OneVoice reached a critical milestone in November when it recruited its 250,000th signatory member.
Recap of Recruitment Drive:
Inception 2002-2004: Recruitment of Israelis and Palestinians who support the OneVoice Principles and commit to become engaged in fighting extremism commenced in 2002 with 300 Israeli and Palestinian members. In 2003, over 25,000 Israelis and Palestinians signed on to the OneVoice Proclamation of Principles, just as Queen Rania and other dignitaries signed on to the Proclamation in tandem. In 2004, Citizen Negotiations were launched to enable citizens to craft a grassroots consensus on ten pillars for conflict resolution and an additional 113,000 signed on through October 2004.
Between September 2004 and November 2004, the OneVoice Board reviewed the results and realized consensus had been reached on all 10 questions as reformatted after multiple rounds of citizen negotiations; while some issues remained to be deepened, the Board determined the OneVoice Movement needed to first focus on building a deeper human infrastructure of young activists, so the leadership program was initially conceived by November 2004 and launched in earnest in early 2005. Since then 1,800 Israeli and Palestinian youth activists have joined the movement and gone through immersion training.
2005 Campaigns: From December 2004 to January 2005, OneVoice Palestine also conducted the first ever get-out-the-vote campaign in the Arab world, for the Palestinian Presidential Elections and along with the distribution of over 100,000 brochures and a dozen events across the West Bank and Gaza that drew in tens of thousands of participants, it signed up over 30,000 new members. Between June and September 2005, OneVoice Israel conducted a campaign to discourage incitement and violence amidst deep divisions surrounding the evacuation of settlements from Gaza; besides busloads of activists in Kissufim to counter militant violence, it conducted a very effective internet campaign that was viewed by hundreds of thousands and through which 18,000 Israelis were recruited to sign on to the OV Principles.
2006 Campaigns: Between November 2005 and March 2006, OneVoice Palestine conducted 10 massive Town Hall Meetings and a grassroots petition campaign encouraging a platform to end the occupation through peaceful actions, through which it recruited 23,000 new members. Between February and March 2006, OneVoice Israel conducted a non-partisan get-out-the-vote campaign geared at young people which elicited a lot of media coverage and included a Public Service Announcement from Israeli TV Eretz Nehederet stars Kitzis and Friedman and an animated viral email video encouraging young people to vote. 31,379 Israelis signed on to OneVoice through this campaign.
Online Recruitment: Between September 2004 and November 2006 an additional 15,000 Israelis and Palestinians (13,000 Israelis and 2,000 Palestinians, numbers rounded down) signed online as citizen negotiators independently and separate from a campaign effort. As of the November 2006 Audit by the PeaceWorks Foundation, 256,000 Israeli and Palestinian activists had joined the movement in roughly equal numbers (130,000 Palestinians and 126,000 Israelis). The OneVoice Israel and OneVoice Palestine offices receive equal funding on the whole, and while they each have totally independent operations, the International Steering Committee and the PeaceWorks Foundation seek to ensure they are working in coordination and in parallel.
The above does not include signature drives for the What Are You Willing to Do Campaigns which began in the fall of 2006 but have not been audited or added yet.
International Supporters: About 10,000 additional signatories from the United States, Great Britain and other international supporters across the world have also joined as signatories since inception.
Volunteer-Driven: The recruitment drives on the ground are primarily conducted by a volunteer movement, resulting in deeper commitment and greater grassroots depth.
ID Requirements: All signatories must provide their first and last name, their city of residence, and their phone and/or email address. When signing on to the Citizen Negotiations, a national security id is also required.
Content: While the pledges and documents vary slightly depending on the campaign involved and on the current issues being addressed, they all have a common denominator embodied in the OneVoice Principles of Participation, which require a recognition of the humanity and human rights of both sides (including the right to freedom and security), a recognition that this conflict needs to be resolved through non-violence, and a personal pledge of active involvement towards empowering ordinary citizens against extremism and towards a resolution of the conflict.
2007 Goal: The OneVoice International Steering Committee has a bold goal of at least doubling the number of signatories in 2007 to reach half a million members.
Activism Levels: Not all signatories are actively involved in the movement, and so the youth movement’s task is to increase the participation and engagement of their communities.
What does it mean to be a “Signatory” or “Member”? “Signatories” or “Members” of the OneVoice Movement are used interchangeably and are the broadest term used by OneVoice to define a relationship to the OneVoice Movement. The requirement for this denomination is a personal signed pledge that the individual will live up to the principles of the movement and will work in their daily life to fight extremism and amplify the voice of moderation. From there, OneVoice staff and volunteers encourage its “signatories” or “members” to increase their involvement.
What is a Citizen Negotiator? The next step of activism is for a signatory to become a “Citizen Negotiator” by participating in the voting process. Beyond that, members are encouraged to participate in community events and public activities designed to enhance the influence of moderates in their communities.
Greater Engagement: Board & Council Service and Youth Leadership Program: The highest level of participation in the movement is to join one of the Boards or Councils of the OneVoice Movement, or in the case of young people between 18 and 35 years of age, to join the Youth Leadership Program and continue activism and training through successive programs to advance in the leadership program and become a OneVoice Ambassador.
What is a OneVoice Youth Ambassador? A OneVoice Youth Ambassador is a Youth leader that has received advanced training and has proven themselves through deep and consistent activism in their communities. OneVoice Youth Ambassadors represent the OneVoice Movement in events locally and abroad. They have been sent as emissaries to public events like the World Economic Forum MENA Summit in Sharm El Sheikh or as OneVoice Ambassadors to college campuses from the US to Europe to the Arab World as part of the International Education Program.