Speaking recently at the TEDxAmsterdam event, Mabel van Oranje, CEO of The Elders, suggests that "we overestimate what we can do in the short term, but we underestimate what we can do in the long term."
Emily Schaeffer, an American-Israeli human rights lawyer, accompanied the Elders on their visit to the Palestinian village of Bil'in in the West Bank. Here, she describes how the villagers are using non-violent protest as a means to oppose the Israeli soldiers' acts of brutality.
Writing for the Common Ground News Service, Palestinian-American businessman Sam Bahour reflects on the Elders' visit to the Middle East and argues in favour of boycott and divestment initiatives against Israel.
"This is not supposed to be OK. This is not how other people live." The Elders speak to people in Gaza via video link; visit the West Bank village of Bil'in, where a local protest movement against the separation wall is gaining momentum; and meet a Palestinian family in East Jerusalem evicted from their homes by Israeli authorities.
"Non-violence is the only way of cleansing society of the tiredness, brutalisation and despondency it has been forced into." Ela Bhatt
During their first visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory in August 2009, the Elders visit peaceful protestors in the West Bank village of Bil'in, a Palestinian family living on the pavement after being evicted from their Jerusalem home, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
The village of Bilin in the West Bank has transformed from an anonymous farming village into a symbol of Palestinian civil disobedience. During their visit to the village, the Elders talk to Ethan Bronner of The New York Times about achieving freedom through nonviolent struggle.