In September 2009, Leonard Cohen performed a concert in Israel honoring 400 bereaved Palestinians and Israelis, all of whom lost an immediate family member in the conflict. Yet all of them strive for peace in their lifetime. And all of them work on a daily basis to achieve it.
Being moved to tears wasn’t enough. Cohen was moved to action.
He was so inspired by these extraordinary individuals that he decided to donate all proceeds from the concert to establish this unique organization. And this small act has turned into something bigger. It’s sown a seed. And the seed is growing. It is important to note that Mr. Leonard Cohen does not participate in running the Fund other than the initial contribution of the funds to assist its establishment.
The Fund is committed to breaking through the psychological barriers of Palestinians and Israelis to end the conflict.
In situations of prolonged conflict individuals and societies develop deep-rooted psychological barriers that perpetuate the conflict. These psychological barriers are so ingrained that they undermine any chance for progress and keep people on both sides from taking any sort of positive action to achieve peace. Breaking down the ingrained psychological barriers is a critical and absolutely necessary step towards resolving, rather than simply managing, the conflict. Without overcoming these barriers, the majority of Israelis and Palestinians will not act, will not push their leaders forward, will not accept the contours of any possible peace plan that is presented to them and will never be able to accept the compromises that both sides need to make in order to solve the conflict.
Through programming and partnering with organizations on the ground, the Fund for Reconciliation Tolerance and Peace identifies the greatest barriers to peace and addresses them in a systematic, holistic and strategic way.