Peace requires a foundation, and organized efforts to promote coexistence, understanding, and cooperation are essential for building this foundation. Israelis, Palestinians, Jews and Arabs are engaging in a dynamic and growing group of organizations dedicated to such efforts. To learn about them visit the website of the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP), a network of over 80 organizations committed to this critical work. Christians can and should support these efforts; they are non-political, build bridges, and advance the cause of peace.
These efforts are facing opposition from the international Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) Movement. The term for this opposition is “anti-normalization”. As a case in point, one of the ALLMEP organizations is YaLa Young Leaders, a rapidly growing youth peace movement with almost 1 million supporters in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Last year YaLa hosted an online peace conference that attracted over 40,000 participants. YaLa has received statements of support from former president Bill Clinton and many other distinguished figures.
“The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) National Committee (BNC) in Palestine, wishes to clarify that the YaLa – Young Leaders Group is a normalization initiative  that conflicts with the BDS guidelines related to the cultural boycott of Israel . The Group intends to hold an online conference on Sunday May 25th  in which young people from across the Middle East will take part, in violation of the BDS guidelines.
. . . At a time when the BDS movement is growing around the world, we urge activists not to participate in the activities of this group, particularly its online conference, or promote such joint projects that undermine our common struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”
The leadership of ALLMEP published an OpEd eloquently addressing this issue:
“. . . if we are to see any progress in the areas of peace, coexistence, security, freedom, justice and rights, it will be on a basis that Palestinians and Israelis have a shared future. We need space to run programs that bring Israelis and Palestinians together to explore these values as one, without fear or intimidation. Jews and Arabs are either destined or doomed to share the land together. Let us work for the former to avoid the latter.”
We at PFMEP could not agree more. We hope you join us in supporting and encouraging these essential efforts that build the foundation of peace. Peace is possible.