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Cablegate: Monitoring and Evaluating Seeds of Peace's

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 AMMAN 001721

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR PRM/ANE AND NEA/RA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PREL KPAL KWBG IS JO
SUBJECT: MONITORING AND EVALUATING SEEDS OF PEACE'S
COEXISTENCE CENTER IN JERUSALEM

REF: A) PRM MONITORING GUIDANCE 12/04/03

B) 03 AMMAN 1477

1. REGIONAL REFCOORD ASSISTANT MONITORED PRM-FUNDED
ACTIVITIES AT SEEDS OF PEACE'S COEXISTENCE CENTER IN
DECEMBER 2003 AND THROUGH FOLLOW-UP PHONE CONVERSATIONS
BETWEEN JANUARY AND MARCH 2004. CABLE IS KEYED TO
MONITORING GUIDANCE PROVIDED REF A.

A. REFCOORD ASSISTANT MET WITH SEEDS OF PEACE'S COEXISTENCE
CENTER SENIOR PROGRAM DIRECTOR JEN MARLOWE, ADMINISTRATIVE
DIRECTOR DR. REUVEN BARNEIS AND CENTER SUPERVISOR SAMI AL-
JUNDI DECEMBER 3, 2003 TO MONITOR PRM-FUNDED COEXISTENCE
ACTIVITIES. REFCOORD ASSISTANT ALSO CONDUCTED FOLLOW-UP
MONITORING BY PHONE AND E-MAIL BETWEEN JANUARY AND MARCH
2004.

B. DUE TO CONTINUING POLITICAL TENSIONS IN THE WEST BANK
AND GAZA, SEEDS OF PEACE (SOP) HAS BEEN UNABLE TO IMPLEMENT
SEVERAL KEY GRANT OBJECTIVES, INCLUDING COMMUNITY SERVICES
PROJECTS IN THE CAMPS, VIDEO MESSAGING ACTIVITIES AND SCHOOL
PRESENTATIONS. SOP IS ATTEMPTING TO FIND CREATIVE SOLUTIONS
TO THESE PROBLEMS BY TRAINING PALESTINIAN YOUTH TO IMPLEMENT
UNOFFICIAL SOP ACTIVITIES IN REFUGEE CAMPS AND SCHOOLS. SOP
ALSO RECRUITED TEN PALESTINIAN TEACHERS (WHO SERVED AS
ESCORTS AT THE SUMMER CAMP) TO INTRODUCE SOP ACTIVITIES IN
THEIR SCHOOLS AND PRODUCE THE TEACHING MANUAL FOR THE ARABIC
EDITION OF "THE OLIVE BRANCH" MAGAZINE. ON A MORE POSITIVE
NOTE, SOP IN JULY 2003 HELD ITS FIRST JERUSALEM GATHERING OF
ISRAELI AND PALESTINIAN SEEDS IN MORE THAN THREE YEARS.
WHILE GOI OFFICIALS CONTINUE TO ISSUE PERMITS FOR
PALESTINIAN YOUTH TO TRAVEL TO JERUSALEM FOR SOP ACTIVITIES,
MANY PALESTINIANS FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE TRAVELING TO JERUSALEM
OR ISRAELI CITIES AND PREFER INSTEAD TO MEET SOP STAFF IN
PALESTINIAN CITIES. SEEDS IS THEREFORE HAVING A HARD TIME
MEETING THE LETTER OF THE PRM GRANT AGREEMENT BUT IS
FULFILLING THE SPIRIT OF PROMOTING A CULTURE OF TOLERANCE
AND COEXISTENCE AMONG PALESTINIAN REFUGEE YOUTH.

