What is Sulha?
The Sulha Peace project brings Palestinians and Israelis together for people-to-people, heart-to-heart solidarity building. For twenty years we have been enabling direct engagement among Palestinians and Israelis who do not know each other, consistently humanizing the dialogue and refusing to demonize the other. We meet in both Israel and in Palestine, where men and women of all ages and backgrounds explore the very different realities of our lives, bringing expression of the common humanity that binds us all. We know that cooperation will be key to any future resolution of the conflict, and we are here to lay the human foundation for that cooperation. We welcome you to our website and invite you to connect with us, to support and join us in expanding our efforts.
Every month or two, we hold gatherings in which 60- 125 Palestinians and Israelis meet to reach beyond arguments and political posturing to the essential humanity longing to be heard. At the heart of the gatherings are listening circles, where we create a quality of awareness and sensitivity to the other that is quite unique in both our societies. We also pray and sing together, we enjoy a meal and quiet informal time.
Prior to the gatherings, we apply to a sometimes uncooperative military to obtain entry permits for West Bank Palestinians so that we can be together. Sometimes we meet in the territories, to make Sulha accessible to those Palestinians who cannot leave. As we depart from the gatherings, we are profoundly empowered, carrying with us renewed inspiration, hope, and determination to continue working to bring the conflict to an end.
An additional program we sponsor is called Sulhita, a gathering of 40-80 youths who come to discuss the issues that concern them. Young Israelis, pre-
army service, and their Palestinian peers explore how they feel about the fact that they may soon find themselves facing each other in confrontations at roadblocks. The youths hike in the Judean desert, prepare meals together, sing, drum, dance, and talk deep into the nights, sharing their visions of possible
futures. They attain a sense of commonality that lasts well beyond Sulhita, and many of them become volunteers at adult Sulha events.
In contrast to the current atmosphere of distrust, cynicism and despair, we stand for the possibility of cooperation, shared responsibility, and hope. We at Sulha avoid polarizing political declarations. We know that any political future must address the human needs of both sides, and we stand on the front lines of the struggle to return decency and compassion to our shared land.
סולחה صُلْحَة SULHA