NEWSLETTER APRIL/MAY 2018
Editorial by Ron Finkel AM, Chair, Project Rozana International and Project Rozana Australia.
Picture a fish swimming upstream, fighting against a relentless surge that will almost certainly exhaust the hapless animal. Despite its perilous journey, its instinct drives it on.
It’s a metaphor I think about often. Since starting Project Rozana in 2013, I’ve felt at times like the fish – I know where we need to go, but circumstances can conspire to challenge us on that journey.
Recent events on the border of Gaza demonstrate that very clearly. The optics are confronting and the shrill from both sides is deafening. But there are hopeful signs; one of the positives is the number of Palestinians who are entering Israel for medical treatment. The rate of transfers has remained steady because health is the most resilient of all the interactions between Israelis and Palestinians.
And the number of Israelis waiting at the border to transport the Palestinians to hospitals in Israel at no cost to the patient or their family is growing.
But we would be fooling ourselves if we assume that the developing relationships we’re witnessing in the health sector are evidence of a wider embrace in other areas of civil society Sadly, that’s not the case.
It’s one of the reasons why Project Rozana is pleased to join ALLMEP – the Alliance for Middle East Peace.
ALLMEP is an NGO that represents more than 100 organisations dedicated to building trust between Israelis and Palestinians in order for people to live in peace and security in societies that protect their human and civil rights.
Established in 2003, ALLMEP is working towards the establishment of an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, modelled on the International Fund for Ireland which played an active role in creating a sustainable resolution in Northern Ireland.
For Project Rozana to achieve its practical aims of building bridges to better understanding between people through health, we must engage with organisations from across the political and religious spectrum. To do anything less is to potentially deny children an opportunity to enjoy a better standard of health that their counterparts in the First World take for granted.
What ALLMEP allows us to do is expand existing partnerships that already shine a very powerful light on children, particularly those in need. In our short history we have invested significantly in children from Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Syria in the company of organisations including Augusta Victoria and St John’s Eye Hospital in East Jerusalem, Hadassah and Tel Hashomer–Sheba in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv respectively, agencies such as World Vision, and NGOs including Road to Recovery (Israel), Green Land Society for Health Development (Hebron) and the Acre Arab Women’s Association.
People are at the heart of these partnerships and through the pages of this newsletter we celebrate the diversity of opinions,ideas and action that have driven Project Rozana over the last five years.
In their company we swim against the tide of hatred, division and intolerance. We draw comfort from the fact that others share our belief that that the health sector is a template for coexistence, and that Israelis and Palestinians are open to sharing their knowledge for the sake of the children.
The success of Project Rozana is built on a global network of people and partnerships. In this newsletter you will meet some of them.