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Builders Movement: Amid Division, Siding with Humanity

Since our last email, Hamas has drawn Israel deep into Gaza as 239 hostages, including women, children, and elderly, remain captive. Hamas is storing arms, planning its attacks, and hiding those kidnapped in the schools, hospitals, and homes of Palestinian civilians. Palestinian civilians are being used by Hamas as human shields and suffering in the crossfire following Hamas’ horrific Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli civilians. A future in which both Israelis and Palestinians can live side-by-side in dignity requires dismantling the Hamas terrorist infrastructure and replacing all politicians who deny the humanity of the other side.


Meanwhile, the war’s impact has rippled outward around the world. Putin has seized the opportunity to launch intensified attacks on Ukraine. An upswell of antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate has turned US college campuses into battle grounds for radicals who are spewing hatred and sowing fear. Extremist groups are utilizing social media to perpetuate dehumanization while emboldening other extremist figures, whose absolutist stances condemn the people they proclaim to stand for to ongoing war.


It’s easy to feel that moderates are nowhere to be found, but that is not the case.

As Daniel spoke about at ADL’s 20th Anniversary Golden Door Dinner, the overwhelming majority of people are moderates with the strength to become Builders.


In times of war, amid our pain and solidarity with our own people, it can be difficult to empathize with the suffering of “the other.” We may feel that acknowledging the pain of the other side weakens our people’s moral claim. In fact, it’s the opposite. Recognizing the humanity of all people impacted — Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims and Jews, and all of their neighbors — can strengthen alliances among moderates. This will empower us to build a better future for all our peoples, stand against all forms of violent absolutism and hateful extremism, and solve problems together for the sake of future generations.


Conversation with Lonnie Ali: Rejecting Hate and Choosing Humanity


While the media shows us hate and division overtaking American campuses and cities, we must remember that social media and news tend to magnify the voices of extremists, eclipsing the views of the vast majority of human beings who are not radicalized haters.


Earlier this month, our founder arrived at the Muhammad Ali Center to find strong partners committed to fighting antisemitism, anti-Muslim hate, and all forms of hatred. As he accepted the Center's inaugural Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Civility & Compassion, Daniel felt profoundly the community of hundreds of Muslims, who — like the overwhelming majority of Muslim people worldwide — seek to build a future in which peace and love prevail. Daniel sat down with Lonnie Ali, co-founder of the Muhammad Ali Center and widow of the late Muhammad Ali, to discuss what it will take for all of us to overcome "us vs. them" and side with humanity instead.



Click above to watch Lonnie Ali and Daniel Lubetzky in conversation



Not Losing Sight

of Builders in Ukraine


With Western attention on the Middle East, Russian President Vladimir Putin has seized the opportunity to launch new and intensified attacks on Ukraine. Since the start of Russia’s invasion, Russia has killed close to 500,000 Ukrainians and kidnapped at least 20,000 children whom it has abducted into Russia to be reprogrammed. As we have seen lately, children have increasingly been targeted by extremist figures who rule through division and destruction.


Through the partnership of José Andrés, Garry Kasparov, Daniel Lubetzky, Colonel Vindman, and our newest partner, Liev Schreiber, we seek to keep Americans engaged in supporting Ukraine’s fight for freedom. As discussed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Aaron Kaufman, documentary filmmaker behind Sean Penn’s ‘Superpower,’ is teaming up with us to put a spotlight on the Ukrainian heroes fighting for a future in which unity, building, and light prevail.


When forces of violent extremism or totalitarian nihilism attack a neighboring democracy anywhere, it threatens the entire free world. Failure to stand up to dictatorial bullies emboldens them and puts more lives at risk. Here are some ways Builders can stand with humanity and support the brave Builders of Ukraine:


 

1. Give to vetted orgs via BlueCheck Ukraine





BlueCheck Ukraine identifies, vets, and fast-tracks urgent financial support to Ukrainian NGOs and aid initiatives providing life-saving and other critical humanitarian work on the front lines of Russia’s war on Ukraine.



 

2. Stay informed


Check in with the following news sources to stay informed with facts on the war.

 

Spotlights on Builders


While social media shows us primarily the faces of extremism, the overwhelming majority of people worldwide (on all “sides”) are Builders. May these Builders provide inspiration to everyone searching for the motivation to unite, build, and bring light in dark times.



Izhar Shay & The Israel Resilience Fund


As we previously shared, Izhar Shay, chair of The OneVoice Movement’s Israeli partner, Darkenu, lost his son, Yaron Shay, in the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre. Yaron, an Israeli soldier and hero, was slain by Hamas terrorists while protecting innocent civilians.



Through OurCrowd, Izhar and his partners have quickly mobilized the Israel Resilience Fund, which seeks to channel up to $50M of capital to Israeli startups, promoting resiliency during this challenging time.





 

Osama & Hummus Abu Shaker

Humans of the Mideast introduced us to Osama, a restaurant owner in Haifa who has been feeding Jews and Arabs for almost 100 years. When the war broke out, Osama decided to provide free Hummus to Jews and Arabs in need. When extremists decided to boycott Osama for welcoming people of all religions, ethnicities, and backgrounds into his restaurant, hundreds of Jews and Arabs gathered at Hummus Abu Shaker to stand up together for solidarity.




 


Sharon Booth & Solutions Not Sides

A UK partner to The OneVoice Movement, Solutions Not Sidesis working to coach students on talking about what's happening in Israel-Palestine without falling back on Antisemitic and Islamophobic tropes and speech. The organization’s tools for students include guides for navigating triggers and positions, anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim bullying, and conspiracy theories. Tools for students include fact-checking resources and a vocabulary guide on Israel-Palestine.



Know a Builder we should feature? Email us at comms@lubetzky.org.

 

Invite Your Friends to Be Builders


A world ruled by extremist forces that divide, destroy, and diminish is one in which no person is guaranteed to live freely and peacefully. We are uniting to build a future in which the dignity of all people is recognized, in which their potentials can be fulfilled. This is a newsletter committed to empowering Builders to use our voices and actions to overcome hateful absolutist stances, including those from within our own groups.


​The Builders Movement is an initiative of the Lubetzky Family Foundation to empower the overwhelming majority of people worldwide who seek to unite, build, and bring light to the world. The Builders Movement works to combat "us vs. them" narratives used by extremist ideology to divide, destroy, and diminish. Builders are committed to using our voices and actions to supplant hateful absolutist stances, including those from within our own groups.


#WEAREBUILDERS




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