The occupation of the Palestinian people has manifested itself in many forms. One key form was the intentional separation and redefinition/re-identification of the Palestinian population within different socio-political structures receiving different privileges and entitlements. Instead of saying “Palestinian” we now say “48 Palestinian,” “Israeli-Arab,” “Jerusalemite,” “West Bank Palestinian,” “Gazan,” etc. This has resulted in new and sometimes competing or conflicting narratives to arise between these different sub-identities. This program aims to strengthen the resilience of, and the recreation of a collective community-based identity.
The program aimed for young Palestinian leaders ( age range 21-25 ) from within the 1948 borders and the 1967 Israeli military occupied territories, offers a space to understand, bring consciousness and heal divisions of the Palestinian community, it takes a direct aim at challenging the divide within the Palestinian community, therefore, allowing a deeper understanding of the collective, cultural, social, political and linguistic, identity-based relation to “land, self, and other.”
Participants engage in deep group facilitators and conversations regarding identity and the narrative of identity, collective awareness through compassionate communication, nonlinear leadership methodology resulting in developing goal-oriented conversations, and space for participants to engage in understanding community-based healing of the pains that nurture division and gaps within this community. Finally, they learn the tools and skills of nonviolent activism and nonviolent communication in order to address the obstacles that hinder the manifestation of the Palestinian identity.
We believe that this program has the power to bridge the gap between the Palestinian community. This is important in order to build strength and resilience, not only to face the occupation but to have a strong representative voice when it comes to achieving peace and justice in the land.