Monthly Archives: July 2014

“But it’s impossible to make peace” and some other questions….

ChickPeace isn’t about taking sides. But let’s get this out of the way

Israel supporters:  “Hamas is a terrorist organisation that is committed to harming Israel. How can we make peace?”

Palestinian supporters: “Israel’s actions are killing more civilians than terrorists and they are blockading Gaza. How can we make peace?”

ChickPeace believes there are no easy answers to these questions that will satisfy everyone, but there are ways of debating them.

Over the past month of the conflict social media users have played an important role in challenging the information, or lack of it, coming out of the region.

There are many graphics, stats, images and videos from either so-called side and it is important that all information is seen and that we don’t just rely on 140 word tweets, five minute news broadcasts or 500 word articles.

Ultimately there will never be enough newsreel to pages to cover the 3000 year conflict so it is important that when we are defending what we believe and putting forward our opinion, that we also listen to others that may differ.

If you think its wrong, that’s fine. Such is the benefit of living in a democracy.

But we can’t let Facebook posts or Tweets descend into slanging matches or personal abuse, or ultimately anti-semitism or Islamophobia.

There have been some horrible messages from journalists and senior figures on Twitter that equate the Gaza situation to the Holocaust, or using the Star of David in derogatory way.

But there have also been actions that risk demonising Islam as well. Was it acceptable for the Israeli Embassy in Ireland to publicise images of monuments in Dublin, Denmark and Italy with Muslim garb warning, “You’re next.”

Which is more offensive, or does one side have a right to be more offended than others?

All of these examples have caused vicious reactions online. Ultimately we are not going to solve the crisis on social media, but does that mean we have to abuse those that don’t share our view.

ChickPeace is about moving from diatribe to dialogue. Moving the social media narrative towards a peaceful resolution, not necessarily in the Middle East, but starting with eachother.

Both sides may have their own reasons for not talking about peace, but that doesn’t mean we can’t on our newsfeed, with our friends, neighbours and colleagues.

Taking a hummus selfie against hate is an alternative or additional way for you to comment on the crisis and show your support for peace.

It’s not about letting one side ‘win’,  but recognising that the ultimate aim at the end of this has to be peace for the Israeli and Palestinian people as well as their friends, relatives and supporters around the world.


The hummus selfie

The Middle East conflict is steeped in more than 3,000 years of history.

Realistically there is not much the public can do in 140 characters or in a Facebook post to solve the crisis, but we can move the dialogue along by pushing for peace.

Our TV screens, radios, newspapers and webpages are full of imagery and words that people on both sides of the conflict are uncomfortable with.

ChickPeace believes there is no social value in arguing out the various facets of the deeply emotive conflict on social media as this has shown to breed community tensions and racial violence.

Whatever your view on the conflict, ultimately we all want the same thing, peace.

Therefore rather than fighting eachother on the streets or online, we should all show our support for peace.

There are things that unite the people of the Middle East, namely the chickpea-based dip hummus.

If we can get people sitting around a table with a pot of hummus then we have a talking point and somewhere to launch a constructive dialogue.

You can show your support for a constructive dialogue and ultimately peace by posting a hummus selfie on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #chickpeace. Get your friends involved and ask your MP or any community leaders.

This may not solve the conflict, but will at least counter the hate on social media and hopefully keep communities united.

The aims of ChickPeace

The Middle East conflict is an emotive subject for many. It holds deep spiritual, historical and religious connections for Jews and Muslims.

This site is not about the history between the Israelis and Palestinians and who is right or wrong.

Chickpeace is about a recognition that what happens to Israelis and Palestinians has a profound effect on Jews and Muslims around the world, as well as those with no particular religious affinity.

This means when there is conflict the battleground is not just on land or in the air but fought out, often viciously on social media or in parades and protests as each side seeks to defend its own.

While we believe accuracy and fairness is important, demonising eachother is of no benefit.

ChickPeace believes communities must stay united and feel free to debate and discuss issues calmly without fear.

Therefore ChickPeace has three aims:

– To foster sensible debate and dialogue among those affected and following the Middle East conflict.
– To suggest sensible solutions to the achieving peace
– To encourage politicians, celebrities and the public to take a hummus selfie to show their support for peace. Hummus is a staple of the Middle Eastern diet and unites Israelis, Arabs and Palestinians. We believe the simple chickpea can be a starting point for constructive dialogue. Take your hummus selfie on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #chickpeace and we will feature some on our site.