Spotlight on Peace
Over the past few months, all of us at Pongo have watched the violence and intensifying humanitarian catastrophe in the Middle East with horror and sorrow. Our hearts break for the victims of Hamas’ October 7th attack and their families. And we mourn the thousands of innocent lives lost in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza and expansion of West Bank settlements.
Pongo firmly believes that all Palestinians and Israelis deserve justice, safety, and dignity; the threat of injury and loss of life currently looming over their lives makes this future impossible. These vital organizations are bringing Palestinians and Israelis together to foster reconciliation and advocate for an enduring peace in the region. We encourage you to learn more about each organization’s work, and support their urgent efforts.
American Friends of the Parents Circle-Families Forum
American Friends of the Parents Circle-Families Forum (AF-PCFF) is the U.S. chapter of the Parents Circle-Families Forum, a joint Israeli-Palestinian organization made up of more than 600 bereaved families. Their common bond is that they have lost a close family member to the conflict. But instead of choosing revenge, they have chosen a path of reconciliation.
The AF-PCFF shares the human side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the American public in order to foster a peace and reconciliation process. The AF-PCFF is committed to supporting the Parents Circle-Families Forum (PCFF) through raising public awareness, constituency building and fundraising in the U.S.
In the aftermath of the Second Intifada, Artsbridge founder, Debbie Nathan, recognized a need for programming to empower youth of the region with the tools to experience and initiate constructive dialogue surrounding the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict. She endeavored to help young people envision a different future, develop a sense of hope for change, and cultivate a passion for creating that change. As a result, Artsbridge was created in July 2007.
Artsbridge brings transformational change to young adults from communities in conflict. Artsbridge’s unique model sets us apart from similar organizations. We are the only organization that uses a combination of reflective dialogue, artistic expression, and expressive therapy to engage and empower youth, helping them to develop relational resilience. Our model of dialogue teaches students how to truly listen to each other and to ask questions out of curiosity and interest. Through expressive therapy, Artsbridge works to provide healing and understanding for the difficulties that participants experience in their daily lives. The art component teaches participants how to work together, think creatively, and communicate constructively.
Breaking the Silence
At Breaking the Silence, we aim to expose the public to the daily reality of the occupation and Israeli military rule over the Palestinian civilian population in the territories, a reality we witnessed firsthand during our military service. By publishing soldiers’ testimonies on their service in the occupied territories, we aim to generate opposition to the occupation through meaningful public debate on the significant moral price paid by Israeli society for entrenching the ongoing regime of occupation.
Combatants for Peace
Combatants for Peace (CFP) is made up of Palestinians and Israelis who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence in the region; Israeli soldiers serving in the IDF and Palestinians as combatants fighting to free their country, Palestine, from the Israeli occupation. We – serving our peoples, raised weapons which we aimed at each other and saw each other only through gun sights – have established CFP on the basis of non-violence principles
CFP’s mission is to build the social infrastructure necessary for ending the conflict and the occupation: communities of Palestinians and Israelis working together through non-violent means to promote peace.
Standing Together is a grassroots movement mobilizing Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel in pursuit of peace, equality, and social and climate justice. While the minority who benefit from the status quo of occupation and economic inequality seek to keep us divided, we know that we — the majority — have far more in common than that which sets us apart. When we stand together, we are strong enough to fundamentally alter the existing socio-political reality. The future that we want — peace and independence for Israelis and Palestinians, full equality for all citizens, and true social, economic, and environmental justice — is possible.