Born Equal is a website dedicated to highlighting the psychological dangers facing Palestinian children who live under Israeli jurisdiction. The website is the result of a collaboration between Israeli, Palestinian, and international mental health workers and activists. We have found common cause in our wish to secure the future for Israeli and Palestinian children, two groups whose destinies are inevitably intertwined.
Over the past decades of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and especially since 1967, many national institutions and individuals have contributed to the violence that threatens the physical and mental health of all children in the area and undermine the stability of their communities. These unrelenting cycles of violence damage both Israelis and Palestinians; the consequences of this violence will reverberate through future generations.
We are committed to the legitimate security concerns of all parties in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; notwithstanding, we firmly believe that these concerns can, and must, be met without harming children and families. We have chosen to concentrate on Israeli policies that undermine the development of Palestinian children and threaten their family stability because these children, although under Israeli jurisdiction, are frequently denied the benefit of the Israeli children’s rights and child protection laws. We contend that every child deserves equal protection under the law, whether he or she is a citizen or not.
While our primary focus is on Israeli policies as they affect the psychological well-being of Palestinian children and families, we are equally troubled by the violence, stress, and terror to which other children or adults in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are subjected as a result of both Israeli and Palestinian policies and activities. We encourage professionals to document and work to remediate these situations. Our emphasis on Israeli policies is linked to our commitment to the high standard of human rights and children right in particular to which Israel aspires. We believe that by guaranteeing equal protection for all children under its jurisdiction, Israel could plant seeds for a more secure future for all of its children, rather than contributing to the cycle of violence.
To this end, on this website we have compiled scholarly materials regarding the psychological effects of Israeli policies on Palestinian children and their families. We include the opinions of experts in the fields of mental health, law, human rights advocacy, the arts and more. We also make available a selection of news articles and NGO reports about situations that potentially cause psychological harm to Palestinian children.
Born Equal was established to bear witness to the human costs of denying the right to a safe childhood and family life for Palestinian children living under Israeli jurisdiction. On this website, we amplify the voices of those who protect the rights of Palestinian children and work to nurture their psychological well-being. We hope to reach people on both sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and in the international community as a whole. We come together in the hope of gaining an understanding into some of the forces that perpetuate the cycle of hatred between Palestinians and Israelis and in an attempt to document the psychological effects of the ongoing violence. Most importantly, we wish to call attention to the human cost of this violence, to humanize the voices of those caught in its grip, and to encourage thoughts about the possibilities for healing.
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