Profiles of Peace

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Yehudit Keshet

Israeli co-founder of Machsom Watch, a human rights organization that monitors Israeli checkpoints and their effect on the Palestinians’ daily lives.

Yehudit Keshet was born in Wales to Orthodox Jews who survived the Holocaust.  She came to Israel in 1958, returned to the United Kingdom for a time, but settled permanently in Israel in 1974. 

Laila Kanafani

Artist and educator, who established the Ghassan Kanafani Cultural Center in Lebanon to honor the memory of her father and to work with Palestinian refugee children.

Zahira Kamal

Head of the Federation of Palestinian Women’s Action Committee, part of the Women’s Work Committee (WWC). The WWC, which Kamal helped found, addresses the problems women faced in a patriarchal society, including illiteracy and lack of job skills. She was put under town arrest from 1980 to 1986 for her affiliation with leftist groups.

Jad Isaac

Environmental expert and Director General of the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem, which is dedicated to “promoting applied research, technology transfer, sustainable development, and self reliance of the Palestinian people through greater control over their natural resources.”

Amira Hass

Israeli journalist who lives and reports from the Occupied Territories. Author of two books about the situation in Israel/Palestine.

Born in 1956 in Jerusalem, Amira Hass is the daughter of two survivors of the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Hass has described one memory that has been central to her — her mother telling of being marched from a cattle train to Bergen-Belsen.

Jeff Halper

Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions. AFSC nominated Halper and Palestinian activist Ghassan Andoni for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

Jeff Halper has been a peace and human rights activist for more than three decades. Born in the United States, he participated in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements of the 1960s. Halper immigrated to Israel in 1973 after attending rabbinical school and becoming a Vietnam War resister. 

Neta Golan

Israeli co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, which brings international solidarity activists to the West Bank and Gaza to engage in nonviolence resistance. In 2002, Golan was voluntarily stranded in Yasser Arafat’s compound that was besieged by Israeli forces. She wrote reports to the outside world about what she was experiencing.

Rita Giacaman

Palestinian founder and director of the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit University. Giacaman has chronicled the effects of the Israeli military occupation, and has advocated for women to have a prominent role in an eventual Palestinian state.

Rita Giacaman is the Director of the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit University, a program she helped found in 1978. Giacaman also has been a seminal figure in the Palestinian women’s movement, along with Zahira Kamal and many others.

Nurit Peled-Elhanan

Nurit Peled-Elhanan is a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a peace activist, and one of the founders of the Parents Circle—Families Forum. In 2001, she was the recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Mona El-Farra

Palestinian physician active in medical relief efforts in the Gaza Strip. Among many other activities, El-Farra heads the Rachel Corrie Children’s Center in Gaza and writes a well-regarded blog, "From Gaza, with Love," that has attracted attention from journalists, activists, and academics around the world.

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AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

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