C. UNDER THE PRM GRANT, TWELVE PALESTINIAN YOUTH FROM WEST
BANK REFUGEE CAMPS PARTICIPATED IN THE THREE-WEEK SOP SUMMER
CAMP IN MAINE, WHICH WAS HELD IN JULY AND AUGUST 2003. THE
PALESTINIAN REFUGEES CONTINUED TO PARTICIPATE IN SOP
COEXISTENCE ACTIVITIES IN THE CENTER IN JERUSALEM THROUGHOUT
THE ACADEMIC YEAR. A SUMMARY OF COEXISTENCE ACTIVITIES
FOLLOWS:

1. COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES: IN AUGUST 2003, TEN
PALESTINIANS, MORE THAN HALF REFUGEES, SPENT TWO DAYS WITH
68 REFUGEE CHILDREN AGED 8-14 IN EIN EL-SULTAN REFUGEE CAMP
IN JERICHO. SEEDS TOURED THE CAMP ON THE FIRST DAY AND
LEARNED ABOUT REFUGEE LIFE. ON THE SECOND DAY, SEEDS
CONDUCTED WORKSHOPS IN DRAMA, ART AND GAMES FOR THE REFUGEE
KIDS, IN WHICH THEY SHARED SOP IDEAS AND THE VALUES OF
MUTUAL RESPECT, TOLERANCE AND NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION.
SEEDS ALSO ORGANIZED TWO ADDITIONAL PREPARATORY MEETINGS IN
GAZA AND NABLUS TO DISCUSS COMMUNITY SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
IN CAMPS THERE BUT DUE TO POLITICAL TENSIONS, HAS NOT YET
SCHEDULED COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES IN ANY OTHER REFUGEE
CAMPS. BECAUSE SOP STAFF BELIEVE OFFICIAL SEEDS OF PEACE
ACTIVITIES WILL NOT BE WELCOME IN THE REFUGEE CAMPS, SOP
STAFF ARE INSTEAD HOLDING ORGANIZATIONAL MEETINGS IN
PALESTINIAN CITIES AND TRAINING SEEDS THEMSELVES TO LEAD
COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES IN THE CAMPS. FOUR COMMUNITY
SERVICE IDEAS ARE IN THE EARLY PLANNING STAGES AND WILL BE
IMPLEMENTED AS PROJECTS IN THE CAMPS TO FULFILL THE TERMS OF
THE AGREEMENT.

2. MEDIA TRAINING COURSE IN BEIT BERL: ON OCTOBER 3,
2003, TWO HUNDRED ISRAELI AND PALESTINIAN SEEDS MET IN BEIT
BERL TO REGISTER FOR A ONE-YEAR MEDIA TRAINING PROGRAM.
SEVEN PALESTINIANS REFUGEE YOUTH ARE NOW PARTICIPATING IN
THE COURSE THAT WILL TRAIN THEM TO WRITE, PREPARE
COMMENTARIES AND UNDERSTAND HOW TO CRITICALLY INTERPRET AND
ANALYZE TELEVISION AND NEWSPAPERS. AN ISRAELI AND A
PALESTINIAN JOURNALIST WORKED WITH THEM ON THE PRINCIPLES OF
PRINT JOURNALISM, AND SEVERAL PARTICIPANTS CONTRIBUTED
ARTICLES TO SOP'S "OLIVE BRANCH" MAGAZINE. SEEDS ARE NOW
LEARNING (FROM OLDER SEEDS WHO STUDIED MEDIA AT THE
UNIVERSITY LEVEL) MORE ABOUT TV AND FILM MEDIA, HOW TO
PRODUCE AND ANALYZE IT AND HOW TO EDIT THEIR OWN
PRODUCTIONS. PALESTINIAN COURSE GRADUATES WILL WORK ON THE
ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW PROJECT.

3. ORAL HISTORY PROJECT: A REFUGEE YOUTH (WHO RECEIVES A
SALARY AS PART OF THE PROJECT) WAS SELECTED TO LEAD THE ORAL
HISTORY INTERVIEW PROJECT. THE ORAL INTERVIEWS ARE UNDERWAY
AND TWO VIDEOS CASSETTES ARE UNDER PREPARATION. SOP HAS NO
CLEAR PLANS HOW TO USE THEM IN THE PALESTINIAN SCHOOLS.

