JAI YMCA

Keep Hope Alive - The Olive Tree Campaign

The Olive Tree CampaignThe Olive Tree Campaign (OTC) seeks to plant and replant sponsored olive trees in areas trees have been uprooted and destroyed by the Israelis in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip or in areas where fields are threatened to be confiscated by the Israeli military Occupation, or where parts of the Israeli apartheid wall and settlements are constructed on part of the land.

Since the year 2001 Israel through its military and settlers in the West Bank and Gaza has uprooted, burnt and destroyed more than 548,000 olive trees that belong to Palestinian farmers and land owners, most of these trees have survived hundreds and thousands of years. We know that we will not replace the life of such olive trees, nor the stories and life lived around them, but we try to overcome such barbaric, irresponsible and careless practices by providing a sign of hope that future generations might than us for.

When the campaign was launched in 2002 it objective was to replant 50,000 olive trees in the Palestinian Territories through the sponsorship of individuals, YMCAs, YWCAs , churches, church related organizations, human rights organizations, as well as solidarity and advocacy groups around the world. Through replanting olive trees, Palestinians will be encouraged to keep hope alive and to reaffirm their commitment to work constructively toward peace-building.

The Campaign has an expanding network of friends and partners who have decided to join into the campaigns mission in keeping hope alive. They all work to bring about awareness about Palestine and encourage others to get involved through the sponsoring of planting of an olive tree. The campaign’s networks exist in many countries like Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, UK, Switzerland, USA, Ireland, and many others.

The annual objective of the campaign is to bring in about 350 new sponsors and to help in replanting 8,000 new olive trees each year.

So far the campaign has planted more than 80,000 olive trees in hundreds of fields in the West Bank and Gaza, many of which are already bearing fruit for the farmers and their families. The trees planted have helped the farmers to steadfast on their land and confront the unjust Israeli military practices, and more importantly, to get individuals from all over the world involved and become more aware of what is happening in Palestine.