Dialogue Syllabus Speakers Suggested Readings
Rainbow of Desire Local Peace Groups k-12 conference Media and Videos
Niva's Org. Sharoni Org. Local Groups 11 Local Groups 2

Evergreen's "The Search For Peace" Series

March 4 th Local Peace Initiatives


On this page:

* The Olympia-Rafah Sister City Project
* Olympia Jews Against the Occupation
* Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace--OMJP
* Olympians for Peace in the Middle East
* SESAME: Students Educating Students About the Middle East
* Temple Beth Hatfiloh's Ad Hoc Israeli Palestinian Peace and Justice Committee
* U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation
* Women in Black


The Olympia-Rafah SisterCity Project

Contact: Siouxzie Morrison  or info@orscp.org

The Olympia-Rafah Sister City Project actively promotes and fosters friendships between the people of Olympia, Washington and Rafah, Palestine, for the purpose of strengthening cross-cultural awareness and understanding, international cooperation, justice, and peace.

Our current projects (activities) include:

•  Obtain Medical Equipment and Supplies for Rafah

•  Work in the community to send a U.S. Delegation to Rafah

•  Fair Trade outlet for Rafah artwork through the Union of Palestinian

•  Women and other artisan resources

•  Support for the Center for Disabled Persons in Rafah

•  Pen Pal relationships and Cultural Exchanges between Olympia and Rafah


Olympia Jews Against the Occupation

Contact: Maya Amichai              

We are a community of activists inspired by Jewish traditions of justice to work together for peace, social justice, and human rights. We support the aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians to security and self-determination. We are committed to the perspective that peace and security for Israel requires political and economic justice for Palestinians. As Jews we have a long tradition of acting against injustice, whether inflicted on Jews or non-Jews.

It has been challenging for Jews to criticize the State of Israel. We feel such criticism is not only warranted, but constitutes important, moral action. We are among the many American Jews who say to the U.S. and Israeli governments, "Not in our names!"

We support peace activists in Palestine and Israel and work in broad coalition with other peace and social justice organizations.

In line with this, some events we have hosted and participated in are Shabbat Potlucks Against the Occupation, Tashlich Against the Occupation (a reflective tradition during the Jewish New Year), a Stop the Wall action, a discussion with the Synagogue Committee for Peace and Justice in Israel and Palestine, and presenting and participating in various other actions in Olympia, such as supporting Chaplain Yee, the ORSCP benefit, and an upcoming Rally.

Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace--OMJP

Contact: Larry Mosqueda


The OMJP was formed in September 2001, following the catastrophic events of 9/11. In Olympia we were shocked and devastated, as were people around the world. But our grief and horror were compounded by our anticipation that the United States government would retaliate by bombing some of the poorest and most oppressed on Earth, the Afghan people.

Believing, as proposed by humanitarian, human rights, peace, religious, and international law groups worldwide, that other means of achieving justice exist, but also suspecting that our own government would fail to exercise available nonmilitary options, we organized the Olympia Movement for Justice & Peace. A broad coalition of educators, students, activists, and community members coalesced to oppose war, as well as the existing and morally indefensible social, political, and economic structures and inequities that breed terrorist ideologies, and are destructive toward peoples and the environment.

We are committed to building a mass movement to further justice and peace. We believe that the issues of justice and peace cannot be separated, and that by furthering economic and social justice we create the conditions for a peaceful world. Our long-term goal is to build a society that meets the needs of all people, not one based on profit and economic values.

We oppose the current US war waged on Iraq and any plans for extending US military action into other countries. We believe that justice can be pursued within the existing international legal frameworks. We oppose the so-called USA PATRIOT Act as a serious attack on civil liberties, particularly those of immigrants, as well as military tribunals and other unilateral administration attempts to rule by fiat. We oppose attempts by Congress and the administration to use the pretext of "terrorism" to fund militarism and to further benefit the wealthy with tax cuts and corporate welfare via our tax dollars.

We actively support movements that challenge corporate-sponsored globalization, and those that further racial, gender and economic equality. Our efforts are focused on working in solidarity and in coalition with individuals and groups on a local, regional, national, and global level. To achieve our goals, our principle tactics will be popular education, active protest, and direct action.

We invite all who share our goals to join the Olympia Movement for Justice & Peace. We are committed to building a group that is democratically structured, where each person's voice is valued and heard. We intend to share skills and knowledge among our membership and with the broader community. We are committed to building a group that continues past the current war, that is welcoming and truly inclusive of workers and students, old and young, women and men, all sexual orientations, and is racially and culturally diverse.

To find out more about OMJP, see www.omjp.org, join our email list , and attend meetings on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at the Olympia Community Center at 7PM. Our next major event is the March 20th anti-war, pro-peace rally at the State Capitol at noon.  