4. OLIVE BRANCH MAGAZINE: AN EDITOR FOR THE ARABIC
VERSION OF "THE OLIVE BRANCH" WAS SELECTED AND TRANSLATION
OF THE CURRENT ENGLISH-ONLY EDITION OF "OLIVE BRANCH"
MAGAZINE INTO ARABIC IS UNDERWAY. THE MAGAZINE WILL BE
DISTRIBUTED TO YOUTH IN SCHOOLS IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA IN
COORDINATION WITH THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT OF UNRWA AND A
UNDP PROGRAM ON YOUTH EMPOWERMENT. SOP IS NOW PRODUCING AN
ARABIC STUDY-GUIDE FOR THE MAGAZINE AND PLANS TO DISTRIBUTE
IT WITH "THE OLIVE BRANCH" AND ALSO PLACE IT ON THE SOP
WEBSITE AS A RESOURCE. SOP PLANS TO TRAIN TEN INTERESTED
PALESTINIAN TEACHERS (WHO SERVED PREVIOUSLY AS SOP CAMP
ESCORTS) TO USE "THE OLIVE BRANCH" AS AN EDUCATIONAL
CLASSROOM TOOL FOR TOLERANCE AND RESPECT OF OTHERS IN THEIR
SCHOOLS.
D. WHILE THE POLITICAL AND THE SECURITY SITUATION ON THE
GROUND HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE OUR LAST REPORT (REF B), SOP
MANAGED TO RESTORE JOINT MEETINGS BETWEEN ISRAELI AND
PALESTINIAN SEEDS, ONE OF THE PROJECT'S PRIMARY GOALS. IT
HELD ITS FIRST JOINT MEETING IN THREE YEARS AT THE
COEXISTENCE CENTER IN JULY 2003. MARLOWE ATTRIBUTED SOP'S
SUCCESS IN RESTORING THESE MEETINGS TO THE LEADERSHIP OF SOP
PRESIDENT AARON MILLER, WHO, ACCORDING TO MARLOWE, CONVINCED
ISRAELI OFFICIALS TO ALLOW PALESTINIANS SEEDS TO TRAVEL TO
JERUSALEM FOR COEXISTENCE ACTIVITIES. EXTENSIVE
COORDINATION WITH ISRAELI MILITARY AUTHORITIES IS REQUIRED
TO ENSURE THE PALESTINIAN SEEDS CAN TRAVEL TO JERUSALEM AND
CITIES IN ISRAEL. SOP ALSO COORDINATES WITH THE PALESTINIAN
AUTHORITY AND PALESTINIAN NGOS TO ARRANGE PROGRAMMING IN
REFUGEE CAMPS. DIFFICULTIES IN SECURING COORDINATION FROM
ISRAELI MILITARY FORCES AND POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVES IN THE
PALESTINIAN REFUGEES CAMPS OFTEN DELAY THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
SOP ACTIVITIES. SOP IS NOT SURE IF IT CAN WORK IN THE CAMPS
UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES AND IS INVESTIGATING OTHER WAYS TO
REACH PALESTINIAN REFUGEE YOUTH, INCLUDING WORKING WITH
REFUGEE YOUTH THAT LIVE OUTSIDE CAMPS AND TRAINING YOUTH TO
IMPLEMENT PROJECTS THEMSELVES.

E. IN ITS COEXISTENCE ACTIVITIES, SOP ENSURES THAT 50%
PERCENT OF THE PALESTINIAN TARGET GROUP IS REFUGEES. LIKE
ALL SEEDS, THE REFUGEE YOUTH ARE SELECTED BASED ON THEIR
ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS, ACADEMIC STRENGTH, AND SOCIAL AND
LEADERSHIP SKILLS. DUE TO RESTRICTIONS ON PALESTINIANS'
MOVEMENT, SOP STAFF VISIT PALESTINIAN SEEDS IN THEIR
HOMETOWNS IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA FOR PREPARATORY AND
NATIONAL MEETINGS BEFORE ARRANGING JOINT MEETINGS WITH THE
ISRAELI SEEDS IN JERUSALEM AND ISRAELI CITIES.

F. SOP DOES NOT USE SPHERE STANDARDS, BUT IS WILLING TO USE
THEM IF REQUESTED BY PRM.

G. SOP HAS A CODE OF CONDUCT AND ADVISES PROJECT STAFF OF
THEIR OBLIGATION TO REPORT ANY SUSPECTED SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
AND ABUSE OF BENEFICIARIES BY FACILITATORS AND ESCORTS.

