Rights to the land
We believe both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live and develop the land for the prosperity and health of both peoples. It is up to them to decide how to divide and/or share the land, and govern it in a fair and equitable manner, toward mutual acceptance of each other’s rights and self-determination.
Security and Justice
Peace requires both justice and security for Palestinians and Israelis. Specifically we believe the following:
- To lay the groundwork for a just and secure peace, parties must reconcile injustices, understand one another, and move towards healing. It requires strength to move toward reconciliation and away from violence and domination.
- The occupation (continued Israeli control over West Bank and Gaza) must end, and the status of Palestinian refugees and their rights to return should be acknowledged and addressed in ways that both sides deem fair and acceptable. We also acknowledge international law that stipulates, among other provisions, that building settlements or destroying property on occupied territories is illegal.
- For Israelis to feel secure in the Middle East, it is fundamental for them to be and feel free of violence, and threats of violence of all kinds.
-Violence against civilians is unacceptable in any circumstance. It fuels a cycle that stimulates more violence and pain, and is a major factor in perpetuating the conflict.
- All civilians should have the right to freedom of movement, the right to adequate standards of living, and the right to live free from violence and discrimination.
- The full realization of human rights for all peoples is essential to establishing and sustaining peace. Human rights—particularly the right to life, security, dignity, and liberty—ought to be afforded to and enjoyed by all people, without discrimination on any grounds.
Dialogue and Action
We believe that dialogue is an essential foundation for peace-building work. Dialogue allows adversaries to develop authentic connections with each other, a deeper understanding about each other and their needs, and a lasting respect for human rights. At the same time, dialogue must be leveraged into other forms of action that challenge inequalities, human-rights violations, and prejudice, in order for conflict to be transformed.
Framework for Effective Dialogue
We believe dialogue and peace-building programs are most effective when:
- participants in these programs, and the people who lead them, form equitable partnerships with one another that contend with personal and systemic power imbalances, and focus on long-term cultural, social, and political change.
- participants engage in open, frank, and informed discussions of the realities of the conflict, and conflict-related issues, and critical analysis of systems that perpetuate the conflict.
- participants are curious and courageous and look at not only the other side and global actors, but their own side’s actions and responsibilities as well.
Inequalities and Power Imbalances
We believe when inequalities persist or worsen, so too does the conflict that surrounds it. Transforming inequalities is crucial for the transformation of conflict. We must therefore recognize and work to change inequalities, as they exist on both:
- interpersonal levels (the imbalances in our relationships with others, as individuals); and
- structural levels (how societies and their institutions, within and between communities, affect individuals’ lives in unfair ways).
Communities We Serve
We believe the priorities, needs and perspectives of the communities in conflict must be at the forefront when peace-building and dialogue organizations design, carry out, and evaluate their work. These groups and their perspectives should be meaningfully integrated into every level of leadership of such organizations.
Supporting Israelis and Palestinians
We believe our role is to support Israeli and Palestinian communities to think critically about history, politics, and current affairs, and become civically engaged (socially, culturally and politically). We support these groups to advocate for the specific solutions and/or peace accord they deem ideal for themselves and their communities.
Our Role in Canada
Similarly, We believe our role in Canada is to support individuals and communities who influence conflict – directly and indirectly – to think critically about history, politics and current affairs, and become civically engaged (socially, culturally and politically). We support these citizens to advocate for the action they want to see, with the priorities, needs and perspectives of Palestinian and Israeli communities impacted by conflict in mind. We do not promote or condemn forms of foreign political intervention by third parties.