Our network of youth activists forms the backbone of the OneVoice Movement. Thanks to your support, OneVoice has trained 122 youth leaders since the end of November, equipping them with the skills and tools to advocate for change. And we are pleased to report that we are just a hair’s breadth away from reaching our project funding goal of $10,000!
Grassroots Campaign Highlights
Our trained youth leaders in Israel are working to make their message echo loudly in the halls of the Knesset. Backed by the Knesset’s Two-State Solution Caucus, OneVoice Israel (OVI) youth leaders are organizing grassroots campaigns to protest the stalled negotiations and demand action from their fellow citizens and political leaders. In 2012, they are focusing their advocacy on a settlement freeze to restore confidence in the peace process and restart negotiations.
In January, OneVoice Israel youth leaders organized a flash mob in Jerusalem's Zion Square to draw attention to their cause. The footage is striking! Activists froze in place for five minutes to symbolize their discontent at lack of negotiations, as well as suggesting the need for a settlement freeze in order to move forward. Several Members of Knesset joined OVI youth leaders in the flash mob. Watch the YouTube video, which has received over 10,000 views.
The focus of OneVoice Palestine (OVP) activists in 2012 is to transform the frustration and hopelessness on the street into a mass, unified call for a peace agreement that establishes an independent Palestinian state and ends all claims. Trained OneVoice youth leaders led many projects on the ground in recent months. They organized a town hall meeting in Jenin led by Dr. Mahmoud Labadi, media advisor of the International Relations Commission of Fatah, discussing the crucial the role of Palestinian youth in conflict resolution. OVP cosponsored the March for Peace in Bethlehem, where youth leaders and many Palestinian children marched through the city with flags and messages of peace.
OneVoice also sent Israeli and Palestinian representatives to the United Nations Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC) Forum in Doha, Qatar, in December 2011. There, they spoke to other youth activists, political figures, and intellectuals from around the world about their activism to spread the OneVoice message.
Youth Leadership Training
Through lectures, workshops, field trips, and hands-on activities, the OneVoice youth leadership training program develops young Palestinians and Israelis into articulate and effective advocates for a peaceful two-state solution. It provides them with the practical tools to mobilize their communities and build support for what it will take to achieve peace.
In November 2011, OneVoice Israel (OVI) launched its training program for the academic year across 7 university campus chapters. Since then, 60 youth leaders received training in intensive workshops with eminent guest speakers, who focused on the feasibility and importance of reaching a negotiated agreement. Speakers included Dr. Ron Pundak, one of the Oslo Agreement’s chief architects, Colonel Shaul Arieli, who helped lead negotiations at Camp David, and Ahmad Mashrawi, a city council member in Tel-Aviv-Jaffa.
OVI also conducted 4 educational tours through East Jerusalem, Hebron, and Biram with over 100 participants. Additionally, OVI developed the outreach program “Let’s Talk About It,” which introduces high school students to the core issues of the conflict. Since November 2011, the sessions have reached over 300 high school students in 8 different high schools.
OneVoice Palestine (OVP) trained 62 youth leaders since late November. We held introductory workshops for 20 university students in Ramallah and 20 youths in Gaza, where we recently reopened our offices. OVP also organized an introductory session at the Hebron Aroub Refugee Camp. These workshops provide an overview of the movement’s activities and values, such as civic participation and non-violence. They emphasize the goal of achieving a Palestinian state while simultaneously tackling tough issues like settlements, holy sites, and refugees.
In December, OVP held two advanced training sessions to give youth leaders a deeper understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. These sessions provide a comprehensive historical context to the conflict and explore how it is viewed on both sides. The youth leaders are then better equipped to transmit to others the importance and the meaning of a two-state solution.
Our Commitment to You
In 2012, OneVoice turns 10 years old. If 10 years has taught us anything, it is that every passing day without real progress makes it that much harder. That is why our youth leaders are working so hard to transmit this urgency to their communities and political leaders. Our commitment is not to relent. We will raise our voices until both peoples cannot deny there is a partner on the other side working tirelessly to change the status quo and end the conflict.
Thank you for supporting our work!
The OneVoice Team