In one village in Israel, Jews and Palestinians live peacefully together and manage the village jointly.
Neve Shalom Wahat Al Salaam (Oasis of Peace)
established jointly by Jews and Palestinian Arabs of Israeli
citizenship and engaged in educational work for peace, equality and
understanding between the two peoples.
To what extent is NSWAS generally known in Israel and abroad?
In Israel, many people are acquainted with the existence of the
village, and certainly the majority of those who take an interest in
Jewish Ã¢â‚¬“ Arab relations have heard of it, and draw some inspiration
from it. In general, the Israeli public tends to remain skeptical about
the possibility that Arabs and Jews can ever live and work together
successfully in equality.
Are there other villages/projects similar to Neve Shalom – Wahat-as-Salam in Israel? If so, where, and how do they work?
There are many organisations working to improve understanding between
Palestinians and Jews, and there are bilingual Arabic/Hebrew primary
schools that emulate our example. Though there are a number of mixed
Arab Ã¢â‚¬“ Jewish towns (such as Jaffa, Acre and Ramle), NSWAS remains
unique as a community established jointly by Jews and Palestinians, in
Does NSWAS have a view on how peace can be established? What role, if any, does the village hope and expect to play in the process?
NSWAS and its institutions operate mainly at a grass roots level. It
maintains that despite the value of such efforts, the conflict requires
a political solution. The School for Peace believes that the dynamics
that occur in the encounter groups reflect the dynamics that occur
outside it, (in the macrocosm of Jewish – Palestinian relations).
Conclusions derived from this work could make a valuable contribution
to higher level negotiations. Central to the approach in the village
and its educational work is the idea that the two peoples can coexist
successfully when there is acquaintance with and respect for each
otherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s separate cultures, a sharing of responsibility and authority,
and an acknowledgement of each personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s role in the conflict and its
Reading the information on their site I’m struck by their wisdom
in knowing that while what they are doing is worthwhile and indeed
inspirational, that a political solution remains the only answer.