the first intifada in the late 1980s. She is a co-founder of the Coalition of Women for Peace, a consortium of peace organizations whose activities range from monitoring checkpoints, organizing demonstrations and vigils, and recently, organizing "reality tours" of the Wall for Israelis. Gila has been active with the New Israel Fund, B'Tselem, Kol HaIsha and other organizations addressing inequality both within Israel and across the Green Line.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Jerusalem
Year of Birth
1975
Profession
Researcher and Activist
Organization
Peace Now
Identity
Jewish
Languages spoken
Hebrew, Arabic, English
Date of Interview
01/2010

12/2010
Interviewer
Leora Gal and Irene Nasser

"Public action is much more important, and in terms of democracy, even more powerful than legal means. The public is supposed to scream and the government should be afraid of that happening. That’s really what we’re trying to do."

Born in Jerusalem and raised in a politically-minded, Orthodox family, Hagit Ofran avidly studied and was concerned with the history and identity of the Israeli and Jewish people. Today, she is the Director of Peace Now’s Settlement Watch team, where she coordinates the most comprehensive independent database on settlements, collects and publishes reports regarding settlement development and policy and has been involved in providing evidence for several appeals, the majority of which deal with illegal settlement and outpost construction.

Residence
Baka el-Gharbiya
Place of birth
Baka el-Gharbiya
Year of Birth
1947
Profession
Economist
Organization
Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development
Identity
Arab Israeli
Languages spoken
Arabic, Hebrew
Date of Interview
02/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"If we can integrate the abilities of these two peoples it will be a wonderful integration. I have not doubt this is the solution and it cannot be otherwise. I do not see a black future. I do not see that these peoples will destroy each other, rather that within twenty years they will build an economy that will be glorious, not just glorious—it will also contribute to all of humanity."

Helmi Kittani is an economist who worked for over 20 years in a senior position in one of Israel's largest banks. In 1992 he became the Executive Director of the Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development, where he works to strengthen the economy in the Arab sector in Israel, and to build business partnerships between Jews and Palestinians both within Israel and across the Green Line.

Residence
Tel Aviv
Place of birth
Brooklyn, NY
Year of Birth
1942
Profession
Writer, editor
Organization
Palestine-Israel Journal
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew
Date of Interview
06/2006

08/2006
Interviewer
Nahanni Rous and Joline Makhlouf

"There is tremendous resonance when people hear that even in the darkest times we are still meeting and dealing with these issues, and there are Israelis and Palestinians ready to work together. It projects the fact that there is still hope and possibility. The average person is busy going about his daily life. Not everybody is in a position to devote time and energy to what I consider to be the primary challenge of our generation: achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians."

Hillel Schenker is the co-editor of the English language journal, the Palestine-Israel Journal. Each of the journal's four yearly editions explores a central theme in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through articles by Palestinian and Israeli writers. Hillel was a co-founder of the Peace Now Movement, and previously served as an editor of New Outlook Magazine.

Residence
Bethlehem
Place of birth
Deheishe Refugee Camp
Year of Birth
1973
Profession
School Administrator
Organization
Hope Flowers School
Languages spoken
Arabic, English, Dutch
Date of Interview
03/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous and Joline Makhlouf

"We summarize our work here in three words: peace, freedom, education. Our aim is to create a generation here who lives entirely in democratic freedom with our neighbors. And this is what we want, to be free like all the other people in the world, to participate in creating this generation."

In 2001, Ibrahim Issa returned from living in the Netherlands to become Acting Director of the Hope Flowers School after his father, the school's founder, passed away. Hope Flowers School in El Khader near Bethlehem, teaches democracy, peace and coexistence. It was the first school in the West Bank to teach Hebrew. Prior to the second intifada, Hope Flowers participated in many exchanges with Israeli students and teachers, but these have been put on hold due to travel restrictions. Hope Flowers School is currently engaged in a legal battle with the Israeli Army over a demolition order regarding its school cafeteria. Ibrahim lives in Bethlehem with his wife and children.

