|Headquarters||New York, NY with offices in London, Tel Aviv, Ramallah, and Gaza City.|
OneVoice is a non profit organization and grassroots movement established in 2002 during a time of hopelessness and frustration following the collapse of the Camp David Accords between Israel and the Palestinian territories. An initiative of The Peaceworks Foundation, the organization has offices in Tel Aviv, Ramallah, and Gaza City, and is supported by teams in New York and London. OneVoice aims to forge consensus for conflict resolution and amplify the voices of Israelis and Palestinians, empowering them to propel their elected representatives towards the two-state solution. OneVoice's guiding belief is that a peace agreement will only be effective if the people are prepared to accept it and take an active role in the process.
- 1 Mission
- 2 Programs
- 2.1 Specific Initiatives
- 2.1.1 OneVoice Israel and OneVoice Palestine
- 2.1.2 OneVoice Regional
- 2.1.3 OneVoice International
- 2.1 Specific Initiatives
- 3 Milestones
- 3.1 2002-2003
- 3.2 2004-2005
- 3.3 2006-2007
- 3.4 2007
- 3.5 2008
- 3.6 2009
- 3.7 2010-2011
- 3.8 2012
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
OneVoice's mission is to amplify the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians, empowering them to propel their elected representatives toward 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. OneVoice believes the two-state solution is the only way to fulfill the national aspirations of both the Israeli and Palestinian people. OneVoice supports a mutually acceptable agreement, which will end the occupation and solve all final status issues in accordance with international law and previous bilateral agreements. The 1967 borders form the basis for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, living side by side with the State of Israel, with permanent borders and any modifications to be agreed upon by both parties. OneVoice recognizes that violence by either side will never be a means to end the conflict.
OneVoice's parallel structure, with offices across the conflict, attempts to appeal to people's enlightened self-interest and engage a broad spectrum across both Palestinian and Israeli societies, while powerfully demonstrating a partner on the other side. At the same, OneVoice links civil society with political and community leadership. OneVoice partners with local and national officials, provides a platform for discussion through town hall meetings, leads direct advocacy, and participates in international conferences and meetings. As of 20 August 2012, over 662,212 people have joined the OneVoice Movement and the effort to end the conflict once and for all.
OneVoice believes that one of the most powerful ways to empower moderate constituencies is for them be to see and demonstrate that they have an engaged partner on the other side. OneVoice equips activists with the tools to galvanize support for the two-state solution within their own communities. Thus, OneVoice's initiatives include a number of programs along four tracks:
- I. OneVoice Israel: Consensus building & Discourse against Extremism & Incitement
- II. OneVoice Palestine: Democratization as a nonviolent alternative for conflict resolution
- III. OneVoice Regional: Cooperative Programming for Palestinians & Israelis
- IV. OneVoice International: Promoting Mutual Understanding & Global Acceptance
The Israeli and Palestinian tracks address the issues facing each society. The Regional track focuses on cooperative development and education through joint Palestinian and Israeli programming. The International program is geared towards promoting mutual understanding amongst all global citizens.
OneVoice Israel and OneVoice Palestine
Town Hall Campaigns
OneVoice regularly hosts ‘Town Hall’ meetings that stimulate political discussion among moderates and serve as a powerful recruitment tool for activists. More than 85% of attendees ultimately sign up to the OneVoice Mandate.
Leadership Development Workshops
OneVoice’s Leadership Development Workshops train young Israelis and Palestinians in public speaking, conflict resolution, community mobilization, and leadership. Workshops, which typically entail 2–3 days of intensive training, enable Youth Leaders to empower their communities to use non-violent means to address the conflict. The most active and articulate Youth Leaders are asked to participate abroad as ambassadors in OneVoice’s International Engagement Program.
Recruiting and training young leaders is a major component of OneVoice’s program work in both Israel and Palestine. OneVoice demonstrates to young people that non-violent negotiations are a viable alternative to violent protest. Moreover, the regular workshops try to forge meaningful relationships between moderate Palestinians and Israelis.
