Best known for its large-scale public rallies, Shalom Achshav has demonstrated that continuous pressure can influence the peace process. Much of Israeli society’s openness towards dialogue with the Palestinians is due to Shalom Achshav’s relentless advocacy over time: Shalom Achshav initiated dialogue with moderate Palestinian leaders in the late 1980’s, paving the way for official negotiations in the early 1990s;
- In 1982 Shalom Achshav spearheaded the largest protest in Israel’s history, mobilizing 400,000 demonstrators in Tel Aviv, forcing the establishment of the Kahan Commission and the subsequent resignation of Ariel Sharon as defense minister following the Sabra and Shatilla massacres;
- Peace Now led a massive demonstration in support of negotiations between the PLO and Israel. This was a key factor in the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords;
- Shalom Achshav helped forge the Palestinian-Israeli Peace Coalition following the Second Intifada;
- Shalom Achshav has helped establish opportunities for civil society cooperation among Israel, Egypt and Jordan.
- Shalom Achshav was lauded by the U.S. State Department as a “key” player in changing Israeli public opinion on the peace process. In 1988, less than one in five Israelis were willing to compromise on territory, and fewer accepted the idea of a Palestinian state. Today, a majority endorses both ideas in the context of a viable and secure two-state solution.