Born in Faradis, a village near Haifa, Ibtisam Mahameed was one of the first women to leave the village to seek an education. A devout Muslim, she works with many groups that promote interfaith dialogue and nonviolence, including the Interfaith Encounter Association and the Golden Road. Ibtisam is deeply committed to strengthening the role of women in society, and was the first woman to run for mayor of her hometown. She recently received the "Unsung Heroes of Compassion" award from the Dalai Lama in San Francisco, CA.  The award honors 50 individuals from across the globe for their work, commitment and dedication to the service of others.  For an interview with Ibtisam produced by the Global Oneness Project, click here.

Residence
Ramallah
Place of birth
Kuwait
Year of Birth
1958
Profession
Actress
Organization
Arab-Hebrew Theatre in Jaffa
Languages spoken
Arabic, French, English
Date of Interview
02/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"First it was curiosity. Curiosity to know the other. I have to know him. Who's that? Who are they? So this was the first thing— it wasn't about peace. Although I came to Ramallah with Oslo in 1994, I suffered a lot at the hands of the Israelis, especially in Lebanon. We were in Beirut when Sharon invaded and I was alone with my daughter. My husband spent his life fighting the Israelis, and he died for it. It's not so easy to make a 360-degree change. It has to be process, that's what I believe."

Ihsan Turkiyyeh is an actress and comedian with Palestinian Television. She has participated in numerous joint projects with Israelis and Palestinians, and currently works with the Arab-Hebrew Theatre in Jaffa. Along with a group of Israeli and Palestinian actors, Ihsan performs Viewpoints, a series of vignettes about the conflict, in schools throughout Israel and East Jerusalem. The daughter of Palestinian refugees, Ihsan grew up in Lebanon before moving to Ramallah.

Place of birth
Budrus
Year of Birth
1988
Profession
Medical Student
Organization
Community Organizer, Budrus
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, English, Croatian
Date of Interview
12/2009

Interviewer
Rula Salameh

"I believe in nonviolence and peaceful resistance even more because it helped us achieve something… Large amounts of land were supposed to be confiscated from the people of Budrus but because of these demonstrations they were only able to take a small portion of the lands that they planned to take, and they moved the Wall to the Green Line… Any theory needs to be tested and if it succeeds that means it is effective."

At the age of 15, Iltezam launched a women's contingent part of the unarmed movement in Budrus.  She was the first villager to succeed in getting past the Israeli border police and stopping a bulldozer.  Her fearlessness galvanized the entire village and affirms the importance of women in the movement. The demonstrations in Budrus marked the first time that Iltezam, like most of the village’s youth, met Israelis who were not soldiers or settlers.  Watch interviews of Iltezam in Just Vision's film, Budrus.

Residence
Zababde, Jenin
Place of birth
Saudi Arabia
Year of Birth
1983
Profession
Student
Organization
Building Bridges for Peace
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, English
Date of Interview
10/2004

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"At last I gave in, not because I wanted to listen but because I became curious. If they wanted to talk, so be it. I didn't have to understand or feel their pain; I would just listen if they wanted to talk. When they started talking, I realized that they were saying the same things I say only from a different perspective."

Inas Radwan studies hospital management at the American University of Jenin. For the last three years, she has been involved with Building Bridges for Peace, a program which brings young Palestinian, Israeli and American women together for a summer camp in the United States. At home, the Palestinians and Israelis continue to meet through year-long follow-up programs. Inas has been a participant, a leader in training, and a counselor at the camp.

Residence
Beit Hanina
Place of birth
Kabul, Israel
Year of Birth
1976
Profession
social worker, therapist and lecturer
Organization
Bimkom
Identity
Arab Palestinian, citizen of the State of Israel
Languages spoken
Arabic, Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
01/2007

11/2008
Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf and Leora Gal

"People want to live, even while they wait for the issue of Jerusalem to be resolved. Health and quality of life are linked with a solution."

Ismaeel Hamoud works with Bimkom, an organization which seeks to make community participation and human rights a central part of urban planning. Bimkom provides legal advocacy, planning consultancy and educational materials to communities and political leaders to promote planning rights. Ismaeel works primarily in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, where he is the liaison between the community and Bimkom.

