Israel-Hamas war
(Credit: Women Wage Peace)

Israel-Hamas War: These Are the Israeli-Palestinian Advocacy Groups Bringing Peacebuilding to Social Media

Since the Israeli-Hamas war began on October 7, for many people around the world social media has been the window through which we have watched it unfold. As users take to their devices, the world becomes increasingly divided as scenes from active war zones are broadcast indiscriminately, often remaining unchecked and unaccredited as they reach people’s devices.

While social media has helped to democratize the flow of information, in the case of the Israel-Hamas war, some of the information becoming available has aided in drawing lines of division more than developing unity.

Today, the Israel-Hamas war continues to intensify with the loss of life on both sides and a deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza. While seemingly impossible in light of current events, Israeli-Palestinian solidarity does exist. Integrated organizations from around the world offer a glimpse at solution-based advocacy on social media, helping to shape a reality that could very well represent the future.

“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.”

– Mary McLeod Bethune, U.S. educator who inspired social activism.

Below is a compilation of mediation-oriented groups, non-profits and NGOs who are not only leading by example and urging fellow Israelis and Palestinians to come together and find a mutual solution to end the war, but which are also sharing valuable content to help educate those of us peering through the looking glass of social media.

Women Wage Peace and Women of the Sun: Palestinian and Israeli Women March for Peace

On October 4, 2023, hundreds of Palestinian and Israeli women joined and took to the streets to march for peace, along with calling for female voices at the negotiation table. Israel-based group Women Wage Peace worked with the Palestinian group Women of the Sun on a coordinated march held in Jerusalem from the Monument of Tolerance to the end of the Goldman Promenade in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.

To further their efforts, women from all cultural backgrounds travelled to Neveh Midbar beach on the Dead Sea, where a planned group of activities took place, including the creation of a peace quilt and the presentation of an art installation by Sigalit Landau featuring an unoccupied peace table.

Diplomats, foreign officials and politicians including Irish ambassador-designate, Sonya McGuinness and a member of Belgium’s regional parliament and vice-president of European Women’s Lobby, Viviane Teitelbaum were in attendance to show their support in finding a peaceful solution to a multifaceted conflict.

Eva Biaudet, a Finnish member of Parliament, said she attended the event to support the courageous Israeli and Palestinian women. “In Finland, my generation has not experienced war” although they have seen “violence in the private sphere.”

Yael Admi, a co-founder and prominent figure in the Israeli organization Women Wage Peace, expressed to the press, “The moment has come for bold leaders to inspire hope for a brighter future for our children. ”

“We no longer take the back seat and are determined to act persistently to end the cycle of bloodshed and to achieve freedom and a just, honorable life for Palestinian and Israeli children,” says the founder of Women of the Sun, Reem Hajajr.

It is feasible that a political and cultural shift could be underway and propelled by notable female political, religious and cultural figures who feel solution-based mediation tactics could help to foster peace and promote reconciliation.

Women Wage Peace Instagram: @womenwagepeace

Women of the Sun Facebook: Women of the Sun

Canada at work to find common ground: Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims (CAJM)

Since 1996, The Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims (CAJM) has come together across the Jewish and Muslim faith communities as a voice for humanity.

The organization’s purpose is to bring members of the Jewish and Muslim communities in Canada closer together, to promote positive interaction, and to work together to counter problems faced by both communities. Their objectives are to learn, understand and jointly work together, to promote harmony between Canadian Muslims and Jews.

“This is our time to humanize each other and avoid indiscriminately stoking the flames of hatred. This could reverberate across the generations in our country, says in a statement by Shahid Akhtar and Dr. Barbara Landau, Co-chairs, of the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims.

“The cycle of violence has continued far too long and created divisions everywhere – we are all traumatized. As caring Canadians, we want to stop the spread of this venom that poisons the many acts of caring and friendship that CAJM has witnessed,” they state.

“We are calling on our community and faith leaders to stand together at a time of enormous tragedy when leadership and courage are most needed. Our goal is to demonstrate our caring and prevent hatred from undermining the ability of Canadians to find the higher path to healing.”

Facebook: Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims (CAJM)

Using Healthcare to Promote Equality. Project Rozana

Project Rozana has chapters located all around the world including the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia. Focused on using healthcare to promote equity and quality of life and care through collaborative efforts involving both Palestinians and Israelis. Rooted in the principle that Healthcare is a human right, since 2013 Project Rozana has focused on cooperative health measures that build trust, and a robust health system to create peace and prosperity.

An incredible tale of resilience, at the age of four, Rozana Salawhi, a Palestinian girl, experienced a life-threatening accident when she fell from the ninth floor of her family’s apartment near Ramallah. Rozana’s mother, Maysa Abu Ghannam, a journalist, took remarkable steps to ensure her daughter’s care by arranging treatment at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center. Her belief was rooted in the conviction that Israel’s healthcare system offered better odds for Rozana’s survival.

Project Rozana
(Photo credit: Project Rozana)

Rozana’s journey served as a powerful inspiration for an Australian entrepreneur, Ron Finkel AM. It pushed him to highlight the substantial disparities in healthcare access between Israel and Palestine, even though they share geographical borders, and used healthcare to foster goodwill between these two communities, concluding that the moment had come to initiate sensible action.

Project Rozana on Instagram: @projectrozanainternationa

Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP)

ALLMEP is a coalition of over 170 organizations—and tens of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis—building people-to-people cooperation, coexistence, equality, shared society, mutual understanding, and peace among their communities. Their mission is to add stability in times of crisis, foster cooperation that increases impact, and build an environment conducive to peace over the long term.

Alliances such as ALLMEP provide a single destination on social media informing the public of the humanitarian and peacebuilding work their member organizations are actively committed to in a time of war, as well as sharing a united front. They recently released a statement confirming their opposition to the violence, and reaffirming their commitment to Israeli/Palestinian partnerships on the path to ending the war and achieving peace and equality.

Alliance for Middle East Peace on Instagram: @allianceformiddleeastpeace

Working together in a time of crisis and conflict to create action-based solutions that foster transparency, tolerance, and understanding is needed more than ever. Shedding light on advocacy groups and organizations with the goal of collectively uplifting others to create harmony is a small step, but one that can help move us collectively toward shifting the current narrative of conflict toward one of peace and unity.

Chrissy Newton is the host of the Rebelliously Curious podcast, which can be found on The Debrief’s YouTube Channel. Marie Nicola is a podcaster, blogger, pop culture historian, and co-host of the Alt.Pop.Repeat. podcast along with Chrissy Newton.