On August 17, 2014, OneVoice Palestine launched its "Unity Campaign,” calling for an immediate end to violence and asking Palestinians to rally around their leadership, which seeks a just end to the conflict through the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.
OVP’s most active chapters in Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem, Qalqilia, Jericho, and Jenin handed out over 2,000 bumper stickers and counting with the campaign’s logo asking for the people’s support and a request to join in on the conversation online.
To begin to shift the political dynamic in Israel, OneVoice Israel launched the "Abbas Not Hamas" campaign on August 6, 2014, urging Israelis to take a fresh look at President Abbas’ non-violent, two-state agenda. The campaign’s message translated from Hebrew is as follows:
"Abbas or Hamas? It’s time we, the citizens of Israel, choose with whom we’re to speak and sign agreements. We have to be the ones who choose the moderates and reach agreements with them so we do not empower extremists. There is a partner for an agreement on the other side to end this cursed and horrific conflict, and his name is Mahmoud Abbas.
In the past month, Abbas has proven time and time again that he is against violence and for an agreement. We need to decide, on whose side are we on? Are our hands reaching for peace with the Palestinian people? Are we ready for compromises that will end the conflict once and for all? The alternative to Abbas is an endless cycle of violence."
OVI's “Peace, It Also Pays Off” campaign mobilizes everyday Israelis to propel their leaders toward the two-state solution by reminding them of what is at stake and of the choice Israel faces between continued conflict or a more secure and prosperous future.
The campaign, which began in April 2014, matches aggressive social media outreach with innovative billboard and bus stop ads throughout central Israel. “Peace, It Also Pays Off” asks Israelis to consider how they would rather spend 32 billion shekels—the amount the conflict costs Israel each year at the expense of social and economic programs.
In addition to the wider media campaign, OVI launched their first “Peace Pays Off at the Bar” - an expansion of "Peace, It Also Pays Off!" -at Tel Aviv’s The Little Prince on October 6. Over 70 young professionals packed bar to hear Col. (Ret.) Miri Eisin, a former Israeli communications officer, speak to the UN General Assembly speeches by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli relations with the Palestinians, and the media’s portrayal of the conflict. Each “Peace Pays Off at the Bar” event will feature an expert speaker to kick off the conversation.
Based on data and analysis from some of the most respected research institutions in Israel, including Netanya College, the Molad Center, and the Adva Center, “Peace, It Also Pays Off” highlights the positive impact an agreement with the Palestinians will have on the daily economic issues Israelis care about most—from affordable housing to food prices, from the job market to healthcare. “Peace, It Also Pays Off” challenges those Israelis who are frustrated with the stagnation in social and economic justice to make their voices heard, pressing for an agreement that ends the conflict and promotes a more prosperous future for their country.
Watch the kick-off when hundreds of our activists gathered in the Jordan Valley to raise a 1000-meter banner stitched together by OVP chapters in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, and Nablus.
When the Israeli government announced 1,400 tenders for settlement units just days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left the region in January 2014, OneVoice Israel not only condemned the move but launched an innovative campaign to urge Finance Minister Yair Lapid to back up his rhetorical support for peace with real action—ending financial transfers to the settlements and sending the money instead to deprived communities inside Israel. OneVoice Israel activists throughout Israel distributed 10,000 shekel notes with Lapid’s face, and called on him to stop financial transfers for settlement construction. This grassroots outreach was paired with an aggressive social media campaign, juxtaposing Lapid’s recent public comments in support of negotiations with a call to back those pledges with action.
January 14: OneVoice Israel demonstrated outside Lapid’s house, hung banners with the slogan “Yair, don’t run away from supporting the negotiations,” and distributed the first round of shekel notes.
January 18: OneVoice Israel youth leaders joined with hundreds of activists from other pro-peace organizations to demonstrate in traffic circles throughout Israel and distributed the shekel notes.
January 19: OneVoice activists in Jerusalem hung banners on the main road leading from the entrance of the city to the Knesset, and welcomed the ministers on the way to Sunday morning's cabinet meeting with the call for Lapid to uphold his commitment to support the negotiations.
