In March, OneVoice Europe undertook two successful tours in the East Midlands and London involving four speakers from Israel. It was a record breaking undertaking: almost 1,500 people participated in sessions and events.
As part of the Outreach and Education Program to combat anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim sentiment in British schools and communities, OneVoice speakers acted as a prime example of how young people can be actors for political change in their own societies using non-violent tactics. The forces of extremist violence and hatred on both sides, in addition to an asymmetry between the two parties, have long hampered progress towards a peace deal in the Middle East and have led to a continued status quo of occupation and fear. And yet, themselves the product of an intensive OneVoice skills-training program among Palestinian and Israeli young people, these activists inspired British teenagers with their call for equal rights, justice and freedom from occupation, and their efforts to overcome the voices of the fundamentalists in their respective societies.
The day of school sessions and community events in Derby was covered by BBC East Midlands, which included an interfaith event at Derby University, and a visit to the Jamia Mosque.
Highlights of the month’s events included class-time with students at the Madani High School in Leicester, and a welcoming evening event for the local community at the school. Concluding presentations by the Madani school students on possible solutions to the situation in Israel-Palestine showed the impact of the educational sessions. Students took a constructive stand for non-violence, voiced their support for ending the occupation, and advocated for security for all.
One female student spoke at length, saying: “The people need to move away from labels and start focusing on humanity and the sanctity of human life.”
At the end of March, the OneVoice team received a warm welcome from Muswell Hill Synagogue, with an intensive discussion event focusing on the outcome of the Israeli election, and the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the West Bank. Participants made it clear that extremists in government and at the grassroots level have been harnessing the agenda with aggression and fear mongering for far too long. One audience member commented after the event: “Thanks for introducing an excellent and focused discussion last night - what I took away most of all is that it's vital to continue to build on the ideas put forward, no matter how slim the thread of hope.”
These tours continue to demonstrate that OneVoice Europe is one of the only organisations on the world stage that is successfully facilitating direct discussion, actively engaging people of all faiths and creeds in the UK and Europe, and bringing Israeli and Palestinian voices to the forefront of the battle against prejudice.
OVE will continue its work in schools and communities during the summer, and follow up opportunities for young people aged between 18 and 25 will be made available later this year, with our volunteers’ program and our student residential course.
The application for the course is now open, for more information, contact Jess Brandler: firstname.lastname@example.org
We depend on donors like you to support our vital work to empower everyday Israelis and Palestinians to make the two-state solution a reality – showing them that peace is indeed possible and within reach. In furtherance of its mission, OneVoice conducts and supports charitable, educational, and advocacy-based projects and activities. The Movement is supported by PeaceWorks Foundation, a Section 501(c)(3) charitable organization, PeaceWorks Action, Inc., a Section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, and other individuals, charitable institutions, and advocacy organizations across the globe. Together with your important financial support, we are able to give our Youth Leaders the tools to take action and create a better future for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
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*OneVoice Europe is a registered U.K. charity, separate from the PeaceWorks Foundation and PeaceWorks Action, Inc. Its charity code is 1114114.
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Please contact Deputy Director Mara Lee at email@example.com (212)-897-3985, ext. 147
Please contact Executive Director John Lyndon at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)208-948-5221
Please contact Deputy Director Mara lee at email@example.com or (212)-897-3985, ext. 147
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