English Reading Practice

Minds of Peace

"Minds of Peace" is a non-profit organization founded by doctor Sapir Handelman from Israel.

The mission of Minds of Peace is "to create the social conditions for peace in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by grass roots effort to involve the public in the peacemaking."

What does it mean?

Peace = 1) A quiet and calm state.
2) A situation in which there is no war or violence in an area.

Grass roots = ordinary people, rather than the leaders.

Peacemaking = efforts to make peace.

Israel = a democratic country in the Middle East.

It is about the size of New Jersey. It has almost 8,000,000 people. 75% of its people are Jewish, and 20% are Arabs.

It is the only Jewish country in the Middle East, since all the other countries are Arab. In fact, it is the only Jewish country in the world.

Palestinians = the Arab people who lived in the region that is now Israel for a very long time.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict = The ongoing conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians.

The Jews had several ancient kingdoms in Israel, many many years ago.

Then they were forced out of Israel, but they never forgot it.

Not even when Israel's name was changed to "Palestine" hundreds of years ago.

In the end of the 19th century, more and more Jews joined the little groups of Jews already living in Palestine, and rebuilt the country.

They greatly developed it with agriculture, cities, schools and businesses. They also bought many lands, and so the Arabs (Palestinians) who lived there had to leave.

This lead to many conflicts and many Arab attacks on the Jews.

After the Second World War, both the Arabs and the Jews had claims to the land.

In 1947, the United Nations recommended the creation of an independent Arab state and an independent Jewish state in what was then Palestine.

In other words, they suggested dividing it into two separate states, with Jerusalem placed under international control.

The Jews in Palestine accepted the plan and were very happy. The Palestinian Arabs rejected the plan.

Soon after, the British left Palestine. Immediately, Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, and Egyptian troops invaded Palestine in order to defeat the Jews.

The Jews won the war and established the modern State of Israel.

From that point on, Israel had several wars with its Arab neighbors and many more conflicts with the growing Palestinian population under its rule.

There were many unjust deaths and much destruction, for both sides.

Some even claim these two nations can never live together in peace. But is that really true?

Doctor Sapir Handelman from the "Minds of Peace" organization disagrees. And he has some very good reasons.

His mission is "to create the social conditions for peace in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by grass roots effort to involve the public in the peacemaking."

It means that the regular and common people from both sides meet and discuss the different issues, and like human beings, try to find the best solutions.

Here you can see one of the discussions organized by "Minds of Peace":

And here is a link to their website: Minds of Peace

The good news are that these sincere attempts do succeed, and the participants manage to "sign a peace treaty." If only the politicians were as successful as them...

And now, practice:

Exercise 01

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