Olympians for Peace in the Middle East

Contact: Krissy Johnson

Olympians for Peace in the Middle East is a community group which seeks to foster awareness and collective action which will bring about peace and justice in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 

Our Principles

•  We call for the resumption of negotiations aimed at addressing the root causes of the conflict and reaching a just and lasting solution, which would guarantee peace and security for both Palestinians and Israelis

•  We stand in protest of the ongoing Israeli attacks on Palestinians

•  We stand in opposition of U.S. financial and political backing of Israel's military campaign

•  We support Palestinians' right for self-determination and the establishment of a Palestinian state

•  We call for an end to Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip

We seek to accomplish this through community education initiatives, such as tabling at the Farmer's Market, submitting articles to local papers, sponsoring local films and cultural events, and staging non-violent demonstrations.  Another focus of ours is to impact our legislative representatives and their positions on the conflict.  Olympians for Peace in the Middle East also seeks to facilitate networking between various individuals and groups in the community who are working towards the same goals. 

SESAME: Students Educating Students About the Middle East

Contact: Heather Guyton

Mission :

Recognizing the effects of U.S. foreign policy on the Middle East connect to issues that Evergreen students already work to overcome; including environmental conservation, human rights and justice, SESAME seeks to promote awareness about these issues in the context of current events.

SESAME will serve as an active educational resource for those on campus and in our community in order to build a stronger, better connected movement for peace and justice in the Middle East.

SESAME has been engaged in a number of activities this year, including educational events centered around the construction of the "separation barrier" in the West Bank by the Israeli government, and the situation on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territories facing the Palestinian people. We have also served as a support network for community members and students traveling to the Occupied Territories and engaging in solidarity work.

As well, SESAME is in the midst a sizeable Middle East Film Festival for the Evergreen campus. The films were selected from four main thematic areas: women's issues, queer/homosexual issues, self-determination, and anti-racism. These were chosen for their popularity at Evergreen and also these groups marginalization within their own communities.

Temple Beth Hatfiloh's Ad Hoc Israeli Palestinian Peace and Justice Committee

Barbara Gross            &           Sam Schrager             

Temple Beth Hatfiloh's Ad Hoc Israeli Palestinian Peace and Justice Committee.   We came into being in the spring of 2003 due to concerns that there had been growing efforts here in Olympia to use the instruments of local affairs--the newspapers, schools and local governing bodies--to put forth a Middle East agenda that did not take into consideration the full historical context of the situation.   We had concerns that tones and words being used at various events could lead towards intolerance towards Jews instead of expressing only criticism of the Israeli government policies.  

Our group is formed around the strong Jewish traditions of studying, questioning, and debating.   We are composed of temple members who hold widely varying opinions and concerns on this topic but we do not represent the temple membership.   However, we agree on the need for peace and security for all who dwell in the Middle East.   Although we are still in our formative stage, our goals are focused locally, striving to keep Olympia a place where it is comfortable to be Jewish.   These goals include providing venues for expressing divergent opinions in an open and safe environment; educating ourselves and the Olympia community; forums for dialogue with other local organizations; and outreach to other faiths.   Our basic premise is that only through exposure to balanced information can people develop fully informed opinions.

U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation

Contact: Mark Brodeck and Donna Schumann

The US Campaign is a diverse coalition working for freedom from occupation and equal rights for all by challenging US policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We stand for freedom from occupation, and equal rights for all. International law guarantees these human rights, including the right to exist in peace and security. We aim to change those U.S. policies that sustain Israel's 35-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, and deny equal rights for all. Our goals are to inform, educate, and mobilize the public regarding the U.S. Government's current as well as potential role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; to seek to change such policies as the billions of U.S. military and economic aid dollars provided despite Israel's violations of U.S. and international law; and to call for the U.S. to work within the U.N. to implement a just and lasting peace.

One of the main activities of the U.S. Campaign is the legislative project. Congress plays a crucial role in maintaining and promoting US diplomatic, economic, and military support of Israel's occupation of Palestine. In order to change this, US citizens from a wide range of religious and ethnic backgrounds must let their Members of Congress know that they want them to pursue a balanced, constructive foreign policy that will lead to an end of the occupation and the establishment of a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The U.S. Campaign organizes Washington Wednesday, where participants across the country call, fax, e-mail, or write to their representatives about a specific issue. The Campaign distributes background information and "talking points" about each issue to assist people in communicating effectively with their representatives.

Women in Black    

Contact: Sylvia Smith                                

In 1988 -- in the spirit of the women¹s anti-apartheid movement Black Sash in South Africa, and the Argentinian Mothers of the Disappeared ­ a small group of Jewish and Palestinian women donned black clothes and stood silently together on a busy street corner in Israel. They held a sign that simply stated, Stop the Occupation.  This was the beginning of what has evolved into a worldwide network of women known as Women in Black, who stand together at regular weekly vigils in public places, using their silent dignity and colors of mourning to protest war, injustice and violence against women in both war and domestic life. Committed to peace with justice, Women in Black received the United Nations Millennium Peace Prize for Women in 2001.

Olympia Women in Black began standing in silent vigil at Percival Landing in October of 2002.  The vigil is held from 5-6pm every Friday across 4th Avenue from the Kissing Statue. Women of all ages, faiths, political persuasions, and walks of life who share a commitment to peace are invited to participate. Black clothing is encouraged.  Following the vigil, a women¹s circle is formed to provide closure.  Those wishing to support the goals of WIB but unable to attend vigils are invited to signify their support with drive-by waves, positive gestures, horn-blowing or verbal encouragement.