Elad Vazana
Creating and enabling possibilities for encounters and personal growth
quote
"I am responsible for creating change. Once I start working and stop sitting around complaining, that’s when significant change will occur."

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Lives in: Tel Aviv Was born in: Ofakim Year of birth: 1972 Identity: Israeli, Jewish Type of work: Coexistence/Dialogue/Reconciliation Website: Sulha Peace Project Works at Formerly of the Sulha Peace Project Interviewer Anat Langer-Gal Date of Interview 2009

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.

Online articles

Havayati - a personal website

In your work at the Sulha Peace Project, what do you consider to be a small achievement?
Recently I visited a village in the West Bank in preparation of a Sulhita encounter for youths that is held every few months. There were about ten people and we sat in a listening circle. I remembered I’d been in that same village when I was a soldier, and I shared the experience of encountering the local when we came to make a few arrests. There was a woman next to me, and she had a very hard time listening to what I was saying. She didn’t talk to me, but I felt it was difficult for her to hear my story. I met her again a few weeks later and she told me that ever since I told the story she was feeling confused and frustrated. She said, “Soldiers killed my brother and arrested my parents, and made my life miserable. It was easy to hate them, but now I see your face in every soldier I see and think, maybe he’ll be like Elad, whom I appreciate and love.” That attests to the complexity here. At a meeting in Jordan for social activists from all over the Middle East, I talked about my military service and about serving in Lebanon. One of the women there told me it was hard to grasp that the soldiers she now meets could be charming and good in twenty years, like [me]. I wanted to tell her I was the same person then as I am now. I wasn’t the monster she saw, I was the soldier who thought this is what should be done.
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