Residence
Moshav Aminadav
Place of birth
Ramat Hasharon
Year of Birth
1980
Profession
Tour guide at Yad Vashem (Holocaust memorial), guitarist
Organization
Combatants for Peace
Identity
Israeli
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English, Spanish
Date of Interview
01/2006

Interviewer
Leora Gal

"We view the Palestinians and ourselves as having fought for useless things. We struggle for security but simultaneously prevent it; they are struggling for a state but the suicide attacks prevent that; we are in transition to a state of refraining from violence."

After Itamar Shapira finished his military service in 2002, he joined Shovrim Shtika, a group of army reservists seeking to raise Israeli public awareness about the occupation's effect on soldiers and Palestinians. Later, Itamar joined his older brothers in Combatants for Peace, a joint organization of Israelis and Palestinians who formerly took part in the armed struggle and who are dedicated to non-violence and dialogue. Itamar and his colleagues draw on their respected status as former combatants in demanding their respective societies' attention to the possibility of ending the conflict. Itamar is studying to be a tour guide and works at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Nazareth
Year of Birth
1975
Organization
Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Ta'ayush, Coalition of Women for Peace, Bat Shalom
Identity
Palestinian citizen of Israel
Languages spoken
Arabic, Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
02/2005

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"As Palestinians inside Israel we have a big role in the conflict and should be the link between the two sides. We should be more active because we are part of a society that struggles for its freedom and at the same time we are citizens of Israel. We enjoy the geographical position and the unique possibility to be part of a pioneering leadership for a better future and real peace. We speak two languages and have two voices."

Khulood Badawi became active in the struggle to secure the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel in the 1990s when she was a student at the University of Haifa. She is involved on a leadership level in many Jewish-Palestinian organizations in Israel which hold meetings, demonstrations, and seek to raise awareness about Palestinian realities on both sides of the Green Line. As a field researcher for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Khulood consolidates information about appeals to the Israeli Supreme Court concerning the wall.

Residence
Ramat Hasharon
Place of birth
Vienna, Austria
Year of Birth
1936
Profession
Educator, Lecturer in English Literature
Organization
Folklore of the Other
Identity
Jewish-Israeli
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew, German, French, a little Arabic
Date of Interview
09/2005

Interviewer
Leora Gal

"If you want to have real dialogue and real peace, it is very important to be confident enough to stand there and say, I am Jewish, I am Israeli, and you are Muslim or you are Christian or Orthodox or Catholic, Armenian, or Palestinian. It is very important to establish where we come from and not say, 'I am an Israeli woman who wants peace so I am willing to give up my narrative.'"

Kitty O. Cohen immigrated from post-war Europe to the newly established State of Israel in 1948 when she was twelve years old. After studying in the United States, Kitty took part in various dialogue experiences between Israelis and Palestinians during the late 1980's, including the Interfaith Association in Israel, and went on to design programs focusing on therapuetic aspects of dialogue. Later, Kitty established a project focusing on the importance of art for dialogue and peace; she now works with elementary schoolchildren on both sides of the Green Line through theatre and painting projects. The joint exhibition entitled Children of Jerusalem Painting Pain Dreaming Peace opened in Jerusalem in 2004 and is now a travelling exhibit.

Residence
Tel Aviv
Place of birth
Kibbutz Barkai
Year of Birth
1971
Profession
Mathematician
Organization
Anarchists Against the Wall
Identity
Jewish Israeli
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English, a little Arabic
Date of Interview
01/2005

08/2009
Interviewer
Nahanni Rous; Anat Langer-Gal and Irene Nasser

"Even ten Israelis at a demonstration can make a real difference. We know from the army's own declarations that their open fire regulations change as soon as they think there are Israelis around. For example, they are not to use live fire when there are Israelis around, and they are not to fire rubber bullets in a direction where they think there are Israelis."

