How do we get to meet with such high-ranking officials?

A:

The Olive Tree Initiative meets with numerous high-ranking government officials and VIPs that often reserve their time for diplomats and other officials. OTI works with a variety of organizations and contacts in the regions. We have found some reliable partners in each of the regions we work in who share our vision and have become trusted partners on the ground.

OTI as an organization has no formal connection or partnership with any community, political or advocacy groups (this includes the International Solidarity Movement (ISM),  the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction Movement, the Jewish Federation of North America or the Israeli and Palestinian government). We work with some local groups and individuals in each of the conflict regions we travel to to help us secure speakers on our trip. Some of the speakers may have affiliations to political or advocacy groups but they do not have a say in the OTI activities or program.

Middle East: One of our key partners in the Middle East is the Center for Regional Engagement. The Center (CRE) is a non-profit/non-governmental organization with offices in Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, which brings groups to the region (mostly policy-makers and investors); they receive non-biased information and resources regarding the conflict through active field experience. Despite their concentration on international policy-makers and investors, the CRE has partnered with OTI, believing in the long-term effect of educating the future leaders about the situation on the ground (for more information please visit http://regionalengagement.org/).

In addition, the goodwill and reputation of our organization has attracted world-renown speakers who now reach out for a chance to speak with such a unique and engaging group of students.