As an immediate response to the war in Israel-Palestine, Sabine Lichtenfels initiated a Vision Camp in the West-bank, July 23rd – 29th, which hosted around 50 participants from Israel, Palestine and beyond. It is imperative that this work continues. In support of this we, the Grace Foundation, have invited 8 peace activists [update Aug. 21st: 7 peace activists] from Israel and Palestine to come to the Tamera Peace Research Center in Portugal and to stay for a further period of reflection, envisioning and the creation of a strategy for a sustainable peace project in Israel-Palestine.
Aerial art with 300 participants from over thirty countries at the International Summer University in Tamera, Portugal
This action was facilitated by activist John Quigley (August 5th, 2014)
Please see our latest campaign updates (August 21st and 28th) for current information!
Why continue the Vision Camp?
We need a vision for peace in order to end the war.
The Vision camp in the Westbank showed the immense potential for reconciliation and deeper humanity. The region needs the permanent establishment of such places in order to realise this; to support the step out of the cycle of war and into the creation of something new.
Some of the 50 peace activists are envisioning and planning the manifestation of a Peace Research Village in the Middle East (PRV-ME), a real model for a society in which trust and humanity are stronger than fear and hate; a model of coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. As difficult as that currently seems to be, we were convinced during the Vision Camp that this is the most urgent and effective act that can be taken right now.
What are the next steps?
Time for reflection and redefining the vision of the Peace Research Village Middle East.
Activating a Global Public - core carriers of the Vision Camp in the Westbank stayed in the Middle East to prepare a major publicity campaign which will be launched in early 2015. A first draft can be published soon.
Lee Ziv will now come to the Tamera Peace Research Center as a representative of this campaign team, to align with the group who is carrying the vision of the Peace Research Village Middle East.
Further education in peacework including conflict resolution, water management and alternative ecological energy production
Training in spiritual practices to support the sustainability of peace activists.
What do we need the money for?
We invite: Ali Abu Awwad, Gabriel Meyer Halevy, Lee Ziv, Uri Ayalon, Shahd Abu Hamad, Emma Shamba Ayalon, Meera Eilabouni, Seham Ikhlayel (descriptions of the participants you can find further down: section 'TEAM').
[Update August 21st: Ali Abu Awwad and Gabriel Meyer Halevy could not come to Tamera now due to Visa complications. Instead Dror Zohar joined the call to continue the work of the Vision Camp.]
€1500 each for each of 7 peaceworkers travel to and stay in Tamera:
€600 travel costs from Israel-Palestine to Tamera, Portugal. (Flights, train & car travel)
€600 for 30 days of food and accommodation in Tamera (€20 per day)
€300 training fees in Tamera (€10 per day)
What if we receive more money?
The Grace Foundation collects the money for the manifestation of the Peace Research Village Middle East and for the Scholarship Fund to finance peace education.
More Information about the Vison Camp in Israel-Palestine
As another outbreak of violence erupted in Gaza, local and international peaceworkers gathered for a vigil in the West Bank. They lived simply in the midst of shootings and bombings; creating community, sharing from their hearts, in silence and in tears. They bore witness and worked to stay with grace in the face of senseless killing. In the past three weeks there have been over 1000 human victims including the shooting of three Palestinians in the village closest to the vision camp. The participants of the camp faced into untold pain, suffering, desperation and speechlessness.
One of the main achievements of the gathering was the commitment of the participants to the following statement. Below is an extract from this.
"What we all agree on is: Enough! Stop this killing. No solution can come from war! Each innocent victim of this war is one too many! We refuse to be enemies. We are calling out to all parties: Stop this war! … The civil population is being lied to on both sides, and the world is mostly misled by the media. … Many countries are delivering weapons and enriching themselves through the war.
We are striving to convert trust, peace, justice and compassion into realities .... One Palestinian participant, Ali Abu Awwad said, “We are not two sides; we are one side. We have one common enemy: hatred" …The global system of domination thrives through our powerlessness. We have decided to step out of powerlessness …We can change this feeling of desperation into readiness for transformation.
We are aware that those who are against war need a vision for peace. We envision breaking the cycle of victimization, occupation, hatred and revenge. For years now, many of us have been working on new models for living. Now it is our task to demonstrate credible alternatives: stepping out of the system of complicity and stepping into a network of solidarity and compassion.
Killing cannot lead us to a free or protected land … this land will never be holy while we keep watering it with blood.
We love our countries, our homes, and this earth. We declare ourselves to be global citizens for peace! We are calling out to doctors, water experts, ecologists, technologists, peace activists, decision-makers, spiritual leaders, peace journalists, film-makers, politicians and each and everyone of you: Let us come together and put our wisdom to work! Let us overcome the walls of separation. Together, we will create completely new ways of sharing this planet.”
Here you can listen to a Live-Interview from the Vision Camp with Sabine Lichtenfels, Sami Awad, Ali Abu Awwad and Gabriel Meyer Halvey:
Meeting of peace activists from Israel, Palestine and other countries in the Vision Camp, West-Bank, July 2014
What is The Grace Foundation?
The Grace Foundation was established in Switzerland in 2007 by Sabine Lichtenfels and Rainer Ehrenpreis. The goal of the foundation is to promote the establishment of peace research villages worldwide and the training in all areas of knowledge that is necessary for this to occur: regional self-sufficiency in the areas of water, food and energy, social and ecological sustainability, and community-building. With this work we are making an effective and efficient contribution to the healing of the Earth – for a future without war and for a global peace culture with strong communities and autonomous regions, in cooperation with nature.
What is Tamera?
The Healing Biotope I Tamera is a peace research project with the goal of creating a model of society that is free from hatred, lies, violence and fear. Tamera functions as a gobal acupuncture point of peace, a greenhouse of trust, a prototype for an existence free of fear.