Kobi Snitz is active in demonstrating in solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank. His primary activity consists of joining other Israelis in supporting Palestinian-led nonviolent protests in villages harmed by the planned or existing separation barrier. Kobi first became an activist as a student in Canada and the United States, where he participated in organizing a graduate student union and joined the anti-war movement during the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Residence
Yerucham
Place of birth
Jerusalem
Year of Birth
1951
Profession
Teacher
Organization
Machsom Watch, Oz V'Shalom/Netivot Shalom, Darom4Peace, Mirkam Ezory
Identity
Religious Jew
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English, French
Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"It is possible to find religious sources and religious role models and historic precedents for religion to be an extremely important tool for making inroads for peace, for coexistence, for human rights, for social justice. People must feel empowered."

Leah Shakdiel was raised in a religious Zionist home in Israel. After a brief interest in what was later the settler movement Gush Emunim, Leah moved to the southern town of Yerucham with a group of young religious idealists and continues to live there with her family. She is active in many different contexts referring to the conflict: Oz V’Shalom/Netivot Shalom – the religious peace movement, MachsomWatch, Darom4Peace (South for Peace) and Mirkam Ezory (literally, regional texture) - a local organization in Yerucham working to promote the rights of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Rahme.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Year of Birth
1952
Profession
Clerk and administrator
Organization
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
Identity
A person who is Israeli
Languages spoken
Spanish, Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
06/2005

Interviewer
Leora Gal and Nahanni Rous

"I believe in the concept of a "critical mass." Every person actively participating will at some point become part of a critical mass, which will then take hold. I can't claim that by saving any one house I've greatly contributed to advancing peace. I do believe that our work, if joined by scores of people and other organizations, can achieve a critical mass, and that will lead to favorable political change."

The focus of Meir Margalit's work is fighting the Israeli government policy and practice of demolishing Palestinian-owned homes. His goal is to increase prospects for peace by working cooperatively with Israelis and Palestinians for social justice and an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. Meir immigrated to Israel with a right-wing Zionist youth group, and founded a Jewish settlement in Gaza during his army service in the 1970s. He fought and was wounded in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. He remembers his recovery period as a turning point, during which he began to feel that his ideology valued land over people's lives. He subsequently became active in Israeli left-wing politics. Meir served as council member in the Jerusalem Municipality for twenty years before devoting himself to non-profit, peace-oriented organizations.

Residence
Tel Aviv
Place of birth
Philadelphia
Year of Birth
1953
Profession
Opera singer, actress, director, administrator
Organization
Peace Child Israel
Identity
Jewish-American-Israeli
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew
Date of Interview
05/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"Peace in the political context here means two states, it means fair and just minority-majority relationships, it means the other side of a long process of acknowledging an injustice that took place, and going through a process that allows everyone to be able to let go of the past without feeling they've compromised their integrity."

Through Peace Child Israel, Melisse Lewine-Boskovich uses theater and the arts as a tool to foster dialogue between Jewish and Palestinian teenagers throughout Israel and East Jerusalem. Using a group process of creating dramatic pieces, the teenagers engage in dialogue about the conflict and their experiences living in it. The theater pieces are performed in Arabic and Hebrew for students and the public. In the late 1960s and early 70s, Melisse was a member of the radical Jewish Defense League, founded by Meir Kahane. Through a process of change that she says included becoming a mother and beginning to dialogue with Palestinians, she came to believe in and work for coexistence.

Residence
Tel Aviv
Place of birth
Jerusalem
Year of Birth
1972
Profession
Lawyer
Organization
Human Rights Defenders Fund
Identity
Jewish human rights activist in Israel
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
07/2011

Interviewer
Anat Langer-Gal

“There are serious things taking place here, things that are done in my name, things that I am responsible for not only because they are done in my name, but because I pay taxes, vote in the elections, because I’m part of this collective called the State of Israel. I can’t live in peace and I can’t sleep at night if I am not . . . struggling against these things. Here I belong and here I am responsible.”

Born into a politically engaged family with very clear positions on human rights and democracy, today, Michael Sfard is a dedicated international human rights lawyer and activist. He represents Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations, communities, committees and individuals. Sfard's cases deal directly with the Occupation, and range from those dealing with the route of the Separation Barrier to defending conscientious objectors and Palestinian prisoners.

