Results: Break down relational borders between Israelis and Palestinians
Fifty percent of Palestinian participants (20 total) said that by participating in the HATD program, they had the potential to learn and understand different viewpoints of Israelis and to increase overall trust between Israelis and Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Thirty-five percent of the Palestinian participants agreed that participating in the HATD program has the potential to facilitate positive communication or interaction between Israelis and Palestinians through new programs in the future, which would be a step toward working together and breaking down relational borders.
Fifty-five percent of Palestinian staff in the OPT, Israeli Jewish staff, Palestinian staff in Israel, board members, and both HATD representatives agreed or strongly agreed that working with HATD has helped them to learn and understand different viewpoints of Palestinians and Israeli Jews. Fifty-five percent of Palestinian staff said they have witnessed a positive change in the attitudes of Palestinians toward Israelis and Palestinians living in Israel. One of the Israeli staff and one of the Palestinian staff in Israel also agreed. The two representatives both agreed that working with HATD programs has positively influenced their own views and attitudes toward Israelis and Palestinians.
Positive communication, interaction, and increased trust are elements needed for breaking down relational borders and moving toward peace. A majority agreed that HATD can facilitate, or already has facilitated, an increase in positive relations between the groups in Israel and the OPT, as well as understanding others’ views. One of the staff members suggested organizing community dialogues for people to share their stories to build empathy. A second employee agreed that HATD should persist in its efforts to facilitate networking between the staff so that they could continue learning about one another.
Results: Facilitate peace building between Israelis and Palestinians
Only 35% of Palestinian participants agreed that involvement in the HATD program has the potential to provide a foundation for Israelis and Palestinians living in the OPT to break down barriers and begin building peace. Sixty percent of the Palestinian staff in the OPT and 100% of the board members thought the HATD initiatives have the potential to provide a foundation for Israelis and Palestinians to break down barriers and begin building peace.
Some of the HATD board members commented that building peace in the region at this time seems possible only through working with communities from the bottom up. They thought that not focusing on politics and peace building but continuing to focus on improving the health of the participants should remain at the core of HATD’s mission. They were in agreement that continuing to facilitate joint workshops in a neutral area in order to exchange experiences and knowledge is important.