The American Jewish Peace Archive: Stories of Middle East Peace Pioneers

The American Jewish Peace Archive documents in their own words historical accounts of Jewish Americans who have worked in support of Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab peace initiatives since 1967, helping to inspire the current generation of peace activists to be more effective agents of change.

The American Jewish Peace Archive: Stories of Middle East Peace Pioneers

Project Goals

To provide original primary source material to better understand the evolution of the American Jewish community and its relationship to Israel for scholars and other stakeholders studying various disciplines: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, diplomacy, American foreign policy, Zionism, Israel, American Jews, and the evolution of social movements . 

To increase the effectiveness of American Middle East peace advocates and other social change activists through exposure to a historical perspective and lessons learned over 50 years by pioneers of the two-state movement and through intergenerational dialogue between peace pioneers and emergent activists building on the Jewish concept of l’dor vador (from generation to generation).

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"People and communities use stories to understand the world and our place in it. These stories are embedded with power – the power to explain and justify the status quo as well as the power to make change imaginable and urgent."[1] Stories reframe the notion of the possible and help create an aspirational vision. There is also nothing comparable to hearing someone's direct first person story.

Historical Significance

Israeli-Palestinian peace activism is a significant chapter in both Jewish American and social movement history. Little has been written about specific efforts, and never as a movement. The reasons for this lacuna are unclear. The contentiousness of the Israel debate among American Jews certainly has played a role in a community otherwise conscientious about documenting its history. Some believe the history has been intentionally suppressed and denigrated.