In response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Penn State Jewish and Muslim students were encouraged to engage in an interactive discussion panel on the two-state-solution Wednesday night in 362 Willard.
One Voice is a non-partisan, international grassroots movement working to deliver the voice of the majority of Israelis and Palestinians to achieve the mutually acceptable two-state-solution through recruiting youth leaders.
The two-state-solution ensures security and peace for and ends problems between both states, according to One Voice’s brochure.
Inspired by her involvement in an interfaith program, Naomi Silverman said she decided to bring One Voice to Penn State to educate students about a worldwide effort to achieve peace.
“Sometimes starting the conversation is all you need,” said Silverman (senior-secondary education).
Two youth leaders, Anas Ashqar and Gabi Avner, facilitated the discussion.
One Voice is different from dialogue organizations that promote joint conversations among Israelis and Palestinians, Ashqar, the speaker for One Voice Palestine, said. Rather, it works in parallel with Israeli and Palestinian speakers, addressing their own interests and issues as well as mobilizing people to take a nonviolent action to solve the problem, he said.
Avner, the speaker for One Voice Israel, said he was motivated to join One Voice because of his belief to take personal responsibility to become proactive and change the picture of the country into the image he thought it would fit.
“Every movement starts from one person who wants to do something about it,” he said.
As grassroots activists, this movement is about bringing the conflict from the emotional level to tangible where people can negotiate and compromise and come into an agreement, Avner said.
Shaina Low, One Voice International Education Program associate in U.S. office, said younger generations play a significant role in the movement because each person’s energy, enthusiasm and flexibility with their time provide extra opportunities to be involved with the organization.
Foremost, youths have power to reach all levels of society and reach the broad scope of people and help them mobilize, Low said.