Joint Advocacy Initiative
In 2011, five members of First Presbyterian Church participated in the Olive Harvest in and around Bethlehem. Coming face-to-face with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the team witnessed how Israeli policy was affecting Palestinians at all levels. The widely accepted understanding of advocacy is an “action aimed at changing the policies, position and programs of governments, institutions or organizations” and a “social change process affecting attitudes, social relationships and power relations”.
The issues lobbied for by the YMCA and YWCA in Palestine includes an end to the Israeli occupation and implementation of human rights and international law for the people of Palestine.
It is the world YMCA and YWCA core principles and values to advocate for human rights and dignity, equal value of all human beings, mutual respect, to work in solidarity with the dispossessed, uprooted and oppressed people and work for the advancement of people for their own self-determination. Together with the international Churches and Church-related organizations, groups and individuals, it is their common Christian values, based on the words of Jesus Christ, to service human needs, break down barriers between people and seek peace with justice.