H. THE CONTINUOUS VIOLENCE, CURFEWS AND CLOSURES IN THE
WEST BANK AND GAZA MAKE TIMELY IMPLEMENTATION OF SOP
ACTIVITIES DIFFICULT. AN ACTIVITY PLANNED TO TAKE PLACE
WITH A PALESTINIAN DIALOGUE GROUP IN BETHLEHEM'S DEHEISHEH
CAMP, FOR EXAMPLE, WAS MOVED TO EIN EL-SULTAN CAMP IN
JERICHO DUE TO SECURITY CONCERNS. MARLOWE REPORTED THAT
STAFF SAFETY HAS BECOME A CONCERN. PALESTINIAN MILITANTS
WHO OVERHEARD A MEETING WITH PALESTINIAN SEEDS IN NABLUS,
FOR EXAMPLE, THREATENED ONE AMERICAN STAFF MEMBER. IN
RESPONSE TO THESE SECURITY CONCERNS, SOP NOW PLANS TO GIVE
ITS PALESTINIAN SEEDS FIRST AID TRAINING IN COOPERATION WITH
THE PALESTINIAN RED CRESCENT SOCIETY. AS THE SEEDS
THEMSELVES ARE GETTING OLDER AND GAINING MORE EXPERIENCE,
SOP PLANS FOR THEM TO TAKE OVER LEADERSHIP OF THE PROJECTS
FROM ITS AMERICAN STAFF. SOP BELIEVES THIS EMPOWERMENT PLAN
NOT ONLY ADDRESSES THE SAFETY ISSUE BUT ALSO FUFILLS SOP'S
MISSION OF TRAINING YOUTH TO LEAD THE FUTURE PEACE MOVEMENT.

I. MUCH OF THE PROJECT'S FOCUS IS ON BUILDING THE CAPACITY
OF THE YOUNG PALESTINIAN SEEDS, ENABLING THEM TO TAKE OVER
THE COEXISTENCE PROGRAMMING THEMSELVES. FOUR PALESTINIAN
SOP GRADUATES HAVE BEEN RECRUITED TO LEAD GROUPS OF YOUNGER
SEEDS. SOP IS WORKING ON THIS GOAL AS A LONG-TERM STRATEGY.

J. THE COEXISTENCE CENTER STAFF SEEMS TO BE FULLY AND
GAINFULLY EMPLOYED. TWO ADDITIONAL AMERICAN STAFF MEMBERS
WERE RECRUITED. HOWEVER, FOR LONG-TERM CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
PURPOSES, SOP NEED TO HIRE MORE LOCAL SOP GRADUATES.

K. THE COEXISTENCE CENTER'S OFFICE IS SPACIOUS AND WELL
EQUIPPED. EQUIPMENT APPEARED TO BE IN WORKING ORDER AND USED
ON A REGULAR BASIS. NONE OF THE EQUIPMENT WAS PURCHASED WITH
USG FUNDS.
L. N/A.

M. SOP COEXISTENCE PROGRAMS STRIVE TO ACHIEVE AN IMPORTANT
PRM AND NEA POLICY GOAL OF PROMOTING A CULTURE OF PEACE AND
COEXISTENCE AMONG PALESTINIAN REFUGEE YOUTH. HOWEVER,
CURRENT POLITICAL AND SECURITY DIFFICULTIES IN THE WEST BANK
AND GAZA HAVE PREVENTED SOP FROM IMPLEMENTING SEVERAL KEY
OBJECTIVES OF THE PRM GRANT AGREEMENT. NEARLY NINE MONTHS
INTO THE GRANT, SOP HAS VISITED JUST ONE OF FIVE TARGET
REFUGEE CAMPS, HAS NOT YET FINALIZED THE VIDEO MESSAGING
PROJECT, HAS YET TO CONDUCT A SINGLE SCHOOL PRESENTATION AND
HAS ONLY BEGUN INTERVIEWING YOUTH FOR THE VIDE PROJECT.
WITH ONLY THREE MONTHS REMAINING IN THE GRANT, WE ARE NOT
CONFIDENT THAT SOP WILL BE ABLE TO ACHIEVE THESE OBJECTIVES.
GIVEN VERY LIMITED FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR NGO ACTIVITIES, WE
RECOMMEND THAT ANY FUTURE GRANTS TO SOP BE SCALED BACK TO
INCLUDE ONLY ACHIEVABLE GOALS, SUCH AS SENDING REFUGEE YOUTH
TO THE SOP SUMMER CAMP.

2. ConGen Jerusalem cleared this message.
HALE

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