September 6, 2011, Updated September 11, 2012

A new Israeli-Palestinian project called ‘YaLa – Young Leaders’ has launched, seeking to give the young generation in the Middle East a leading voice in “shaping their future and destiny.” It’s aimed at Palestinians and Israelis aged 15-30, and it holds peace, equality, security, prosperity and social issues as its main tenets.

In the movement’s welcome message on its Facebook page, YaLa says it hopes to “jointly lead the way in forging dialogue, cooperation and the planning of a better future.”

The initiative is supported by the Peres Center for Peace and Palestinian Wide Link Media company.

“Young Palestinians, Israelis, Egyptians, Jordanians must show the way. War, rejection, terror, occupation are not an option. Make peace the only alternative,” Israeli President Shimon Peres wrote in response to the initiative.

“The lesson that we are learning from you, is that the winds of change cannot be stopped when people, especially young women and men are pushing away all boundaries that block their free thinking, their sense of dignity and their mere existence as equal human beings living in their own societies,” wrote Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas about YaLa. “We now know that we can hand you the torch of the great responsibility of achieving a real and endurable peace in our region. Our message to you is to focus on the real sense of dignity, education, tolerance and acceptance of the other as equals.”




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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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