New York, August 16, 2011—OneVoice Israel (OVI) increased their recognition across Israel over the past ten months through the innovative Imagine 2018 campaign and their outspoken position on the UN vote to recognize Palestinian statehood this September.
Drawing on the groundwork laid during the Imagine 2018 campaign, including the first ever Two-State Solution Caucus in the Knesset and widespread social media campaigns, OVI is educating the Israeli public, dispelling fears, and helping form a proper Israeli response.
“The current response from the Israeli government [to international recognition of a Palestinian state] is frantic,” said Tal Harris, executive director of OVI. “Therefore, we must put forth a bold Israeli response to make Israel part of the solution rather than a victim or spectator.”
OVI’s original Facebook application, launched in December 2010, allowed users to write headlines about what they would like to read in the year 2018. The application increased OVI’s overall Facebook presence by 300 percent. It also garnered recognition by government ministers and celebrities and reaped thousands of page views.
The 10 winning headlines – chosen by the number of likes on Facebook – were displayed on bus shelters across the country, allowing thousands of Israelis to see the message.
The Two-State Solution Caucus, conceived and co-created by OVI, officially launched in January with the aim of keeping pressure on the Israeli government to achieve a two-state solution and permanently end the conflict.
“We are working to make the Two-State Solution Caucus even stronger by bringing in a total of 35 Knesset member by September,” said Tal.
Other achievements include OVI’s expansion of the town hall meetings series to include high schools across Israel. At one event in Holon this February, a girl sat uneasy in her chair, facing the skepticism of her classmates. Unable to remain silent, she finally asked one of them, “Are you 16 or 68? You sound so depressed and hopeless, [it’s] as if you forgot that the role of youth is to pursue change and not to block it.”
Beyond Israel’s borders, OVI made waves abroad by engaging British Parliamentarians and receiving recognition from Foreign Affairs Shadow Minister Stephen Twigg during a speech he gave in the House of Commons in March.
OVI’s hard work attracted the attention of Israel’s top media outlets, including Haaretz and YNet. Interviews on Channel 10 and Channel 2 have mentioned OneVoice and Karyout radio station broadcasted a two-hour interview with Tal.
OVI is now focused on framing an Israeli response to September's UN vote on Paelstinian recognition. Their newest campaign, “Help Bibi Complete the Israeli Peace Initiative,” has utilized guerilla tactics, an online application and a massive block party to mobilize Israelis and get them thinking creatively about a negotiated peace agreement.
“Our work so far this year has more than doubled OneVoice’s recognition among mainstream Israelis ages 18-44,” said Tal. “The people that have become part of our movement as a result will prove to be the greatest strength to OneVoice's vision of a two-state solution, particularly considering the major challenges ahead.”