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Religious Peace Initiative

Vision:

rpi2The solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace process in the Middle East is founded in moral and religious commitment among nations, the recognition of the right to self-determination and the right to sovereignty of the Jewish people and the Palestinian people and to the interreligious dialogue as a moral value system that connects between the peoples.

Since the signing of the Declaration of Alexandria  in 2002, the world has seen a rise in radical Islam and its conflict with the West. Despite these events, the interreligious dialogue has achieved great progress in the last decade and has succeeded in developing moderate attitudes toward Israel. Throughout the years of its activity, Mosaica has advanced professionally, formulating extensive network of contacts with key religious leaders in the Jewish and Muslim worlds. The establishment of these partnerships helped give birth to the Religious Peace Initiative. 

The Initiative's architects are: Rabbi Michael Melchior, Sheikh Imad Faluji (a founder of Hamas) and Sheikh Abdullah Nimer Darwish (founder of the Islamic Movement in Israel).

Since the 1993 Oslo peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians the political leaderships have preferred to discount the religious element of the conflict. The misconception that the religious identity of the sides is an obstacle to peace has misdirected the political leadership in excluding this component and its various implications from the negotiations process.

Mosaica sees the element of religious identity as an essential means to achieving peace between peoples and countries in general; and between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in particular. Thus, combining religious leadership and the religiously observant public in the process of conflict resolution is a necessary step that is critical to success of negotiations between the parties. Therefore, key religious leadership should be included in any negotiations between the parties, and be invited to draft and formulate principles for peace based on shared religious values of Judaism and Islam.

In the spirit of this vision, in 2002, Mosaica founded the Religious Peace Initiative which began deep informal discussions with the southern branch of the Islamic Movement, with major figures in the Islamic world, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Egypt and beyond. These talks are the result of the preceding exploratory meetings that date back to 2009. The leaders participating in discussions established exceptional interpersonal trust and understanding based on a shared religious moral belief in peace amongst the peoples of the region. They also share a firm commitment to the realization of peace. To this end, these religious leaders are working to expand the interreligious peace coalition which supports this initiative.

The first summit took place on September 13, 2011, between the parties in Norway. At the summit, the participants signed a joint statement of principles for the Interreligious Coalition for Peace to the Middle East.

Interreligious Coalition for Peace in the Middle East Thursday, 17 Elul 5771, September 15, 2011, Norway

Activity Model:

The Mosaica Religious Peace Initiative operates in cooperation with the coalition members of the interreligious peace initiative in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Arab countries.

The guiding principle of this activity model is to cause a paradigm change in the political leadership’s approach to resolving the conflict and achieving peace in the Middle East:

  • In the political sphere and among decision-makers: the presentation of an alternative solution to the Middle East Conflict through dialogue based on religious values, supported by the authority of religious leaders.
  • In the public sphere in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority, among religious Jews and Muslims: to create a change in the concept of peace as a "secular project"; one that threatens religious society and its beliefs.

As part of this model, the Muslim partners of Mosaica founded the Adam Centers that work within Israel and the Palestinian Authority in support of the coalition's efforts.