 

Residence
Be'er Sheva
Place of birth
Karmiel
Year of Birth
1980
Profession
Student of Politics and Government
Organization
Young Israeli Forum for Cooperation
Identity
Jewish Israeli
Languages spoken
Hebrew, Spanish, English
Date of Interview
11/2005

Interviewer
Leora Gal

"We were raised on this conflict and its myths; we were told what is true and what isn't, who is right and who isn't. This goes for both sides, and now it's difficult to repair things. We were raised on history as it is in the eyes of our teachers and it takes time to begin to think in a different way-- maybe it doesn't necessarily have to be this way, maybe things can be fixed."

Michal Eskenazi is a coordinator at the Young Israeli Forum for Cooperation. YIFC promotes dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, and encourages young leaders and professionals in Israel to participate in conflict resolution and policymaking. Originally from Karmiel, Michal has volunteered in various organizations in the past, and is currently a student of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva.

Residence
Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam
Place of birth
Jerusalem
Year of Birth
1959
Profession
Political Educator
Organization
The School for Peace
Identity
Israeli Jewish woman of mixed western and eastern backround, non-Zionist, educator
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
05/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"[My work] is not going to stop the bulldozers. It won't do that. But I researched the roots of the change in South Africa, and from a few articles I read [about the transition to democracy], I realized there were always groups that engaged in dialogue and cooperation, and white people who joined in the black people's struggle... And in that sense, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, actions are meaningful."

Michal Zak heads the facilitation training program at the School for Peace, a conflict resolution program in the unique mixed Palestinian and Jewish village of Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam [Oasis of Peace] in Israel. With other members of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, she is also involved in providing medical aid and supplies to nearby Palestinian villages. Michal has lived and worked in this intentional community since the early 1980s.

Residence
Bethlehem
Place of birth
Bethlehem
Year of Birth
1960
Profession
Water Engineer
Organization
Water and Environmental Development Organization, Friends of the Earth Middle East
Languages spoken
Arabic, English, basic Hebrew
Date of Interview
08/2006

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"The daily deterioration of the environment is what drives our work. Environmental issues can't be put off until a regional understanding and a peace agreement are reached. Widespread pollution is still taking place in many areas, and in a few years the land we have been fighting over for hundreds of years will become inhospitable."

Nader Khatib's work focuses on the protection of natural resources as a basis for prosperity and stability in the Middle East.  An emphasis of his work is the scarce resource of clean water, the preservation of which requires the cooperation of Palestinian, Israeli and Jordanian authorities.

Residence
Deheishe Refugee Camp
Place of birth
Bethlehem
Year of Birth
1966
Profession
Journalist
Organization
Maan News, Bethlehem Television
Languages spoken
Arabic, Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
06/2005

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"If you are looking for reasons to wage war, you won't find them on my program, nor will you find ideas for short-term strategies. From my show, you will acquire ideas that change you into a responsible person, into a leader."

Nasser Laham was born and raised in Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem and is the Chief Editor at Ma'an News Agency in Bethlehem. He anchors a daily TV news program which translates the Hebrew evening news into Arabic for Palestinian audiences. Nasser promotes responsible media coverage of the conflict through humanizing the subjects of the news and reporting on both sides' reactions to events. Nasser served multiple prison sentences in Israeli jails during the first intifada before becoming a journalist.

Residence
Tulkarm Refugee Camp
Place of birth
Tulkarm Refugee Camp
Year of Birth
1968
Organization
Combatants for Peace, Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy (MEND)
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
06/2007

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf and Rula Salameh

"I totally reject normalization, and am not prepared to sit down with an Israeli just to make him look good in front of the world. I am prepared to meet with Israelis who sympathize with me and believe in ending the Occupation... We should first end the Occupation and then look at living and working together."

