What We Do

Telos equips American leaders and their communities to become fearless peacemakers. We resource individuals with the requisite drive, expertise and relationships to effectively and relentlessly wage peace.

For American engagement in Israel/Palestine, we employ a three step process to building communities of active and impactful peacemakers, which we will support to both positively transform the American conversation around the conflict and the reality on the ground in the Holy Land.

Learn – Partner – Lead

 

Learn

We equip leaders with experiences, resources, and relationships to learn about Israeli and Palestinian culture, history and the modern conflict in all its dimensions. Our signature Telos trips represent the most effective way to learn – to GO and see for yourself.

We also encourage people to STUDY, recognizing that effective conflict engagement requires a posture of continual learning: about history, culture, geography and people; but also about the practice of peacemaking. Who are the practitioners and what are the principles of peacemaking that we can apply to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as well as conflicts closer to home – because we cannot be peacemakers on the other side of the world if we’re not also pursuing peace in our own homes and communities.

To join a Telos trip and learn from Israelis and Palestinians across the political and theoretical spectra, email info@telosgroup.org.

For inspirational and informative resources that will help you learn how to be a peacemaker, in Israel/Palestine and beyond, we encourage you to sign up for our weekly newsletter and consult our excellent Resources page for relevant books, movies, and articles.

Partner

We equip leaders to effectively employ their voice, their finances, and their skills to partner with peacemakers on the ground in Israel/Palestine.

Partnering represents the next level of becoming a peacemaker; for once we have learned about a conflict, it is incumbent upon us to take tangible action to bring about its peaceful resolution. And the best way to do this is to find and partner with those people of peace who are already doing the vital work of peacemaking, be it in Israel/Palestine or our hometowns. When we SPEAK, GIVE, and SERVE, we are standing with and supporting those who share our values, not necessarily our politics, skin color or religion.

To learn how to speak into conflict effectively, check out this helpful resource. To financially support Telos’ work and grow the pro/pro/pro movement, please consider becoming a monthly donor. And be on the lookout for opportunities to serve and support Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers through Partnership Trips and the upcoming Telos Peacemakers Fund.

Lead

Peacemaking ultimately requires reaching out, speaking up, and taking risks to disrupt the status quos that enable bitter conflict to persist.

We equip leaders to EDUCATE others about the realities of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and our unique pro/pro/pro response.

We equip leaders to ADVOCATE publicly on behalf of attitudes and policies that benefit all Israelis and Palestinians, especially before their elected representatives and even in environments where there may be forceful disagreement.

And we equip leaders to CONNECT by reaching out and building relationships across sectors, faiths, cultures and races. A diverse movement models what reconciliation can look like, and makes for a stronger and more representative case in the pursuit of peace.

If you are interested in hosting or organizing an educational event to raise awareness of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the Telos approach, or advocating before your political leaders, please email info@telosgroup.org.

“Roles of Peacemakers” (adapted from William Ury’s work)*

Practically speaking, our job is to inspire more and more Americans—and especially Americans of faith—to play one or more of the following active, conflict transforming roles, both in the Middle East and in their communities at home.

Learner

Demonstrating the courage to respectfully encounter the other and to humbly question your own assumptions, while staying true to your own principles.

Sometimes we fight or take one side against another simply because we know no other way to react to an injustice.  By slowing ourselves down and genuinely seeking to understand different perspectives before we assert our own, we create space for both ourselves and others to find better ways to deal with conflict.

Healer

Seeking out, listening, acknowledging, empathizing with, and apologizing to those who have been hurt or ignored.

At the core of this conflict are emotions — fear, anger, humiliation, hatred, insecurity, and grief. The inner wounds run deep. Even if a reasonable agreement was reached tomorrow, those wounds would remain and, with them, the danger that the conflict would recur. The conflict will not be fully resolved until injured people on all sides and their relationships begin to heal.

Partner

Investing in and getting directly involved with constructive work on the ground.

Conflict is fueled by frustrated needs, like food, water, housing, employment, education, safety, identity, and freedom.  Helping people in the region address these needs, for themselves, for their families, and for their neighbors, reduces the kinds of bullying and violence that destroy peoples hope for a solution, and also creates opportunities for new kinds of leadership to emerge.

Connector

Becoming a mutual friend to adversaries who feel they have little in common.

Good relationships across divides are critical to overcoming a conflict like this one.  When difficult issues arise, people who have come to know and care about each other can dip into their accounts of goodwill to help deal with it.  For Israelis and Palestinians, however, and for people on opposite sides of the conflict here in the United States, such relationships often require a third party to help create the right context and forge the connection.

Witness

Paying attention to escalations, speaking out against violence and abuse.

In the Holy Land, destructive confrontations generally escalate through different stages, from tension to provocation to violence. By keeping watch for these escalations, and sounding the alarm when they happen, we may persuade the parties to stop fighting, or capture the attention of those better positioned to intervene.

Advocate

Telling your own story of awakening and ongoing growth, and using every tool available (the vote, the lobby, the media, the relationship) to promote constructive American attitudes, policies, and behaviors. 

We’ve taken great inspiration from William Ury’s book, The Third Side. These roles are adapted from his important work.