October 27, 2014 – EcoPeace / FoEME celebrates 20 years, and reverts to original name ECOPEACE MIDDLE EAST

EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth Middle East celebrates its 20th Anniversary;
and reverts back to its official, original name: ECOPEACE MIDDLE EAST

October 27, 2014

Last week in Washington DC, EcoPeace Middle East (formerly ‘Friends of the Earth Middle East’) celebrated its 20th anniversary year since its founding with a Gala dinner, featuring New York Times Journalist, Thomas Friedman, where the organization announced the return to its official and original name ‘EcoPeace Middle East’.

At the Gala dinner, Mr. Friedman praised the organization for its environmental and peacebuilding efforts. Writing in yesterday’s Sunday New York Times he refers to the work of EcoPeace Middle East by stating that peace “can only come from Israelis and Palestinians acting on their own, directly with one another, with real imagination, to convert what is now an “unhealthy interdependency” into a “healthy interdependency”. Actually, that model already exists among Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists — and the example they set is the best hope for the future”.

EcoPeace Middle East decided to part ways with Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) following many years of disappointment with the actions and positions of the FoEI network. Returning to our original name will strengthen our mission to deliver the environmental stewardship needed to secure regional prosperity, a sustainable future, and a just peace.

“The approach of FoEI diverges from our 20 years of experience that proves that ecology, cross border cooperation, and peace, are inextricably linked in our region”, said Munqeth Mehyar, Jordanian Director of the organization.

Nader Khateeb, Palestinian Director stated, “This change allows the organization to actively pursue our mission to achieve a comprehensive and just peace, and ensure the fair distribution of transboundary water resources.”

Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director stated, “In this troubled region of the Middle East, against unspeakable odds and growing extremism, we remain a group of environmentalists, that have come together to protect the environment and promote a common vision of peace, justice and cooperation.”

Thomas Friedman concludes his Sunday Op Ed by describing in effect the flagship project of EcoPeace, the ‘Good Water Neighbors’ program by stating; “It’s relationships of trust between neighbors that create healthy interdependencies — ecological and political. They are the hardest things to build, but also the hardest things to break once in place.”

For more information, please contact:
Munqeth Mehyar – munqeth@ecopeaceme.org Tel: +962-7775484777
Nader Khateeb – nader@ecopeaceme.org Tel: +972-59-9606544
Gidon Bromberg – gidon@ecopeaceme.org Tel: +972-52-4532597