NEW YORK | In a speech on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly meeting, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas outlined his vision for peace and pointed skeptics to Seeds of Peace. “To those who say peace between Israelis and Palestinians is impossible, I say, let them visit America. I say, let them visit Maine,” he said to an audience at Cooper Union college on September 22. “In Maine every summer, young Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Arabs, and others meet in … FULL STORY
The Ha’aretz newspaper published a column by Matthew Kalman on September 15 titled “Will seeds of peace ever bloom.” The piece is very similar to a 2008 San Francisco Chronicle article by Kalman that also juxtaposes statistics from an unpublished 2008 study on various Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding programs with an interview with a Seed. This is Seeds of Peace’s response to the article. There has been no response from Ha’aretz or Kalman. Dear Matthew, I very much appreciate that, like your … FULL STORY
Participants from regions of conflict attend a camp and discussed issues like the India-Pakistan conflict over Kashmir A group of teenagers who participated in this year’s Seeds of Peace camp returned from their three week tour at Maine, United States of America. Seeds of Peace was founded by American journalist John Wallach in 1993. The idea was to get people from the regions of conflict to come together and speak to each other so that they can understand the situation … FULL STORY
With tensions simmering in the Middle East, a bucolic lakeside summer camp in Otisfield, Maine, took 95 Israeli and Palestinian out of the conflict zone and hosted them as campers this month for a unique bonding experience. Some 6,000 miles removed from the fighting back home, the kids get to know one another in the woods of Maine, hoping that the lessons they learn at sleepover camp will one day help them work for peace back home. The camp, called … FULL STORY
WHEN two groups are in conflict, how can you improve relations between them? One strategy is to encourage positive personal contact among individuals from each group. If a Catholic and a Protestant in Northern Ireland would only sit down together to talk—learning about one another’s families, hearing about one another’s fears—the encounter, according to this approach, would foster understanding, humanize the enemy and lessen bigotry. The scholarly version of this idea is known as interpersonal contact theory. It’s an intriguing … FULL STORY
The get-together between Israeli and Palestinian young people that is currently wrapping up in the American state of Maine hasn’t been easy. The winds of war from Gaza naturally had their impact on the discussions. The discussions in this program sponsored by the Seeds for Peace organization between the young Israeli and Palestinian and other Arab participants have never been easy, but this time the friction was greater. The weather along the lake had never been better. After the sun … FULL STORY
Seeds of Peace, a special summer camp in Maine, brings children together from war-torn areas, in the hope that they’ll see things from a different point-of-view. As Don Dahler found out, the camp is opening hearts as well as eyes to the possibility of peace.