January 22: Israel’s Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) reported that Finance Minister Yair Lapid pledged that he will not transfer any more money for new settlement construction--a direct result of the campaign. On the political front, MKs Shafir, Rozin, Horowitz, and Zandberg raised the issue with Lapid in the Knesset. Our high-impact social media campaign garnered the most “shared,” “viewed,” and “liked” posts generated by OVI’s Facebook page in the past year: 1,600 new likes, 174 shares, and over 117,000 people exposed to the campaign.
Our staff and Youth Leaders maintain regular contact with policymakers in the White House, the State Department and Congress—as well as with thought leaders across the political spectrum, from think tanks to advocacy organizations—to sustain support for activists’ bold work. We are a member of the Alliance for Middle East Peace and recently partnered with them to brief Congressional staffers on the importance of the U.S. supporting a return to negotiations.
In 2013, the U.S. Government awarded OneVoice Israel (OVI) and OneVoice Palestine (OVP) two parallel grants to launched innovative, multi-platform initiatives to combine our grassroots network with a dynamic media campaign to build public support and accountability for the current negotiations.
OneVoice has also participated in numerous conferences at the United Nations, including a U.N. Alliance of Civilizations conference in Doha and received their Intercultural Innovation Award in 2009. We are also a civil society member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and sustain a regular dialogue with many other U.N. agencies.
To find out more about the ongoing political work of OneVoice U.S., please contact Shaina Low.
OVE has regular contact with the British government and increasing links to other European governments and the European Union in Brussels, ensuring grassroots Palestinian and Israeli voices are heard in the corridors of power in Europe.
In 2013, OVE organized a debate in the House of Lords on the role of civil society organizations in promoting peace in Israel and Palestine, and two film screenings at Kings College London with panel discussions on the leadership roles of Arafat and Peres. OVE also participated in the 2013 Labor Party Conference, uniting friends of Israel and friends of Palestine to back the two-state solution.
As a member of the Quartet, the EU has an important role to play in helping to resolve the conflict. Our activists addressed a special session of the European Parliament in 2010, and delegations from the Parliament and Commission regularly meet with OneVoice staff and activists in Israel and Palestine. OVE also hosted a debate on the role of the EU in Israel-Palestine at the EU Commission’s representative office in London in 2013, receiving commendation from the Commission for our work in the region.
Amongst the hundreds of British and European politicians and policy makers OneVoice Europe has met and briefed on our work, some highlights have included former Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Quartet’s representative to the Middle East; former president of the European Parliament Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering; and EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Andreas Reinicke.
In 2011, OVE organized a policy debate at Chatham House with David Miliband and U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, George Mitchell. In 2011, Shadow Middle East Minister Stephen Twigg commended our work to the House of Commons, calling on Foreign Secretary William Hague to join him in recognizing the movement and its achievements. In early 2013, OneVoice Europe and its work was lauded by various members of the House of Lords—from all three parties—with Baroness Falkner saying the House owed OneVoice’s activists “a debt of gratitude” for their work.
OneVoice Europe regularly attends the Labor and Conservative Party conferences, briefing parliamentarians on OneVoice’s activities and running highly successful fringe events, where the work in the region can be highlighted to political audiences.
To find out more about the ongoing political work of OneVoice Europe, please contact John Lyndon.
Every year, OneVoice Europe brings British students together for a frank and open discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The aims of this program are to increase participants’ knowledge of the history and complexities that have led to the situation in Israel-Palestine, to equip potential young leaders to advocate a win-win approach, and to encourage pragmatic action toward the two-state solution.
A number of workshops are also held to teach skills and techniques such as non-violent communication, conflict resolution, and debating.
Feedback from students on the residential program:
“My understanding of the other side has increased.”
“I’m motivated to become more active.”
“I have more realization of the complexities and details.”
“There were some inspiring speakers.”
“I am motivated to pursue political career.”
“I’ve had my stereotypes broken.”
“I want to visit Israel-Palestine.”
“The program was targeted towards the right group of people who can
make a difference in the future.”
If you’d like to take part in the Student Residential Program:
For more information on our
Solutions not Sides educational program please click the following link: http://www.solutionsnotsides.co.uk
Learn more about OVE in their 2014 Annual Report.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (212)-897-3985, ext. 147
Please contact Executive Director John Lyndon at email@example.com or +44 (0)208-948-5221
Please contact Deputy Director Mara lee at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212)-897-3985, ext. 147
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