The Palestine-Israel Journal is a quarterly of MIDDLE EAST PUBLICATIONS, a registered non-profit organization (No. 58-023862-4).
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Editorial Board

Hisham Awartani

Danny Rubinstein

Sam'an Khoury

Boaz Evron

Walid Salem

Ari Rath

Zahra Khalidi

Daniel Bar-Tal

Ammar AbuZayyad

Galit Hasan-Rokem

Khaled Abu Aker

Galia Golan

Nazmi Ju'beh

Gershon Baskin

Edy Kaufman

Ata Qaymari

Benjamin Pogrund

Nafez Nazzal

Simcha Bahiri

Nadia Naser-Najjab

Dan Jacobson

Jumana Jaouni

Dan Leon

Anat Cygielman

Khuloud Khayyat Dajani

Izhak Schnell



Date:2008-09-24 /

General

A Community Organizer Frame of Mind

     by Yossef Ben-Meir

Community organizers intrinsically know that successful reconstruction and reconciliation require local community participation and control. Community organizers know, that, to rebuild after large-scale humanitarian disasters, community meetings are needed to plan reconstruction using innovative strategies.

Community organizers observe the impact of global events and trends on local communities and people. They understand that agreements, such as those discussing free trade, give significant support to economically dislocated families -- particularly in rural areas -- diversifies local economies and provides case-specific training.

Speaking directly about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, community organizers recognize that the Palestinian people need a more self-reliant economy. This would accomplish the two goals of building sovereignty and replacing an economy that is excessively dependent on Israel’s. To illustrate the point, 90 percent of total Palestinian imports and exports go to and from Israel.

Community organizers help to create solutions that satisfy multiple needs that broaden access to funds earmarked for community initiatives. Community organizers, regularly hear people express diverse and heartfelt interests and beliefs, and help people work through the struggle to reach common ground and purpose.

Community organizers know that public trust is generated in reaction to the empowerment people feel when their ideas for projects are implemented and the benefits are tangible. This may inform, at least in part, the approaches of community organizers to public diplomacy, the “war of ideas” and addressing root causes of terrorism. Community organizers know that their social purpose is urgently needed by people in all disciplines, walks of life and backgrounds due to the global explosion of civil society.

Suggestions that community organizing is subversive Marxism and that it seeks a socialist revolution are preposterous and can be intended to rouse a cultural divide. Community organizing is cross-ideological and includes religious and political philosophies. Conservatism supports community organizing because of the more adapting economic environment it creates and it encourages people to take responsibility. Liberalism supports it because it advances democracy and justice. Community organizing is inclusive in its approach and often results in cross-sectoral partnerships that will include government. It seeks to reform society through an evolutionary process of improving social relationships, advancing socio-economic development and a healthier natural environment.








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