Nur El Deen Shehada was brought up in the Tulkarm Refugee Camp and was imprisoned for his participation in the first intifada. Shehada became disillusioned with the violent nature of the second Iintifada and began searching for alternate ways to resist the Occupation. He joined Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy, and later Combatants for Peace, which both advocate nonviolent protest of the Occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Residence
Tel Aviv
Place of birth
Petach Tikvah
Year of Birth
1972
Profession
Lawyer
Organization
Former consultant to the Bereaved Families' Forum
Identity
Tries to balance the rational & emotional
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
03/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"I had just spent a year studying what was done in Sri Lanka, in Argentina, in South Africa, in Rwanda—all these places where people negotiated the past in different ways that were in sharp contrast to what was done here with regard to the Oslo process. So for me it was very clear that I should give up my lawyering skills for a bit and try to do something else."

Ofer Shinar studied and subsequently taught law and human rights at Tel Aviv University after his mandatory service in the Israeli army. In 2001-2002, he studied with South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation leader, Alex Boraine, at New York University. He returned to Israel to help the Bereaved Families' Forum explore the idea and process of reconciliation and to serve as an independent advisor and researcher on Transitional Justice. Today, Ofer is writing his Doctoral Dissertation at the Federmann School of Public Policy and Government at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem while teaching at both Hebrew University and Sapir College in Sderot.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Iran
Year of Birth
1973
Organization
Ir Amim, formerly of All For Peace Radio
Identity
Jewish Israeli of Iranian origin
Languages spoken
Farsi, Hebrew, English, some Arabic
Date of Interview
05/2004

Interviewer
Nahanni Rous

"We know so much more about what is going on in America than in any given place on earth, and we don't know anything about those who really live next door. So for me that is really the number one task of what we are trying to accomplish."

When she was nine years old, Orly Noy immigrated to Israel from Iran during Iran's Islamic revolution. Now the spokesperson of Ir Amim, she was the Hebrew language host and producer at All For Peace radio, a station with a staff of Israelis and Palestinians. Before joining All for Peace radio, Orly worked providing care for mentally disabled people and the elderly. She and her husband have two children, and their oldest daughter attends the bi-lingual school, where Israeli and Palestinian children are taught in Arabic and Hebrew.

Residence
Bethlehem
Place of birth
Sureef, Hebron district
Year of Birth
1954
Profession
Co-Director of PRIME and professor at Bethlehem University
Organization
PRIME (Peace Research Institute in the Middle East)
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, English
Date of Interview
01/2005

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"Through our analysis of Palestinian and Israeli curricula, we have found that both sides tell one-sided stories. I am not saying that the Palestinians wrote their narrative, however, as this was the narrative presented in the school curriculum written by the Jordanians and Egyptians. There is not even a proposition to listen to the other's story or learn about how the other thinks. Another issue is that neither curricula pays attention to the eras of peace and co-existence that once existed between Palestinians and Jews. Rather, both curricula are limited to discussing wars, immigration, revolutions and attacks."

Through his work with PRIME, Sami Adwan is pioneering an educational model that enables both Palestinian and Israeli educators to create school history curricula that includes both historical narratives in a single textbook. Sami was born in a village north of Hebron and finished his PhD. in the United States. He has published widely on the role of education in peacebuilding. His encounter with Israeli soldiers while in prison for being a member of Fatah during the first intifada made him realize that denial and avoidance would not help to improve the situtation, but rather discovering the other.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Erie, Pennsylvania
Year of Birth
1959
Profession
Rabbi, human rights worker
Organization
Rabbis for Human Rights
Identity
A human being - Judaism is my bridge to reality
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew, Arabic
Date of Interview
11/2009

Interviewer
Anat Langer-Gal

"You have to have a shield of sorts. And if the shield is nonexistent or too thin, you are not going to make it, you are going to go to pieces. And if it is too thick you will lose your passion."

Rabbi Arik Ascherman is the Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights Israel. Rabbis for Human Rights advocates for human rights and social justice based on a humanistic interpretation of Judaism. The organization struggles against Israeli expropriation of Palestinian-owned lands, house demolitions, and settler takeovers of land, as well as advocates for social welfare rights for participants in Israel's Wisconsin Plan and others of its kind. The organization is also engaged in the struggle against discrimination of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, and particularly in Sheikh Jarrah.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Israel
Year of Birth
1954
Profession
Rabbi
Organization
Rabbis for Human Rights
Identity
Jewish, Woman, Israeli
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English, Arabic
Date of Interview
05/2007

12/2009
Interviewer
Leora Gal and Anat Langer-Gal

“It didn’t come down with Moses from Mount Sinai and it isn’t something that Mohammad brought – it is in the hands of human beings. I would like each side to recognize the legitimacy of the other side to live on at least part of its national dream and accept a compromise. There is no other choice."

