Founded in 1991, Windows: Channels for Communication is a joint Israeli-Palestinian organization that strives for a future based on human rights, liberty, dignity, equality and democracy. We believe that because both nations have lived and developed in this land, both nations have the right to be here as equals. We believe in the human spirit, in the ability of individuals to create change, and in the power of joint, grassroots Palestinian-Israeli efforts to achieve these ideals.
As an organization, we function through a unique “triangle” framework with equal representation of Palestinians from the Occupied Territories (West Bank), Jewish Israelis, and Palestinian citizens of Israel (“Palestinians inside”).This framework is present at all levels of the organization, from the board of directors, to our staff, to the participants themselves. We persevere together, working tirelessly to include a variety of voices from each of these groups in every decision, activity, and goal. This approach has carried us through several wars, the intifada, and various political crises. Reflective of all three identity groups, our team goes out into our communities to spread accurate information about each other, to raise questions, to promote critical discourse, and to encourage action. Through our educational programs, we seek to realize the values of human rights and equality, values that will lead to the end of occupation and discrimination. We instill hope and mobilize our communities to join us in the joint struggle for a just and peaceful future.
Innovation: Windows’ theory of change and unique methodologies has been developing over the past 22 years. Windows was established aiming to produce a joint alternative media – The Hebrew-Arabic magazine written by and for youth. Program developments are made based on a joint-process of evaluation and the changing reality. As a joint organization we understood that meeting simply for the sake of meeting is not good enough. There is a need to find our shared goals and work as a task-oriented group – both as the team leading the organization and the youth participating in our programs. We created methodologies based on our own process and experiences of coping. Instead of using energies in a clash-oriented atmosphere, Windows’ methods direct energies towards working together for a better future for all based on human rights.
Windows work as a triangle is unique. Most organizations in the local peace-building field work either with the conflict inside Israel or with the conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinians from the OPT. These conflicts are inherently connected, and we believe there is a need to deal with them together. It is important for us to keep our meetings in the region, connecting the program “on the ground”, involving families, peers and the community. Our community-based approach opens more possibilities for impact and strengthens our youth’s confidence.
From the publishing of the first issue of Windows Magazine in January 1995, it was clear to us that it is not enough for youth to know more about the situation if they do not do anything about it. Through the magazine our first generations of young journalists spread information and critical discourses, and now, as our program developed youth are also empowered to use more forms of activism giving in-depth meaning to the idea of a joint- struggle.
These approaches, shared goals, task-oriented groups, single and bi-national frameworks have enabled us to continue working through the tumultuous political atmosphere and various political crises. Additionally, academic research proves that our methodologies’ long-term, deep and empowerment processes are more effective and sustainable for conflict resolution than the short-term meetings or programs that do not cope with the core issues of the conflict.