In Focus

Announced U.S. funding cut threatens continuation of Geneva Initiative's program

 

President Trump’s administration announced that it will cut funding to conflict management and mitigation programs, aimed at strengthening Israeli-Palestinians ties, especially among children and young people. One of the affected programs would be The Palestinian Peace Coalition’s Youth Impact Policy, a project aimed at engaging young Palestinians and Israelis in people-to-people cross-border activities. The program works to create a young constituency in the Palestinian Territories and Israel that will be equipped with information on the conflict and ways to solve it, and an understanding of the perspectives, narratives and experiences of people on the other side. Supported by USAID, this program is not likely to continue in light of the expected funding cut, meaning that the 1,300 young Israeli and Palestinian men and women who were meant to take part in the project will not have a chance to meet one another.

 

The hundreds of young Israeli and Palestinians alumni of this program are currently working within their communities and their circles of influence to strengthen the voice of the peace camp and advocate for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. Their voices need to be amplified, not stifled. They need to be joined by others like them, more and more young people committed to peace and interested in knowing and hearing the “other”.  

 

We have seen the genuine desire and interest among young people on both sides to engage, even in the face of an environment that urges them not to. In a reality where encounters between Israelis and Palestinians have become exceedingly rare – with the exception of encounters between Palestinians and the Israeli soldiers or settlers – the funding cut will make it even more difficult to bring people together. It would be nothing short of a tragedy to prevent these opportunities from the people who seek them because of political miscalculations.

 

We are used to working against the odds, in a climate that is not supportive or conducive to our work and messages. We have grown quite adept at identifying opportunities where others might see only obstacles. This is a moment for renewed vigor, not despair; we do not have that luxury. The Geneva Initiative and other organizations will continue bringing people together and working towards peace. There is no alternative. The conflict is not going to resolve itself.

 

We call on all of those who still believe in peace to join us and support our work. We call on the international community to double down on its commitment to peace. Now is the time not for wavering or doubts, but for an unequivocal demonstration of support for the feasibility of peace.

 
Annual Report - 2017
Sign up for our newsletter
Calendar of Events


Follow us on Twitter: @genevaaccord Geneva Initiative Feed Join us on Facebook