Nava Hefetz is the Director of Education at Rabbis for Human Rights. In her role, she works with Israeli communities to expose them to the reality of the Occupation, examining its repercussions from a Jewish-universal standpoint. Nava also coordinates an Israeli-Palestinian womens group that meets in Jerusalem.

Residence
Ramallah
Place of birth
Yatta, Hebron District
Year of Birth
1972
Profession
Professor and Social Worker
Organization
Combatants for Peace
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, English
Date of Interview
06/2006

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"I have an honorable record within Palestinian society, which largely respects those who have fought and sacrificed for the national cause. This gave me the confidence to talk to people straight. I have greater influence in my community than someone with no history of resistance."

When he was in high school, Raed Hadar's close friend was killed by the Israeli army as they stood together during a demonstration in the first intifada. Raed later spent three years in an Israeli prison for his participation in attempting to build a bomb. Years later, after the beginning of the second intifada, a friend invited Raed to a gathering of Israelis and Palestinians, during which he met and spoke with Israelis who opposed the occupation of Palestinian territories.  At this gathering, he made a connection with an Israeli soldier who refused to further serve in the army, which led to the founding of Combatants for Peace, a group of former Palestinian militants and Israeli soldiers who renounce violence and promote reconciliation.

Residence
Jerusalem
Place of birth
Jerusalem
Year of Birth
1969
Organization
International Peace and Cooperation Center (IPCC)
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, English, Hebrew
Date of Interview
08/2004

01/2005
Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"If you are an architect you should know how to use architecture to create change. If you come from the field of communications and media, you should know how to use your profession as a tool for change. The same is true for all the other professions."

Rami Nasrallah's work focuses on strengthening Palestinian civil society and addressing the implications of political agreements on all aspects of life for Palestinians and Israelis, with a focus on Jerusalem. In addition to heading the International Peace and Cooperation Center in Jerusalem, Rami is a research associate at the University of Cambridge, and lectures frequently in Europe, the United States and Canada. He has written and edited several books about Jerusalem.

Residence
Tel Aviv
Place of birth
Johannesburg, South Africa
Year of Birth
1943
Profession
Public Relations
Organization
Parents Circle - Bereaved Families Forum
Languages spoken
English, Hebrew, Afrikaans
Date of Interview
11/2005

Interviewer
Leora Gal

"Instead of channeling it into revenge, the people in our group have chosen another direction for their pain. The pain breaks down barriers very quickly between Palestinians and Israelis in the group. There's a sense of trust. It's not hummus and hugs— it's much deeper than that; it's acknowledgement and empathy, which happen much faster than in a normal meeting between a Palestinian and an Israeli because we recognize each other immediately through the pain."

Robi Damelin's son David was killed by a Palestinian sniper while he was guarding a checkpoint near a settlement during his army reserve service. Robi is an active member of a group of 500 Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost close family members and who work together for reconciliation and a just resolution to the conflict. She speaks with a Palestinian partner in communities and schools throughout Israel and the Palestinian Territories, as well as internationally. Robi Damelin is featured in Just Vision's documentary film, Encounter Point; a scene about her work is available here.

Visit Just Vision's Newsroom to see Robi on Fox News! 

Residence
Tel Aviv
Place of birth
Moshav Avigdor
Year of Birth
1957
Profession
Peace Education
Organization
Windows
Identity
Israeli
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English, Arabic
Date of Interview
12/2003

11/2006
Interviewer
Nahanni Rous, Leora Gal and Joline Makhlouf

"I think that one day history will judge the role of media in our time of war, and what an important role it plays in making wars happen. The media lets people believe that wars are possible— leads them to believe that it is the right solution, and the only solution. People don't know enough about other solutions. But then it will be too late for a lot of people."

