London & Washington DC, 28/05/21
For Immediate Release
The violent crisis we’ve witnessed in Israel-Palestine over the past two weeks has been very painful, and is happening against the backdrop of deep rooted issues including the ongoing occupation, insecurity, inequality and with it a growing loss of hope for peace in the region. Despite this, there is another story that hasn’t been heard. At Solutions Not Sides and The Alliance for Middle East Peace we have found hope in the thousands of Israelis and Palestinians standing up, standing together and working to overcome these challenges in and between their communities.
Over the past decade, we have both had the privilege of giving a platform to this alternative voice - at Solutions Not Sides, via the stories of hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian peace activists and with ALLMEPs growing network of over 150 people-to-people peace building NGOs. This story gives us a sense of connection to each other across the usual social divisions of nationalism and othering.
Instead of Israelis vs. Palestinians and their respective camps of supporters internationally, the alternative story is of those who are laying the groundwork for real, meaningful solutions to end the conflict. And in the international community, we have a lot to learn from the example being set by our Palestinian and Israeli partners. We have seen alarming and unacceptable spikes in antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate over recent weeks, which not only bring misery to people and communities who have nothing to do with the situation in the Middle East but also threaten to undermine the positive activism and solidarity being shown around the world.
Today, Solutions Not Sides and The Alliance for Middle East Peace are launching the #IfTheyCanWeCan campaign. We're doing this for three reasons:
- To bring global attention to the vital work being done by organisations and individuals in Israel and Palestine, who are laying the groundwork for peace.
- To support the work that they’re doing through channeling people towards them - to donate, to get involved and organise events.
- To help activists, organisations and governments in the UK, USA and beyond to follow the example being set by the grassroots work being done in the region - to support, invest in, and emulate those working on the frontline for peace, against racism, violence and dehumanisation.
#IfTheyCanWeCan - How you can get involved:
- Search for the hashtag #IfTheyCanWeCan and share it on social media
- Follow the work of and support the organisations highlighted in the campaign:
- join or create a ‘friends of…’ group
- organise an event
- Emulate the example they have set in your own communities - engage in positive, solutions-focused activism, start local initiatives to tackle local issues - whether its racism, inequality, building bridges between faiths or other important local challenges.
You can find out more and follow the campaign on Instagram - @allianceformiddleeastpeace and @solutionsnotsides - as well as on our websites: www.solutionsnotsides.co.uk/blog/2021/#IfTheyCanWeCan and www.allmep.org/
Comment from SNS Founder & Executive Director Sharon Booth:
“So much of what we see in the media is the violence, hatred and fear. This campaign gives a platform for different voices from Israeli and Palestinian civil society who don't often get heard here in the UK, and are standing together for an end to violence, equal rights, and peaceful coexistence. It is also a call to action. If Palestinians and Israelis can do it, so can we.”
Comment from ALLMEP Executive Director John Lyndon:
“ALLMEP is a coalition of 150+ member organizations who work every day, between the river and the sea, to lay the foundation for peace, security, and equality for all. In the international community, their example is one that we can all aspire to - an example of Palestinian-Israeli partnerships for peace that stands against the horrendous violence and hatred portrayed on the news. If they can, surely, we can too.”
Comment from SNS Palestinian Coordinator Amal:
“The extent of the international support we have been getting lately is heartwarming; for the first time in a long time, we felt that our pain and suffering weren’t invisible, that our lives actually matter, and that we’re not alone in our fight for justice and freedom. Your support helps us keep pushing forward, and keep that hope alive to create a better future for both people.”
Comment from SNS Israeli Coordinator Eran:
“In recent weeks, in the face of violent extremism, I saw true empathy, solidarity, and human courage. Across the country, from the north to the south of Israel, from the Gaza envelope to Jerusalem, tens of thousands of Jews and Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel came out of their homes, under the threat of rockets, to stand together and fight for equality, peace and against the Occupation.
This demonstration of co-resistance is the direct product of political movements like ‘Standing Together’ and ‘Peace Now’, which built popular civilian support for values like equality, peace and solidarity.”
Contact for Media Enquiries:
Media & Communications Manager, Solutions Not Sides
Digital Communications Manager, ALLMEP