Dear TalkMatters Supporters,

TalkMatters is here to provide a different platform – to support the initiatives that bring moderate Israelis and Palestinians together.   We question the people who link the supporters of Hamas with all Palestinians and those who link right wing ideology with all Israelis.  TalkMatters remains one of the few spaces for people who acknowledge the suffering on both sides and recognise both narratives.  Not an easy place to be while there is so much mistrust around.  Often resulting in a desire not to talk or to argue the absolute justification of one side or the other.   Below Avi Mayerstein, the founder and president of the Alliance for Middle East Peace offers some useful tips when talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  

At this time of high level anxiety and fear, our job is to tell the stories of the inspirational people and their co-operative initiatives be they music, ecology, high-tech, religion, etc. These initiatives enable Palestinians and Israelis to engage with each other, to listen, to talk and to build up trust.  Through raising their profile here in the UK, TalkMatters helps to counteract the increase in antisemitism and islamophobia that arises through pure ignorance and stereotyping – often never having met either a Palestinian or an Israeli.   The more that the UK public know about Israelis and Palestinians, the better: informing them of the true situation reduces the harmful impact of ill-informed and divisive chants and slogans – both on our streets and on-line.  

This week’s update focusses on two of our initiatives.  The Sipur-Hikaya  (Hebrew and Arabic for ‘Story’)  initiative teaches the two sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the book ‘Side by Side – Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine’’.  Givat Haviva is a civil society organisation for social change that emphasises the importance of a Jewish and Arab shared society.

Our upcoming visit to Wahat al Salam / Neve Shalom
Another reminder that TalkMatters together with Oasis of Peace UK are looking ahead to better times.   We are planning our next interfaith trip to Wahat al Salam/Neve Shalom (WASNS)/Oasis of PeaceThis is a wonderful initiative that I have been involved with for a very long timeIt is a village that supports three educational institutions half-way between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where Jews andArabslive in a shared, equitable society.  Postponed since last November due to the war, we are hoping to visit this November.  Please join us.  To register your interest and/or for more information please contact hello@talkmatters.info or office@oasisofpeace.org.uk

If you think TalkMatters is important, please share one of the videos below, where Israelis and Palestinians talk about their pain, experience and joint efforts in response to the on-going crisis.  Please also take a moment right now to send this link to your family WhatsApp group, or please pass this email on to friends and colleagues and invite them to join the TalkMatters mailing list

All good wishes, Jenny and the TalkMatters Team.

Sipur-Hikaya (Hebrew and Arabic for ‘Story’) 

Established in 2017, the Sipur-Hikaya initiative teaches the two sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the  book ‘Side by Side – Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine’’. The dual narrative approach is studied in pre-military preparatory courses, schools and universities.  The goal begins with the understanding that to begin the process of reconciliation it is necessary to recognise the other and a condition for recognising the other is to know the other. 

Sipura-Hikaya is in our directory  has their own website.  There are details of how you can donate to help support their work on this page of their website.  You can join their free Zoom meeting using this form.

Givat Haviva

Givat Haviva is a civil society organization for social change striving to create a model society in Israel, emphasizing the importance of a Jewish and Arab shared society.  Givat Haviva works to promote a prosperous, democratic society for all citizens of Israel, one that strives for peace with its neighbours and the solidarity of all peoples.  Their activity focuses on the fields of education including the Givat Haviva International School, language instruction, culture, and art. 

Givat Haviva is in our directory  has their own website.  There are details of how you can donate to help support their work on this page of their website.  

Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP)

ALLMEP is a coalition of over 160 organizations—and tens of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis—building people-to-people cooperation, co-resistance, equality, justice, shared society, mutual understanding, and peace among their communities.

For more information about the thousands of Israeli and Palestinian peacebuilders who do this every day, please visit www.allmep.org

The Alliance for Middle East Peace is in our directory, has their own website   There are details on this page of their website which show how you can donate to help support their work. 

Please pass on this information

Please pass on this information to your friends and colleagues.  Please talk about the human stories that we share with you. In the horrendous circumstances we all find ourselves, TalkMatters continues to introduce the UK public to the people who refuse to see one another as enemies.  We believe in supporting the grass-roots work in Israel and Palestine and we know that it is only by working together with you – our UK supporters – and with our Israeli-Palestinian Associates that we can ever walk another path.  A path that leads to a future of peace, justice and equality for everyone. 

Thank you for your support.

Here’s to better times,

Jenny and the TalkMatters Team.