Windows – Channels for Communication has acquired unique experience in developing and implementing long-term educational programs for youth that address the core issues of the conflict* with broad present and historical perspectives, both local and global.
We all share the belief that the current situation of occupation**, human rights violations, violence and discrimination is unacceptable, and that peace*** is not possible without addressing the real needs of the people sharing this land.
We believe we need to counter-weight the dehumanization and fear that result from the harsh realities, the flow of mainstream media and other institutions. There is also need to empower youth to work towards a better future both on the local and national level. Our own experiences working together as a joint team give us first-hand understanding of the different perceptions and emotional barriers that exist between our communities. This has helped us to develop successful methodologies for our bi-national and multi-cultural youth programs.
Windows’ long term Youth Programs offer a safe space for learning, personal development and empowerment. Changes in perceptions and attitudes often require emotional processes that develop over time while gaining more and more knowledge. Our programs give sufficient time to generate both cognitive and emotional processes.
By providing youth with tools for critical thinking, for deep understanding of their own identities and values and for constructive dialogue, we open a window for communication between our communities. This ongoing communication, along with serious study of the past and present and learning by practicing various forms of activism, empowers youth to take action, together and separately, against all forms of oppression between and within our societies.
* Some may feel that the word conflict implies a certain symmetry of sides while in reality ours is not such a case. We acknowledge the imbalance of power between the Israeli and Palestinian sides as occupiers and occupied and work towards changing it. We do feel that other words may not contain the full meaning of the situation as well.
** Occupation: a common argument today is that one cannot be an occupier in one’s own land. While ownership of this land is a bone of contention, no one argues that the military occupation of Palestinian people does exist and has not been lifted for 48 years by now.
*** Peace: Everyone wants peace, apparently, but peace has different meanings for different people. In view of this, for us such declarations as 'we want peace' or 'we work for peace' are sometimes hollow and meaningless. We do use the term peace, as it is part and parcel of public discourse, but we do recognize the erosion of its meaning.