New York, September 8, 2011—OneVoice Palestine’s youth activists unveiled their ambitious online and on the ground campaign on Thursday in support of the fast-approaching Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations.
OneVoice Palestine launched a campaign, entitled “We have a homeland, we want a state,” in partnership with Wattan TV and other local news agencies to mobilize thousands of ordinary Palestinians into collective action to gain full admittance to the UN on the road to a two-state solution. Their activities will lay the basis for nonviolent and constructive responses in the aftermath of the vote.
“For Palestinians, the UN bid for statehood serves to protect and secure our homeland,” said Samer Makhlouf, executive director of OneVoice Palestine. "It is a symbolic action that will definitely be followed by negotiations. Both the Israeli and the Palestinian leaders have to go back to serious talks, with clear parameters and fixed time frame, and agree to bring peace and security for both peoples."
Palestine TV and Wattan TV began airing a short promotional video produced by OneVoice Palestine that envisions an international Palestinian airport. An online banner that reads, “1967 borders + implementation of international resolutions + removing settlements = state, freedom, peace, democracy, sovereignty, dignity, independence,” was posted on Wattan TV’s site, and appears on Al-Jazeera’s Web site and the popular sports site Kooora.
In tandem, OneVoice Palestine will have on the ground activities, including distributing thousands of posters and flyers in the West Bank with information about the UN bid.
OneVoice Palestine will leverage its extensive network of youth activists to create a platform for the involvement of all Palestinian citizens in this diplomatic effort. The youth activists will set up tents in the West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Salfeet and invite residents to talk about the UN bid and its aftermath. Town hall meetings will be held in Hebron and Jenin with Palestinian Legislative Council and Fatah Revolutionary Council members attending and connecting with the people on steps to take the day after the vote.
“We, as a movement of Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals, support the campaign of our office in Palestine,” said OneVoice CEO Howard Sumka. “We understand from our discussions with Palestinian officials that this is a diplomatic, tactical move to take us closer to serious negotiations. We believe the Palestinian bid will serve to solidify the viability of a two-state solution and assure a peaceful and stable future for Israel, Palestine, and the region.”
OneVoice maintains local offices in Israel and Palestine that work independently to appeal to the national self-interest of their own societies, but both advocate two states for two peoples and in this pursuit have found a partner in one another.
OneVoice Israel will also launch a campaign in the coming days challenging Israelis to at least consider the potential benefits of a Palestinian state existing alongside Israel in peace and security. They will also encourage a bold Israeli response beyond the UN showdown.