Mobilization Training Seminars
After completing Leadership Development Workshops, Youth Leaders participate in seminars that focus on the logistics of organizing mass rallies, democratization drives, and recruitment campaigns. At the end of their training, the Youth Leaders are asked to set up events within their communities to galvanize more support for and to publicize OneVoice. Alternatively, some may be asked to recruit more signatories who affirm the OneVoice Mandate.
Citizens’ Negotiations Platform
In 2004, the Citizens’ Negotiations Platform was launched after extensive research by a high profile panel of Israeli, Palestinian, and international experts who broke the conflict down into its ten most contentious issues. Over 180,000 Israelis and Palestinians have since voted on these issues, giving their feedback on how each should be resolved. Results showed a high level of consensus, with 76% of both Israelis and Palestinians affirming a two-state solution. The negotiations process has educated people on the art of negotiation.
OneVoice’s Youth Leaders drive participation in Citizens’ Negotiations. OneVoice also utilizes person-to-person recruitment drives, internet campaigns, and mobile voting kiosks to ensure that Palestinians and Israelis aged 15+ in all communities – including refugee camps and kibbutzim – have the chance to voice their views on conflict resolution.
Regional College Tours
Israeli and Palestinian universities are powerful institutions that can serve as forces for either progress or deterioration in Israeli-Palestinian relations. Key to OneVoice’s mission is the need to ‘humanize’ the other side and to forge relationships among those who wish for peace and prosperity. To that end, OneVoice is launching a program in which Palestinian Youth Leaders will speak at Israeli universities.
International Engagement Program
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is having a polarizing effect on campuses and communities around the world. Growing polarization between Palestinian, Jewish, Arab, Israeli and Muslim groups over the conflict has led to an increasing vacuum of moderation. The conflict is all-too-often either the cause of, or an excuse for, poor relations between different ethnic or religious groups.
OneVoice prides itself on its credentials in both Israel and Palestine. By bringing these credentials to campuses and communities outside the Middle East, OneVoice is able to attract groups of all backgrounds and political persuasions. OneVoice brings together students who would never normally sit in the same room, let alone applaud the same ideals, to realize that they have more in common than they could have imagined.
Inception of OneVoice
The spring of 2002, The Camp David peace process had collapsed and the violence was escalating.
Like everyone else with ties to the region, Daniel Lubetzky was frustrated and disheartened. His company, PeaceWorks, had been founded on the principle that economic cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians would result in stronger relations, but now it seemed that his ultimate goal – an end to the conflict, the occupation, and violence in all forms – was further away than ever.
Through his interactions with contacts in the region, however, Lubetzky realized that there was hope yet. Despite the ongoing violence, the vast majority of his Israeli and Palestinian friends and business partners recognized the right of the other side to independence, sovereignty, and justice.
As Lubetzky saw it, the moderate majority in the Middle East lacked a viable forum to express its views. To address this problem, Lubetzky, together with several Palestinian and Israeli business colleagues, launched OneVoice to amplify the voice of moderates who wish for peace and prosperity, empowering them to demand that their leaders work immediately and continuously to achieve a two-state agreement, guaranteeing the establishment of a viable Independent Palestinian state at peace with Israel.
In 2004, the Citizen Negotiations Platform was launched after extensive research by a panel of Israeli, Palestinian, and international experts who broke the conflict down into its ten most contentious issues. Over 180,000 Israelis and Palestinians have since voted on ten issues at the heart of the conflict, and have provided feedback on how each should be resolved. This process was developed to reveal both consensus and disparity of opinion between people at the grassroots level on different potential resolutions preferred by the accords and negotiations of the time. It has succeeded in educating people on the art of negotiation and served as a gauge for popular opinion on important issues central to the conflict. Voting results have shown a high level of consensus, with 76% of both Israelis and Palestinians affirming a two-state solution.
Launched in 2005, OneVoice's Youth Leadership Program bestows thousands of young Israelis and Palestinians with leadership and organization skills, empowering them to mobilize their communities and bridge the gaps between the grassroots and their elected representatives. Over 3,000 Israeli and Palestinian youth have been engaged through this program, and over 1,300 have graduated to become highly trained Youth Leaders.
OneVoice's ability to mobilize Israeli and Palestinian citizens has enabled the moderate majority to make itself heard. Evidence of this mobilization can be seen in the first ever non-partisan 'Get-Out-the-Vote' campaign in the history of the Arab world, which OneVoice launched in 2005 to counter the Hamas and Islamic Jihad boycotts.
