Tensions have been rising in Israel over the past weeks, as violent incidents have increased in frequency and spread from the West Bank and Jerusalem to other parts of the country, including here in Wadi Ara. Both Arab and Jewish citizens are experiencing high levels of fear, anxiety, and suspicion, with the sense that attacks can occur anytime in any place, and anyone can be a victim, regardless of nationality or political leanings.
In response to the rising tensions and increase in violence, Givat Haviva has erected and is manning a Partnership Tent for residents of the area, groups, and leaders to meet and dialogue in a neutral setting. As part of this initiative, a call has been issued by Givat Haviva and partners in the Shared Communities Program.
➡To read and sign the call
Givat Haviva both takes initiative to promote a shared society and responds to current events in real time to bolster trust and cooperation in difficult times – both regionally, among Jewish and Arab cities, villages, and local authorities, and nationally, in support of the peace process between the two peoples. Givat Haviva stands with all people calling for mutual understanding and solidarity. Some recent examples:
In February, 2014, Givat Haviva sponsored and hosted a Conference to Support the Peace Process with participation from the US ambassador to Israel, the Palestinian Authority Committee for Interaction with Israeli Civil Society, leadership of Israeli peace NGOs, Jewish and Arab mayors, and leaders of the kibbutz movement and the Havatzelet Group. Read the inspirational welcome speech given by Yaniv Sagee, Executive Director of the Givat Haviva Center for Shared Society at that conference.
During the fighting in Gaza in the summer of 2014, when tensions between Jews and Arabs in Israel was high, Givat Haviva sponsored demonstrations of support and solidarity, and put out a call for solidarity and restraint along with Jewish and Arab mayors from the region participating in the Shared Society program, along with Jewish and Arab mayors from the similarly mixed Misgav region in the Galilee.
When tensions rose again in October 2014, representatives from Givat Haviva demonstrated at the Barkai intersection in solidarity with Arab citizens, appeared in the media to help promote understanding, and issued an appeal to the Israeli government urging both action and dialogue.