Gaza Giving: Surfing for Peace with Dr. Dorian Paskowitz

August 22, 2007

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Let me tell you something I bet you don’t know about Gaza: it is rumored to have some of the best beaches in the world.

While I wish we lived in a world where the only rivalry between the Palestinians and the Jews was who caught the biggest wave or had the best surfboard, that is far from the reality.

But let’s imagine.

What would the world be like if peace was based on making real improvements in the lives of regular people? Dorian and David Paskowitz provide a glimpse.

Founders of Surfers for Peace and both world class surfers in their own right, the father and son team read an article in the LA Times entitled “Gaza Surfers Find Freedom in the Sea” about how Palestinian surfers were facing shortages.

The solution? The Paskowitzes masterminded a plan to get 12 surfboards to Gaza through the famously secure Erez Crossing. They put together a team of supporters that included surfing legend Kelly Slater, pro-peace organization OneVoice, and Tel Aviv surfing activist Arthur Rashkovan, who convinced Israeli surfing companies to donate the boards. They then managed to garner the approval of the Israeli military to secure safe passage.

What motivated the Paskowitzes beyond their love of the wave? It is easy to believe that their own history played a role. Dr. Dorian Paskowitz learned to surf during the Depression, convincing his parents to move from Texas to California to be closer to the waves.

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