What Are You Willing To Do?
In September 2006, the ‘What Are You Willing To Do?’ campaign was launched in the streets of the West Bank, Israel, and Gaza. OneVoice began to plant the seeds of personal responsibility and civic action through a viral sticker campaign. Thousands of stickers in Hebrew and Arabic were placed in cities, villages, refugee camps, and moshavim, asking every person the same question: “What are you willing to do to end the conflict?”
At the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, OneVoice’s Youth Leaders were given center stage during a plenary session packed with over 2,000 dignitaries and global business leaders. A series of video statements featuring the Youth Leaders were played on an oversize screen at the front of the forum; at the podium, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and Israeli Vice-Premier Shimon Peres responded to the statements with candor. Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, noted that it was the first time ever that ordinary citizens addressed their heads of state directly at the Forum.
OneVoice received the support of the IBM Foundation since early in the movement’s development. For the ‘What Are You Willing To Do?’ campaign, IBM developed a multilingual platform to link and connect individuals and organizations who wish to take action to end the conflict. This Web-based platform serves as a database for international cooperation. It functions in English, Hebrew, and Arabic to build partnerships by spanning geographic and linguistic divides.
One Million Voices to End The Conflict
A small delegation of OneVoice activists from the Middle East, the US, and Europe went to [Annapolis], Maryland on behalf of the 620,000+ signatories to the OneVoice Mandate,and on behalf of the overwhelming majorities of Israelis and Palestinians that support negotiations towards a two-state solution.
At the US-hosted peace summit in Annapolis, MD held in November, Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas agreed "to engage in vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations ... [and] make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008.
As a symbol of this commitment, on December 12, 2007 OneVoice launched 11 digital screens – 5 in Ramallah and 6 in Tel Aviv – displaying countdown clocks set for a one year: one year to end the occupation, one year to achieve an independent Palestinian state at peace with Israel, one year to end the violence and end the conflict ... one year for citizens to take a stand in support of the negotiations.
Enough is Enough
OneVoice undertook various public awareness campaigns focused on personal responsibility and civic engagement. In early spring 2008, OneVoice launched imagine: 2018 to inspire and motivate the Israeli and Palestinian people, by asking youth to visualize what the region would look like in 10 years if a peace agreement were to be signed in 2008. The objective was to challenge people to regain hope and inspire their own communities to take action toward supporting their leaders through a negotiations process which will lead to the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state at peace with Israel. Moreover, OneVoice’s Youth Leadership Development program, which was launched in November 2004, has become the heart of the Movement. To date there are over 400 Youth Activists that have been engaged by the training program and 2000 that have been fully trained. They make up the human infrastructure and engine of the OneVoice Movement.
Saying What Needs To Be Said
Beneath the surface of the phrase "two state solution" there is a great deal of consensus that is yet to be OneVoice programs for 2009-2010 focused exclusively on the need to take courageous steps and break taboos on each side of the conflict in order to make progress. Programming centered around various public opinion initiatives, Town Hall Meetings, and the Youth Leadership Program.
Imagine 2018 was a multiplatform campaign that depicts visions by Israelis and Palestinians of 2018 if a peace agreement is signed versus maintaining the status quo or worse.
OneVoice dared citizens to look beyond the excuses and recycled approaches sweeping the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and share a different vision of a region living in peace and security.
Working in conjunction with the Palestinian and Israeli ministries of education, OneVoice launched an essay contest in classrooms throughout Israel and the West Bank, asking Israeli and Palestinian children (ages 13–17) to visualize what the region would look like in 10 years if a peace agreement were to be signed. From 2,500 submissions, winning essays were chosen on their potential to inspire citizens to build a future based on two states for two peoples.
In 2012, OneVoice Israel is advocating for a settlement freeze to restore confidence in the peace process and restart negotiations, while OneVoice Palestine is working to reignite hope and support for the two-state solution, to end the conflict and end all claims.
- Israeli Palestinian Conflict - OneVoice Movement Homepage.
- Israeli Palestinian Conflict - OneVoice Movement Homepage.