"It has come to our knowledge that Hands of Peace, a non-profit “dialogue-based,” American organization identifying itself as “an interfaith organization developing peace-building and leadership skills in Israeli, Palestinian and American teens through the power of dialogue and personal relationships” has started recruiting teenagers from The Gaza Strip. This is supposed to be an experience which seeks to “foster long-term peaceful coexistence among Jewish-Israelis, Arab Citizens of Israel, and Palestinians by bringing together teenagers from the Middle East with American teenagers in an interfaith setting.”1 (Emphasis added).
The Palestinian Students' Campaign for the Academic boycott of Israel and Palestinian Youth Against Israeli Apartheid consider this an act of normalization that violates the boycott guidelines issued by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)2. HOP seems to ignore the fact that the reason why Palestinians and Israelis cannot get together is because the former are colonized and the latter are settler colonists. It also ignores the fact that Israel is an apartheid state, as former American president Jimmy Carter and anti-Apartheid activist and Nobel Laureate Desmund Tutu called it; a state that discriminates not only against the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, but also against the 1.2 million Palestinians living in it as third class citizens. "