MP praises pictures of harmony
AN ARTWORK project by Arab and Jewish women in Israel holds the answer to peace, says Dudley North Labour MP Ian Austin.
Mr Austin was among politicians who viewed Wizo’s Olive Tree exhibition in Parliament. Established three years ago to promote co-operation, the project enables women from different backgrounds to find common ground by painting an olive tree, a traditional symbol of peace. The works have already been displayed at the European Parliament,theScottishParliamentand the United Nations.
Mr Austin said the exhibits showed “the vibrant, diverse and multi-ethnic democracy that is Israel. The picture you get in Parliament about Israel and Palestine is often polarised.”
Collaborative activities such as the Olive Tree project were the building blocks for peace. “In the end, working together is how the conflict will be solved.”
Aroundthreedozenwomentookthe painting class at the Gruss Community Centre, located in the ethnically mixed neighbourhood of Afula.
Sheila Dvore-Casdi, their teacher, said: “The olive tree means something tobothJewishandArabwomenandwe found it brought together people who might not normally meet or speak.”
Daniel Benn, the regional liaison officer for Wizo programmes, added: “The olive tree is such an important symbol of peace and understanding. It is also a valuable and vital commodity in Israel.
“This is about painting the future.”
The paintings convey a peaceful outlook