Earlier this year, the Teachers Union of Ireland called upon its members to ban Israeli students and schoolchildren from educational exchanges as its blow for Peace.
That move by a Republic of Ireland based Union is designed to shut down dialogue and education amongst the young. It flies in the face of our own experience of Peace building in Northern Ireland. It is a betrayal of values which Teachers of all people should hold dear.
This is our response:
NIFI is launching a project to bring to Northern Ireland an Israeli student who will meet with, explain, learn, speak, listen and discuss with counterparts in Northern Ireland.
We believe that positive engagement and a willingness to listen to Israeli perspectives is an absolute essential for anyone who seriously wants to contribute towards Peace and Reconciliation – no matter what their views are on the subject.
Demonisation and Boycotts are not the way forward.
NIFI is asking its supporters to contribute towards the cost of a visit by an Israeli student.
In order to involve as many people as possible in this project we are asking people to contribute £5 towards the costs if they are able to do so.
Nearer the date we will be asking people if they can help provide hospitality, lifts and/ or introductions for the Israeli student to meet young people.
Out of the blatant bigotry and discrimination of the Teachers Union of Ireland resolution must come good! Please help us make it happen.
If you would like to support us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org