More than 250 Israeli and Palestinian youth last week opened a social media campaign calling on the public to engage in direct dialogue with one another.
The campaign was developed as part of a leadership program run by the Kids Creating Peace educational organization, which brings together Israeli and Palestinian youth to develop a shared dialogue, in collaboration with the UK government.
“The youth participating in our leadership program meet for a collaborative educational and work process. As part of this process, they discovered completely different things about one another than what they hear in the media and discovered what is similar between them as human beings,” said Shani Peretz-Kariv, CEO of Kids Creating Peace.
The campaign launch was the culmination of a year’s worth of meetings between Israeli and Palestinian youth, aged 14-18, who got to know one another by breaking down their stereotypes and developing a dialogue to promote coexistence.
“We asked what message they want to pass along to the public, and it seemed that on both sides, the youth characterized what was going on in social media and in news coverage as a polarizer that strengthens false and negative perceptions of both sides,” said Peretz-Kariv.
As such, the youth campaign calls on Israelis and Palestinians to use their critical judgment when reading or watching news that may misrepresent, vilify or incite against one side or the other. Instead, the campaign calls to create a direct dialogue to promote coexistence through face to face meetings and through social networks.