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.
We help leaders in their communities engage the Israeli and Palestinian culture, history, and their modern conflict in all its dimensions. Our signature Telos trips represent our most effective tool here.
We help leaders to strategize on how to grow the pro/pro/pro conversation in their own communities and to learn more deeply about the conflict and our connection as Americans to it.. We also provide communities with resources, such as speakers, Telos-curated events, books, films and conversations.
Blueprint for Telos Peacemakers: Effective movements are by their nature diverse and diffuse. Propagating common values, measuring our impact and best directing our limited resources can become quite difficult. Former Telos Director of National Outreach Bart Campolo spearheaded development of the “Blueprint for Pro/Pro/Pro Peacemaking.” The Blueprint shows buckets of actions that any serious pro/pro/pro peacemaking community should engage. And it also enables a conversation across the diverse and rapidly growing pro/pro/pro community, which we hope will foster better coordination and amplify our impact. The Blueprint for Pro/Pro/Pro Peacemaking has three steps:
Pro/Pro/Pro Peacemakers must forge relationships with Israelis and Palestinians across the political and theological spectra. Otherwise peacemaking is theoretical, narrow, and/or dangerous. Reach out includes taking signature Telos trips to Israel/Palestine, hosting speaking tours and educational events in communities at home, and engaging others’ interested in the conflict in one’s own community, even when there is forceful disagreement.
Pro/Pro/Pro Peacemakers must stand in solidarity with those Israelis and Palestinians who share their values, not necessarily their politics. This web of intentional relationship creates a foundation to wage peace both in Israel-Palestine and here at home. Stand With includes fellowship, philanthropic partnerships, and investment.
Pro/Pro/Pro Peacemakers must speak up on behalf of attitudes and policies that benefit all Israelis and Palestinians. Remaining silent in the face of racism, anti-Semitism, and injustice is simply not an option for intentional peacemakers. Speak Up includes campaigning, community organizing, and advocacy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.