Middle East Peace Network (MEPN) was founded in Chicago in 1990. (Learn more about MEPN’s early history.)
The purpose of the organization has not changed since its inception, when a wholesome group of committed Jewish and Arab Americans joined the founder, Dr. Shai Har-El, in pioneering people-to-people relationship building in the Middle East.
Specifically, MEPN’s By-Laws state
The purpose of the organization is to enhance and forward the peace process in the Middle East through people-to-people and citizen diplomacy; and in connection therewith to cultivate inter-organizational, inter-communal and inter-faith links and to promote, foster develop and practice human, transpersonal and transnational interactions, independent of political advocacy, orientation and affiliation.
MEPN is intended to impact public thinking with regard to Mideast issues that presently dominate the attention of world political actors. For now, it will focus on two long-standing and interrelated issues, the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the historical Jewish-Muslim rift.
Engaging in a three-prong strategy that targets the Israeli-Palestinian conflict arena and the surrounding Muslim world, MEPN’s strategic campaign will have two bold, innovative, well-organized and well-funded initiatives—The Middle-East Peace Incubator, the Israeli-Palestinian Peacebuilding Initiative (IPPI) and the Jewish-Muslim Reconciliation Initiative (JMRI), both of which are designed is to create through alternative Track II avenues—such as people-to-people interactions, citizen diplomatic initiatives, transnational mechanisms and back-channels—a warm climate of “peace from below,” which makes inter-governmental peace negotiations and “peace from above” efforts (Track I) workable and peace agreements genuine.
More about the thoughts behind MEPN’s strategy can be found in Dr. Shai Har-El’s essay, A Quest for Peace, and his new book In Search of Israeli–Palestinian Peace: An Urgent Call for a New Approach to Middle East Peace (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).
Leading edge peace projects
MEPN’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of ordinary citizens everywhere to engage in peacebuilding in the Middle East. They are encouraged to participate in the three initiatives mentioned above by creating and carrying out leading-edge peace projects that bring Israelis and Arabs together in an environment that fosters conciliatory interactions, open communications, and genuine opportunities for peacemaking.
There are currently four ways to participate:
Committed, resourceful and courageous citizens everywhere are invited to participate by clicking Get Involved.
You can make a difference in the lives of millions of people who are striving for peace.