The Jewish and Arab American communities are linked to Israelis and Arabs in the Middle East by cultural, religious and family ties. At this moment in history, when the relationship between the Israelis and Palestinians are at their lowest levels of trust and the prospects of peace seem the most remote, small steps of cooperation are important. Ishmael & Isaac (I&I) believes that both peoples desire to live peacefully, side by side, with full acceptance and recognition. It is our goal to help innocent people on both sides who have suffered during this conflict. Following are the fundamental principles upon which our members all agree and on which a future can be built:

Their mission is to:

1. I&I supports a negotiated two state solution that recognizes each side’s existence and security.
2. I&I rejects terrorism.
3. In the aftermath of September 11th, the Arab and Muslim communities have been subjected to anti-Arab, anti-Muslim discrimination. The Jewish community worldwide has been subjected to anti-Semitism for centuries and well understands this situation based on its own history. I&I rejects stereotyping and prejudice against all peoples.

A volunteer based organization, I&I is comprised of Americans who have cultural, religious or family ties to the Middle East. Members from metropolitan areas with large American Jewish and Arab communities, currently Cleveland, Detroit and New York, join together to promote the reconciliation of Israelis and Palestinians. I&I’s mission is to:

1. Enhance the physical and psychological healing process through humanitarian initiatives.
2. Build social capital among Israelis and Palestinians defined as networks of strong personal relationships developed over time which are required as a basis for trust, mutual understanding, cooperation and collective action.
3. Promote democratic values.
4. Encourage collaboration between the American Arab and Jewish communities in the United States, Israel and Palestinian areas to build the foundation for sustainable economic development and peace.
Ishmael & Isaac shows that our two communities can work together in the United States and in the Middle East, demonstrating that the actions of a few do not represent the beliefs of the majority.
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