Glimmers of Hope: “Standing Together”

Glimmers of Hope: “Standing Together”

by Rabbi Min Kantrowitz

When I first heard of the Israeli/Arab organization “Standing Together”, I was skeptical. “Oh, no” I thought, “another bunch of overly optimistic dreamers saying nice things about coexistence and doing nothing”.  I was wrong.

Standing Together is the largest Jewish/Palestinian grass roots movement in Israel.  Not associated with any existing NGO or political organizations, it’s inspired by the many small initiatives that focus on poverty, environmental action, worker rights, equal access to education, housing and employment, and an end to the occupation, Standing Together seeks to recognize that most people want to live in peace and security, in partnership with the diverse members of a just society in the land on which they reside. Learning from the long history of failed attempts at political change through existing political parties, Standing Together is using a highly participatory, dispersed and democratic approach to organizing for change.  With eight regional chapters, Standing Together organizes workshops, protests, educational seminars, get-out-the-vote campaigns and other activities with participation from across the complex demographic spectrum of society in Israel/Palestine.

One specific recent example of their work: attempts were made to by some Israeli settlers to disrupt and block shipments of truckloads of humanitarian aid and supplies bound for Gaza.. Due to lack of security, aid trucks in some cases have also been looted by crowds as they moved along Gaza’s roads. According to a May 22 article in Times of Israel, videos of supplies being vandalized encouraged Standing Together to protect shipments.

Standing Together representatives successfully thwarted those attempts, so that the aid could go through. Known as” the humanitarian guard” members of Standing Together stood in front of those seeking to block the aid, “to document, provide a protective presence, and force the police officers to do their duty.” 

The Israeli military announced on Sunday, June 16, that there would be a ‘tactical pause’ in the fighting, thus allowing additional trucks filled with humanitarian aid to reach beleaguered Gaza. This positive move will be closely watched by the members of “Standing Together”, with the hope and expectation that the necessity of guarding the aid shipments from those trying to stop the aid from reaching Gaza will be reduced or eliminated.

Israelis and Palestinians working together toward a peaceful and just society is an active and growing glimmer of hope. 

For more information, https://www.standing-together.org/en

English | standing-together
Standing Together is the grassroots people’s movement in Israel. We organize Jews and Arabs, locally and nationally, around campaigns for peace, equality and social justice, in order to build power and transform Israeli society.

View this related post from Issue 1, "Organizations working across traditional community lines toward peace and equality in Israel/Palestine", and also click the tag "Lists" that appears at the top of the post.

Organizations working across traditional community lines toward peace and equality in Israel/Palestine
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