Frequently Asked Questions

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Every Eyewitness Palestine delegation is a unique human journey. Each trip is an experiment in building transnational solidarity based on real human connections. Every experience is real, honest, heartfelt, and genuine. 

You will return from your delegation educated, motivated, and inspired to continue your journey in education and advocacy. Learn more about Eyewitness Palestine in these Frequently Asked Questions.

 

+ When is the next Eyewitness Palestine delegation?

You have three or four opportunities every year to join an Eyewitness Palestine delegations. Standard times for our delegations are late May, late July, and late October. We often add additional delegations at other times of year. Sign up for updates to hear when new opportunities are added.

Opportunities to join us in Palestine/Israel

+ I can’t afford the full cost of a delegation. Is financial aid available?

Yes! Since our inception in 2001, Eyewitness Palestine has made it a goal to help anyone join our delegations. We strive to organize delegations diverse in age, gender, sexual orientation, class, ethnic identity, religious belief, and racial background.

Our Scott Kennedy Memorial Scholarship Fund prioritizes activists, people of color, and young adults for limited grants. Scholarships offset the delegation ground fees and generally range from $500 up to $1,500 per person.

Learn more about opportunities for financial aid

+ Is it safe to go to Palestine/Israel?

We take your safety seriously. We always carefully monitor the situation and are in regular conversation with partners on the ground to make sure we stay up to date on exactly what is happening.

Additionally, during the delegation, our Palestinian guide calls ahead shortly before meetings to ensure that the area is safe for travel. Eyewitness Palestine's itineraries are flexible and, if a safety concern does arise, we are able to shift our schedule.

Read more about our commitment to safety

+ Where do Eyewitness Palestine delegations stay?

Delegations spend most nights in secure rooms in Palestinian-owned hotels. Delegations are based in East Jerusalem, which allows the group to travel from this central point to many areas in the region.

Our delegations also feature three nights outside of Jerusalem. Usually, two nights with local Palestinian families and a third night in a hotel in a different city.

Read more about what to expect on an Eyewitness Palestine delegation

+ How do Eyewitness Palestine delegations travel?

Delegations are led by a local Palestinian tour guide registered with both the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel. An expert on the religion, geography, history, and politics of Palestine/Israel, our guide adds much to the experience. Delegations travel by comfortable air-conditioned private bus and use routes chosen for convenience and safety.

Eyewitness Palestine delegations support the local economy by staying in Palestinian owned hotels and introducing participants to souvenirs produced by womens’ collectives, fair trade cooperatives, refugee associations, and locations that receive less tourism.

Eyewitness Palestine has adopted the Palestinian Initiative for Responsible Tourism's Code of Conduct for Tourism in the Holy Land. Our delegations also comply with Palestinian Civil Society's call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions.

Read about our commitment to social responsibility and political accountability

+ Who do Eyewitness Palestine delegations meet?

Though each delegation itinerary is unique, every groups meets with diverse representatives of Palestinian and Israeli society who work for justice. Delegates also receive briefings from a broad spectrum of Palestinian, Israeli, and International non-governmental organizations working in the region. Meetings are often held with Palestinian refugees and Internally Displaced People; representatives of Palestinian citizens of Israel; Palestinian farmers; Mizarahi and Sephadi Jews; and other marginalized communities.

All delegations feature a two-night stay in the homes, villages, refugee camps, or farms of local Palestinians.

Read about many of the groups we meet and subjects we cover

+ Will Israel Deny Me Entry?

On January 7, 2018, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry published a blacklist of 20 organizations, which it said would be banned from entering Israel and the illegally occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem).

Unless you hold a "senior" or "key" position in one of the targeted organizations, you are NOT banned. You will not be denied entry simply for paying membership dues to an organization, or participating in its campaigns. Even if you are a senior staff member or key activist, it is not guaranteed that you will be turned away from Israeli-controlled border crossings.

Traveling to Palestine/Israel now is more important than ever. Israel’s goal is to isolate Palestinians. That is why those in the position to do so must continue to travel to Palestine. Traveling is one of the best ways to challenge this policy and other longstanding practices of discrimination employed at Israeli controlled borders. Our factsheet further breaks down the blacklist and it's application.

Read our Factsheet on Israel's Entry Blacklist

+ Does Eyewitness Palestine endorse a “two-state solution” or a “one-state solution”.

We do not side with or promote the interests of any party, individual, or specific organization in Palestine/Israel, the US, or elsewhere and we do not endorse specific solution frameworks. Our work is intended to introduce participants to a variety of opinions, debates, and analyses on Palestine/Israel and the role of international – and US – civil society.

However, core values rooted in our long-standing ties with communities of peace-builders, resisters to oppression, and nonviolent activists do inform our work.

Read more about our values

+ Does Eyewitness Palestine describe your delegations as "balanced"?

Eyewitness Palestine delegations privilege voices of Palestinians and Israelis actively working for peace with justice. Every delegation itinerary is different; each trip meets different individuals, visits different locations, and exposes delegates to multiple perspectives. We do not often meet with representatives of political parties or public relations experts. We do not seek parity between any two "sides".

Eyewitness Palestine delegations are intended to enhance your understanding of Palestine/Israel and your commitment to justice.

Read more about who we meet

+ When did Eyewitness Palestine begin organizing delegations?

Eyewitness Palestine (formerly Interfaith Peace-Builders) began in 2001 as a program of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest, oldest interfaith peace and justice organization in the United States. The Interfaith Peace-Builders program was created as a response to a call from Palestinian and Israeli activists to begin consistently sending delegations to the region.

Interfaith Peace-Builders became an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in 2006. In 2018, we changed our name to Eyewitness Palestine.

Read more about our history

+ Why did Eyewitness Palestine change its name?

In 2018, after more than 15 years and 63 delegations, we changed our name from Interfaith Peace-Builders to Eyewitness Palestine. In 2001, when Interfaith Peace-Builders was founded by the Fellowship of Reconciliation we specifically sought to engage people of faith. However, as we evolved as an independent organization, we found the ambiguity of our name held us back. A new identity was necessary to reach increasingly diverse communities in a dramatically evolving international movement.

In order for the movement for Palestinian rights to grow, we must bring more people face-to-face with the realities Palestinians live with. We must build stronger connections between Palestinian and Israeli activists and those of us here in North America. Today, Eyewitness Palestine is a trusted solidarity trip organizer and a movement accelerator welcoming people from all backgrounds who share a common commitment to a just and free Palestine/Israel.

Read more about us

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Emily, our Program Director, is ready to answer your questions! Ask us about scholarships, financing your trip, or the application process. Emily is here to help!

 

Learn More About our Delegation Program

There's only one way to truly understand the realities of Palestine/Israel - through the eyes of those who live there.

Join us on a journey of discovery and solidarity: