Almost every day we are met with headlines from the Israel-Palestine conflict. The high level of threats stays on a consistent high and the tense situation leads to enormous psychological and physical damages both for Israelis and Palestinians.
One of the largest challenges in the conflict is that people keep building up hatred and prejudges against one another. This is partly caused by the fact that there are very few opportunities and places for the Israelis and Palestinians to meet. Additionally, there is a growing separation between Israeli Arab and Jews which increases the need to create a common ground where they all can meet to build bridges towards one another.
BridgeBuilders is a project aiming to build and strengthen the unity between Jewish and Arab Israelis and Palestinians. The gatherings take place in safe surroundings and aims to build friendships and fellowship, learn about the management of conflicts, sharing personal stories and experiences with each other and brake prejudges. By gathering based on faith as a common denominator we want to strengthen the unity amongst these people groups- and it works!
The Christian Palestinian, Nasri, got his eyes opened towards the people on "the other side" while participating in BridgeBuilders. As participant, he came to show how much he was against the Jews. As he said in an interview prior to the project: "I have never met a Jew, but I hate them". During the first gathering over 10 days, Nasri met the Jew, David. They opened up to each other, shared experiences and built a solid friendship. Towards the end of the gathering, Nasri shared again: "Eventually I discovered that Jews are not all the same. They neither think nor act in the same way. Now I have gotten many friends amongst them. Especially David...I consider him my brother".
There are many similar stories from BridgeBuilders were Jews, Arabs and Palestinians get their prejudges broken and instead, they build friendships surpassing the brokenness of the conflict. This peace- and reconciliation work is a demanding process which requires extensive facilitation, planning, qualified leaders and follow-ups on individuals. I addition, there are many dynamics that need to be dealt with individually considering the various perspectives in the conflict.
Now, you have the chance to be part of supporting this important work. Join us in building bridges in one of the most known conflicts in the world, so that Israelis and Palestinians can come together and build friendships!