Daily VideoSeptember 15, 2010
Israelis and Palestinians Build Bridges Through Business
Instead of buying its ingredients from European countries, a small factory in Israel that makes condiments and deli spreads has chosen to purchase its tomatoes, olives, eggplant and basil from Palestinian villages as a show of peace. The company, called PeaceWorks, believes buying from nearby Arab farmers delivers fresher ingredients while creating a bond between Israelis and Palestinians.
Daniel Lubetzky, who came up with the idea for PeaceWorks, has decided to put 5% of the company’s profits into an initiative called OneVoice that empowers young people to help create a roadmap for peace between Israel and Palestine. Its young volunteers, Palestinian and Israeli, campaign for their vision of peace: an independent Palestine on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war.
When gathering signatures of support for their cause, OneVoice’s volunteers sometimes encounter people who criticize and doubt the effectiveness of their mission. Lubetzky acknowledges the challenge of what they are facing but says their dedication will eventually make a difference. Already, PeaceWorks has made several strong ties with Palestinian businesses that would not have otherwise had business relations with Israelis.
“It’s very important for this kind of business to exist, because that creates a channel of communication, now that the political communication practically doesn’t exist.” – Hani Jahshan, Arab olive grower
“There is a siege on the people. We have become two peoples, two lands. And we’re taking a passive role in this. We were a people active and alive, but our politicians are standing in the way.” – Palestinian woman
“We’re moving from theory into action. And the first part of the action is actually visualizing what is it that the people are going to do and then helping empower the people to actually start building a two-state solution.” – Daniel Lubetzky, PeaceWorks founder
Warm Up Questions
1. Where is Israel?
2. Why are Israelis and Palestinians locked in a conflict that has lasted decades?
3. Why might it be hard for Israelis and Palestinians to do business together?
1. Do you think the PeaceWorks and OneVoice initiatives can help bring about a two-state solution? Why or why not?
2. Why did the olive grower in the video say he had to sometimes keep his relationship with PeaceWorks quiet? What does this demonstrate about the challenges PeaceWorks faces in accomplishing its mission?
3. Based on what you saw in the video, do you think OneVoice’s goal of having Israel and Palestine co-host the 2018 soccer world cup is achievable? Why or why not?
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