V15 is still alive – and now it’s campaigning for peace

A small group of activists, mostly in their 30s, sat in a sunfilled conference room above a trendy Tel Aviv restaurant last week, as first prime minister David Ben-Gurion watched them through the window, his visage featuring prominently on a banner on Independence Hall, across the street.

The activists, from NGO V15-OneVoice, were talking about November 29, 1947, the day the UN Partition Plan was accepted, ending the British Mandate and allowing for the establishment of a Jewish state. The streets of Israel were filled with people dancing and singing, spontaneous parades took place and flags were waved wherever there were Jewish people.

V15-OneVoice wants to bring back that exciting day, with events all over the country, with dancing to classic Israeli music, hummus and falafel to eat, and discussions of what Zionism means to the participants.

“We want to put it in people’s heads that we’re celebrating this day, make it a tradition and have continuity, and as an organization we want to be connected to it,” Polly Bronstein, V15 and OneVoice Israel’s executive director, suggested. “We were excited back then to have a Jewish state next to an Arab one. The state was smaller than what we wanted, but it was Jewish.”

Ayala Brilliant, who is in charge of training, highlighted what she thought the message of the events should be: “Dividing the land isn’t a new thing, and it’s part of the solution.” Continue reading 

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