Rutie Atsmon is the founder and director of Windows, a joint Israeli-Palestinians organization. Its goal is to promote understanding and reconciliation through educational and cultural programming. One of the organization's primary projects is a youth magazine in Arabic and Hebrew produced by Israeli and Palestinian children. Windows also distributes clothing and provides humanitarian aid to people in villages in the Tulkarm area. Rutie Atsmon is featured in Just Vision's documentary film, Encounter Point; a scene about Windows' work is available here.

Residence
Shu'fat Refugee Camp
Place of birth
Jerusalem
Year of Birth
1966
Profession
Documentary Filmmaker
Organization
Dialogue On The Road
Identity
Palestinian Refugee
Languages spoken
Arabic and English
Date of Interview
04/2004

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"Use words instead of swords... You can either beat me up and get what you want, or you can talk to me and get what you want, and more."

Salwa Abu Libdeh studied Arabic Literature and worked as a newspaper reporter before becoming a news anchor with the Palestinian Broadcasting Company. She worked on a joint Palestinian Israeli German project that made a documentary film about life on both sides of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

Residence
Bethlehem
Place of birth
United States
Year of Birth
1971
Profession
Executive Director
Organization
Holy Land Trust
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, English
Date of Interview
05/2007

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf and Rula Salameh

"We can't wait for someone to come and liberate us or give us a state; we need to fight to achieve such things. The method we use is nonviolence, because nonviolence is not only a means of resistance, but of individual empowerment and thus the empowerment of society to take initiative."

Inspired by his uncle Mubarak Awad's leadership in Palestinian nonviolent resistance, Sami Awad founded the Holy Land Trust in 1998 to promote Palestinian nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. Holy Land Trust initiatives include training workshops, participation in local nonviolent campaigns, and seeking increased media coverage for nonviolent resistance. Holy Land Trust also runs summer programs in which internationals live with host families in Bethlehem, study Arabic and volunteer with Palestinian organizations.

Residence
Hebron
Place of birth
Halhoul, Hebron
Year of Birth
1965
Profession
Director of the Society For Women in Hebron
Organization
Bereaved Families Forum
Identity
Palestinian
Languages spoken
Arabic, English
Date of Interview
06/2005

Interviewer
Joline Makhlouf

"The Palestinian people may be boiling, but inside they are very simple and interested in sharing the company of people whom they can trust. The people that engage in dialogue with Israelis are well respected among Palestinians. We aren't engaged in dialogue with Intelligence officers, we are engaged in dialogue with people who have lost their loved ones, were oppressed and have suffered from the Occupation."

During the first intifada while finishing her university studies, Sara Karajeh was imprisoned for five months in Israeli jail for resisting the occupation. Sara's husband, a member of the Palestinian Intelligence Service, was killed by the Israeli army during the second intifada. After her husband's death, Sara joined the Bereaved Families Forum, through which she works for understanding between Palestinians and Israelis and for nonviolent resolution to the conflict. Sara Karajeh is also the director of the Society for Women in Hebron which aims to elevate women's conditions in the city and surrounding rural areas.

Residence
Tel Aviv
Place of birth
New Jersey
Year of Birth
1975
Profession
Lawyer
Organization
Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement
Identity
Israeli
Languages spoken
Hebrew, English
Date of Interview
10/2009

Interviewer
Anat Langer-Gal

"I’ve learned the power of my counterparts on this path, seeing myself as part of a very large and extensive struggle, and I have no idea when and if it will end. There is something realistic in the realization I’m a part of something much larger."

Trained as a lawyer, Sari Bashi and Professor Kenneth Mann founded Gisha, an organization that utilizes direct legal assistance and public advocacy measures to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians. As Gisha's current Executive Director, Sari works to promote awareness of and sensitivity to human rights, challenging Israeli audiences, policy makers and thought leaders to recognize the great importance of ensuring those rights even during times of conflict. Gisha integrates new media with creative outreach methods and responds to the challenges collective security-oriented restrictions pose to the daily lives of civilians in Gaza.