To fund the ground-breaking summer 2006 Vision Program, where co-led by Jews and Palestinians, Abraham's Vision educators took a group of 12 pairs of Jewish and Palestinian American university students to the Balkans (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Serbia) to engage in conflict analysis and transformation. By exploring the components of the Balkan conflicts, students were able to re-examine the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The students were taken from six American universities particularly known for campus strife between Arab, Jewish, and Muslim groups: Columbia University, Rutgers University, San Francisco State University, University of Michigan, University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Los Angeles.
The ancient figure Abraham is universally recognized for embodying the values of hope and hospitality, committed not only to opening his home to the 'other' but transforming him or her into a friend. Abraham's Vision stands for these principles and strives to instill them in their participants through their unique conflict transformation and interfaith education programs.
Friction between groups identifying with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has become extreme. Relationships between Jews, Palestinians, and the broader Muslim community are strained. The need is growing to re-examine the ways these tensions are viewed. The role that young American leaders can play in leading these communities towards peace, in both the Middle East and the United States, is of critical importance. The questions remain: What is being done to create this movement? What is being done to create alternatives to violence? How can this generation change its future?
There is a dangerous perception that the only Americans who deal with the various conflicts in the Middle East use violence. More attention needs to be paid to U.S. involvement that emphasizes how a more productive role can be played. Abraham's Vision works with Americans because, in the new global environment, it is clear that working with U.S. populations will transform conflicts around the world. A fundamental way to improve relations between Jewish, Palestinian, and Muslim communities in the Middle East, South Asia, and beyond, is to work with U.S.-based populations. American constituencies affect conflicts overseas through a variety of methods, thus creating the need to strengthen relations between communities identifying with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Arabs).