OneVoice Agrees on Common Message

Apr 15, 2009 Published under Israel, Mideast Negotiations, OneVoice Movement, Palestine

Seven+ years after the OneVoice Movement was founded, you would imagine that its guiding principles, message and mission are pretty clear.  But as if common messaging among Israelis and Palestinians wasn’t challenging enough, the Gaza war caused so much mistrust and resentment that even the most ardent believers in co-existence, peace, freedom and security for both peoples questioned whether "the other" side was a true partner that respected them. 

And so began 3 months of intensive triage efforts and consultations among the respective Youth Councils, staff, Board members, advisors, and supporters.  OneVoice Palestine and OneVoice Israel came close to the brink of giving up.  Frankly, so did I.  And that is why it is particularly heartening that I learned the teams, with critical intervention and mediation from their American and European counterparts, had succeeded in re-affirming and even deepening their mission and common message, including recognizing each other’s core fears and needs.  In parallel they also developed more assertive and bold activities for 2009.  On the messaging front, this is what they achieved:



To amplify the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates, empowering them to seize back the agenda for conflict resolution and demand that their leaders achieve a two-state solution guaranteeing both the end of occupation and the establishment of a viable Independent Palestinian state as well as the safety and security of the state of Israel – allowing both people to live in peace with all their neighbors.

Our Guiding Principles: We Are…

· Non-partisan

· A grassroots movement led by the people and for the people

· A global partnership and coalition

· Working for conflict resolution, not conflict-management

· Forward-looking

· Focused on personal responsibility and civic activism

· Consensus-driven: we highlight existing areas of consensus where broad agreement exists amongst both sides, while acknowledging the areas where agreement is most difficult and working to address them

A broad spectrum: we embrace people across political, ethnic, religious and national backgrounds.

· We believe in the principles of justice, freedom, sovereignty, security, self-determination, human dignity, and in the right of all peoples to exercise them.


OneVoice is an international movement of people fed up with the ongoing conflict who are ready and eager to support a serious process leading to a comprehensive agreement that will fulfill the hopes and beliefs of both the Palestinian and the Israeli people for a two-state solution in order to end the conflict, by establishing a viable and independent Palestinian state that lives at peace with Israel.

The people on both sides do not agree on all aspects of the conflict. They live in different realities and therefore have different narratives. Achieving the final status agreement is going to be a challenging and complicated process, requiring extraordinary creativity and courage

While each side clearly has its own perspective, One Voice is certain that there is a mutually acceptable solution that can accommodate the positions of both sides.

Our work is designed to…

· Build a mass grassroots movement that will amplify the voice of the moderates on both sides

· Show that there are partners for negotiations and peace on both sides

· Mobilize citizens to urge and support their leaders to achieve the two state solution that permanently ends the conflict by ending the occupation and all forms of violence, and achieves international recognition, security, respect, peace, and prosperity for the Israeli and Palestinian people.

· Include international and independent efforts to mobilize civil society

· Build understanding that for the majority of Palestinians, peace is predicated on the need to end occupation and establish a viable independent Palestinian state, based on the 1967 borders and a resolution of the permanent status negotiations issues in accordance with the international legitimacy resolutions

· Build understanding that for the majority of Israelis, peace is predicated on the need to ensure secure borders that will bring an end to all forms of violence, establishing a permanent end to the conflict that guarantees mutual recognition and normal relations with their neighbors

· Build understanding that an agreement will not be achieved without difficult compromises on core issues like settlements, Jerusalem, refugees, borders, and mutual recognition

· Build understanding that absolutism, violence and war will NOT resolve the conflict and will only bring more violence and suffering to people on both sides.

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