Understanding the conflict directly from the teens growing up in it.
Please remember that the opinions of the interviewees do not necessarily reflect our own. Our goal is to educate others about the conflict as well as about the ideas and mindsets of those in it, and we do that through exposing all different viewpoints.
Teens for Peace's new initiative asks Israeli and Palestinian teens a simple question. Why peacebuilding? Our Summer 2021 project aimed to understand the decisions of youth to or not to be involved in peacemaking and to discover how we can increase the amount of youth that are favorable towards peacebuilding programs. We worked with various peacebuilding organizations, including Hands of Peace, Seeds of Peace, and Budo for Peace to reach teenagers that have made the decision to work towards peace. Interviews can be viewed below!
Mor - Israeli (18)
In potentially the most meaningful and thought-provoking conversation we've ever had at TPME, Mor and founder Max discuss the inability of each side to learn about, care about, or respect the culture, language, and traditions of the other. Mor discusses fundamental flaws in the Israeli school system that allows for this tragic disconnection.
Illay - Israeli (20)
We sit down with Illay to talk about his experience with PeaceCamp, how he broke his stereotypes, and how society should begin to fracture the cycle of hatred. Illay provides insight on what fundamental changes we need to make to promote peace and love.
Mo - Arab-Israeli (18)
Mo and I sit down to discuss stereotypes, perspectives, news, and social media. We dissect his experience with PeaceCamp, an organization that brings together Israeli, Arab, and Palestinian youth to go to summer camp together in America.
Liran - Israeli (18)
Among solutions, past and future impacts on himself, and other dimensions of the conflict, Liran shares with us a memory of a truly traumatizing incident. He recounts having only a few seconds of warning before a building he was in was hit with a missile, and we explore how such an event changes a life.
Yaniv - Israeli (13)
Yaniv and I discuss stereotypes and their place in Israeli life. More specifically, we talk about how his preconceived notion that "all Palestinians are murderers" was crushed, and how that impacted his life and views on the conflict. Yaniv speaks on his classmates, on politics, and pervious experiences that guided him to want to become a diplomat for peace as an adult.
Shirin - Israeli (15)
Shirin and I sit down to discuss her experiences with rocket attacks, her identity, her future, and her opinions on the conflict. We talk about how she has never interacted with a Palestinian or Arab teenager and how that has impacted her life as a young person.
Shraga - Israeli (18)
Shraga talks about how he can't really trust the constantly biased media on both sides. He had a shocking incident that happens to far too many in which someone close to him - a teacher - was stabbed to death, so we discuss desensitization. He tells us about how labels play an important role in Israeli life.
Ronald #2 - Israeli (14)
Ronald, our very first interviewee here at Teens for Peace in the Middle East, sits down with us 14 months later to share changing opinions, a reaffirmed stance on the importance of breaking misconceptions, and experiences with the inability to listen to another perspective. We talk about the recent escalation of conflict and the new Israeli government as well, and the changing nature of the situation.
Amir - Israeli (14)
Amir and I discuss the biased media, and he portrays the conflict as a fascinating metaphor between a parent (the world) and fighting children. We talk about how the conflict has brought shame to both sides, and how he doesn't always like the fact that he's from Israel when asked.
Idan - Israeli (16)
Idan previously lived in the USA, so he has the ability to compare life both in his new home of Israel and earlier on. We discuss Israeli and Palestinian politics and corruption, as well as how to start thinking about a solution.
Marsel - Israeli-Palestinian (18)
Like many Arab-Israelis, Marsel faces a question of identity that has played such an important role in his life. We talk about ignorance, hopelessness, and yet hope at the same time - especially during and after COVID.
Alisa - Russian-Ukranian-Israeli-Palestinian (17)
As you might expect from the title, Alisa has a fascinating background. Despite some internet difficulties, Alisa and I had a fascinating conversation about being raised Israeli with a Palestinian mom. She wants to be Prime Minister, and, like many, feels beholden to both Israelis and Palestinians in crucial decisions like IDF involvement. Being involved in politics, Alisa's life is filled with difficult conversations. Listen now!
Serena - Palestinian
Serena lives in East Jerusalem, one of the most disputed territories in the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. We discuss IDF practices and one very traumatic experience that Serena will never forget.
Maysan - Palestinian (16)
Maysan is an Arab living in Israel in a purely Arab town, which constrains her from meeting and befriending Israeli Jews. We talk about the Arab-Israeli struggle of identity, her worries towards the future, and the importance of how many are raised to fear and hate.
Itai - Israel (17)
Itai talks to us about the fear of living with a mandatory bomb shelter and how interactions like this lead to misconceptions and fear. He speaks thoughtfully on why the relationship between these people is what it is and and what we can do to promote peace.
Amjad - Palestinian (16)
In our first Gaza interview ever, I discuss with Amjad what it was like to grow up in a place often overlooked, but struggling. We talked about the psychological impacts of a Gazan childhood, about school, rockets/missiles, and more.
Dona - Palestinian (16)
As an Arab living in Israel, Dona talks to me about her worries for the future and finding equality in a job. We discuss the media, racism, and what needs to be changed in the status quo.
Shiri - Israel (14)
Shiri lives in the center of Israel and has numerous deep, personal experiences relating to the effects of the conflict. She shares with us some of her opinions on Hamas, the IDF, and more.
Shahd - Palestinian (16)
Shahd lives in an Arab town in Israel. She is part of the shared Palestinian identity, and says that identity crisis is an important part of the issue that affects many teens. We discuss racism, misunderstanding, and the importance of education.
Mihal - Israel (17)
Our very own Director of Israeli Operations, Mihal, speaks with us about the importance of education and the impact of ignorance. We also discuss some occurrences that happened to her and her friends demonstrating racism and hatred.
Shai - Israel (16)
Shai is a student in Israel who feels strongly about the importance of education in solving this conflict. We discuss how fear and misunderstanding come from childhood, and the avoidance of the topic in school and elsewhere.
Ronald - Israel (13)
Our very first interviewee, Ronald, is a freshman in high school in central Israel with both Israeli and Palestinian friends. Ronald and I discuss the importance of misconceptions and the unwillingness to listen, and where that comes from.
Ahmad - Palestinian
Ahmad lives in Hebron in the West Bank, where checkpoints and soldiers are part of everyday life. We talk about acts of violence and how people he knows have been immediately affected.
Eliya - Israeli (15)
"Killer". Eliya tells us how people see her, call her, and think of her as a killer because of where she lives. She worries this stereotype will impact her future, and is frustrated at what she says are rumors that have created a cycle of hatred leading to this concept.
Luna- Palestinian (14)
Luna has a Palestinian family but was born in and lives in Israel. She tells me about her view of the importance of equality and peace for both groups.
Michal - Israeli (17)
Despite some language barriers, Michal and I discuss crucial topics including the cycle of hatred education. If parents learn to hate, Michal says, then the kids will too. She paints a clearer picture of the dynamic between Israel and Palestine, and sets straight some untrue stereotypes.