Oasis of Peace

Oasis of Peace For years, the state of Israel and Palestine has been riddled with violence. But less than an hour's drive from the heart of the conflict in Gaza, a Jewish-Arab community is working together for peace.

With a seemingly endless stream of rocket attacks, bombing campaigns and revenge killings, the state of Israel and Palestine can often seem devoid of any hope of reconciliation. In the village of Neve Shalom/What-al-Salam however, Arabs and Jews are working together to create a world separate from the violence and chaos that surrounds them. Children from both communities come from miles around to share an education in peace and mutual understanding at the village school. It's the only one of its kind in Israel with its pioneering approach of teaching Arabic and Hebrew lessons alongside each other. "We live the model where we share the land, the power and the everyday life and administration, and this is our message", says resident Evi. Here, families live along side each other and children who would otherwise most likely be enemies, become best friends. But they are reluctant to label their lives utopian: "it's not that we will all think alike, it's not that we are all the same, we are different and the issue is how to coexist in spite of the differences".

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