Dialogue

Dialogue

For many years Nes Ammim has been dedicated to hosting and facilitating dialogue groups. All these activities capitalize on the trust that Nes Ammim has built over more than 50 years of solidarity with Israel and its inhabitants. In Nes Ammim, people of all ethnic, social and religious backgrounds are welcome and respected as equals.

There are different groups living in Israel: Jews as well as Palestinian Arabs of different denominations: Muslim, Christian and Druze. The reservations and ignorance held by each group against the other influence daily life as well as politics. Life in separate villages and neighborhoods, two different languages (Arabic and Hebrew) and separate education keep people away from each other. Therefore, dialogue work is urgently needed, also in the Galilee with its mixed population.

There are many local organizations which initiate dialogue events for pupils, teenagers and adults. They appreciate Nes Ammim as a venue which is regarded as neutral – nor Israeli nor Arabic – by all participants. Besides providing suitable meeting facilities, in some occasions Nes Ammim helps organizing an event. Organizations can apply for subsidy to cover part of the costs for accommodation and meals. The subsidy program is paid through donations by the Dutch Protestant Church (Kerk in Actie).

Nes Ammim also encourages fruitful relationships between Arab Christian communities in the Galilee and churches in Europe. As part of the Christian Fellowship Program, these groups are using Nes Ammim as a preferred meeting point for which they also can apply for subsidies.

Most of the dialogue activities that are taking place in Nes Ammim are independently organized by local dialogue groups that bring their own staff, objectives and ways of working. In those cases, Nes Ammim only acts as the hosting partner. If the European volunteers participate in the program it is as equal conversation partners who – coming from multicultural societies themselves – can contribute to the conversation and can also learn from the encounters for the situation in their home countries. Nes Ammim also organizes and conducts its own seminars and conferences where it seems appropriate.

In 2013, almost 1000 participants attended dialogue seminars and 250 participants came for Christian Fellowship meetings.