“No peace stands a chance of lasting if it does not deliver real results to ordinary people,” President Clinton
Playgrounds, Not Fences
Jason White joins the proud ranks of those who believe that peace between Israel and Palestine can be achieved through healthy play. Founder of Playgrounds for Peace, White aims to build playgrounds as buffer zones (rather than fences) between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods.
The playgrounds will be aimed at children under age 14, who White says, are “old enough to pick up the basics of play and sport, but young enough wherein many prejudices have not yet been cemented.”
The organization’s first playground has been built near Ramat Rahel and Sur Bahir. Future parks are planned for Neve Ya’akov, Pisgat Ze’ev, French Hill, and Ramat Eshkol.
I am confident that Playgrounds for Peace will find the opportunity to partner with its sister organizations (listed below) to promote healthy play for all our children.
Other Playground Projects You Might Be Interested In
– Playgrounds for Palestine was established by Susan Abulhawa in 2001 based on the idea that the right to play is a key aspect of all children’s healthy development. Few play areas exist in the Palestinian Authority, and those that do are in ruin. The American Playground Corporation is one of the project’s major sponsors.
– The Middle East Children’s Alliance’s Playgrounds for Peace Project (same idea, same name, different organization) was established in 1994 by a group of Palestinian businessmen seeking practical steps toward peace. They agree with the importance of a child’s right and need to play, asserting: “Only healthy children who grow up knowing more than anger, hatred, violence and fear, are children who can make peace that will be truly just and lasting.”
– And don’t forget Samantha Resnick, the 13 year old who donated $100,000 of her bat mitzvah money– you read correctly– to create the Sapir Park playground in the Arava Valley. They playground will be designed with a keen eye toward the needs of children with disabilities. Resnick’s donation was one of the biggest the Jewish National Fund has ever received from a bar/bat mitzvah.
Resnick’s playground reflects the value of play as important in the life of every child and, like those above, honors the needs of children that would otherwise be ignored.
George Eliot said: “We could never have loved the earth so well if we had no childhood in it.” Peaceful playground projects help make childhood and its pleasures a reality.
- “Gaza Giving: Surfing for Peace with Dr. Dorian Paskowitz”
- “Middle East Environmentalism: Blogging for the Environment”