Arguably, the most difficult and long-standing conflict in our society is the conflict between Israel and Pakistan. As the conflict has continued over 60 years, anyone would argue that the usual diplomatic and military strategies fail to end the conflict. Rather, many governments are taking measures that escalate the conflict. One of these failings was the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to cut budget funding while terror attacks still claim innocent lives in the region. Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s state capital also created significant ripple impacts that continue today.
In this article, I want to discuss one creative solution that was founded as part of a worldwide question and response to the conflict – the Blood Relations Project – which sadly no longer runs due to extensive funding cuts. I aim to illustrate the extent to which creative and unique solutions are required to end the crisis which has claimed countless casualties and will claim thousands more before it is likely to end.
Started in 2010 as a response to the “Impossible Brief,” the project’s aim was to unite people from both sides of the conflict through the life-saving act of giving blood. The organization produced a documentary demonstrating the extent to which this small-scale solution helped to reduce hatred and create unity in difficult times. By humanizing the people on the other side and through sharing stories of pain, loss, and suffering, participants could unite to change their xenophobic attitudes, leading to them making change in their homes and communities. The Blood Relations Project was short-lived but made a significant difference by creating a peaceful solution to help those grieving, help those who need blood transfusions and help to change people’s opinions about the so-called “enemies” on the other side of the border. We must ask our politicians to think more like the creators of the project. We can begin solving these complex sociopolitical issues through peaceful protest and non-violent dialogue and action, rather than inciting an extended culture of racism and violence that will inevitably continue the cycle of conflict between Israel and Palestine.