OneVoice - PeaceWorks Foundation

OneVoice is an international mainstream grassroots movement that aims to amplify and strengthen the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates, empowering them to demand their elected representatives achieve a two-state solution. The movement works to forge consensus for conflict resolution and build a human infrastructure capable of mobilizing the people toward a negotiated, comprehensive and permanent agreement between Israel and Palestine that ends the occupation, ensures security and peace for both sides, and solves all final-status issues in accordance with international law and previous bilateral agreements. OneVoice aims to give ordinary citizens a voice and direct role in resolving...

OneVoice - PeaceWorks Foundation
P.O. Box 1577-OCS
New York, NY 10113
United States
1 (212) 897- 3985 x 267
http://www.onevoicemovement.org

CEO

Howard Sumka

Project Leaders

Eve Margolis
Ivan Karakashian

Mission

OneVoice is an international mainstream grassroots movement that aims to amplify and strengthen the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates, empowering them to demand their elected representatives achieve a two-state solution. The movement works to forge consensus for conflict resolution and build a human infrastructure capable of mobilizing the people toward a negotiated, comprehensive and permanent agreement between Israel and Palestine that ends the occupation, ensures security and peace for both sides, and solves all final-status issues in accordance with international law and previous bilateral agreements. OneVoice aims to give ordinary citizens a voice and direct role in resolving the conflict that defines so much of their lives. As mass movements for political change sweep the Middle East, OneVoice continues to prepare Israelis and Palestinians to seize the agenda, not only to demand but also to implement genuine bottom-up change. Any peace agreement will be ineffective without populations ready to support it. Achieving a final status agreement is a challenging and complicated process, requiring extraordinary creativity and courage. OneVoice believes in the power of people to take part in the decision making process, demand accountability from their leaders, and create a historic change.

Programs

With support from the international offices in New York and London, most OneVoice programming takes place out of the parallel West Bank (Ramallah) and Israel (Tel Aviv) offices, where young people undergo intensive leadership training to run community campaigns. The independent offices in Israel and Palestine appeal to the national interests of their own societies, with credentials enabling them to unite people across the religious and political spectrum. The program objectives are 1) to build a human infrastructure -- the next generation of moderate Israeli and Palestinian leaders; 2) to build consensus both within and across societies on the difficult compromises people will have to make to achieve peace ("citizen negotiations"); and 3) to mobilize people to take concrete steps toward resolving the conflict, including putting pressure on their political leaders. The Palestinian and Israeli Youth Leaders undergo intensive training in OneVoice core principles of non-violent, democratic conflict resolution, as well as in practical leadership skills. Then these young leaders engage people in their communities in various ways, from town hall meetings to sit-ins to catchy Facebook campaigns. Youth Leadership Program The Youth Leadership Program, which was launched in November 2004, has become the heart of the movement. OneVoice has built a human infrastructure of highly trained Palestinian and Israeli Youth Leaders, who serve as agents of change across their respective societies and as the driving force of the movement. Every one of them has affirmed OneVoice principles of non-violent activism in resolving the conflict. The Youth Leadership training consists of monthly workshops and seminars, regular local activities to raise awareness about OneVoice, and a professional speaker series bringing distinguished dignitaries and international leaders to engage the Youth Leaders. Training topics include public speaking and debating, conflict resolution, non-violence and protest, negotiation and persuasion, decision-making methods, and communication strategies. To date, OneVoice has engaged and trained over 4,000 Israeli and Palestinian young people. Through self-governed Youth Councils in Israel and Palestine, OneVoice Youth Leaders initiate and oversee virtually all of the movement's activities. Recognizing its ability to engage/empower people who are otherwise disenfranchised or apathetic, they utilize social media to amplify the impact of face-to-face community organizing. Town Hall Meetings Series OneVoice Youth Leaders plan and facilitate 2-3 Town Hall Meetings per month in both Israel and Palestine. Convening community members, students, political representatives, and the media, these meetings stimulate discussion and build consensus about how to resolve difficult final status issues, such as the status of Jerusalem and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel. They also educate the grassroots on the negotiations process. Further, the meetings serve as a powerful recruitment tool for activists, attracting local youth to enroll in leadership training and found OneVoice chapters in their communities. This approach has enabled OneVoice to gain the peoples' trust and build sustainable relationships at the grassroots level. Local leaders are often asked to give keynote presentations to open the town hall meeting, serving as both a draw for audience as well as a third party champion for the movement's work. Since May 2009, OneVoice has held over 100 Town Hall Meetings across Israel and Palestine. The Town Hall Meetings are unique in engaging the people affected most by the final status issues: asking Palestinian farmers in border territories and Israeli settlers to weigh in on potential land swaps; asking refugee camp residents to consider realistic terms of return to Israel for Palestinian refugees; bringing the topic of security arrangements to Sderot, an Israeli town frequently targeted by rocket attacks out of Hamas-ruled Gaza. The meetings also reinforce the platform's work bringing into the civic space the most marginalized communities on both sides. An example is OneVoice Palestine's recent work in Salfeet, a poor agrarian community in the shadow of Ariel, a large Israeli settlement, to which many local farmers have lost land. OneVoice ran an initial Town Hall Meeting in a difficult atmosphere, but was asked to come back repeatedly by members of the community for further activities, culminating in the founding of the newest OneVoice chapter. International Education Program Since 2004, the International Education Program has brought the voices of Israeli and Palestinian youth leaders to campuses and communities across the U.S. and Europe polarized by the conflict. During week-long speaking tours, Israeli and Palestinian Youth Leader pairs address large audiences, meet with student and community leaders, and exchange best practices in combating challenges that arise from the conflict in their own communities. The program seeks to bring opposing student and community groups together by offering a model of joint action and compromise, which international communities can emulate in their local activism.

Statistics on OneVoice - PeaceWorks Foundation

Financial Statistics

  • Annual Budget for 2010: $1,896,087
  • Religious Affiliation: None