Yuli Tamir, one of the founders of Shalom Achshav and a former member of Knesset and Minister of Education, recalled the movement’s initial seeds. She and a group of friends, young veterans of the 1973 Yom Kippur War had lost many of their peers in a war in which over 2600 Israelis and over 10,000 Egyptian and allies were killed. They “felt deserted” by the old guard political leaders for not averting the war. Fueled by their anger and grief, they began to organize, and, in April of 1978, sent a letter to Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Read more
The roots of Achvat Amim are deep in the Socialist Zionist youth movement that Isaacs grew up in, Hashomer Hatzair. Over the course of two interviews with the American Jewish Peace Archive in Jerusalem (in June and October, 2017 respectively), Isaacs explained that the youth movement was fundamental in instilling in her a sense of responsibility for what happens in Israel, as well as providing her with practical leadership skills and a commitment to youth leadership. She explained that because of both the historical and present day connections between the Hashomer movement abroad and within Israel, she spent a lot of time in Israel as a young person connecting with Israelis “who in some ways felt like partners or an extension of [her] own community.” Moreover, the Hashomer movement was unique in its youth education in that it did not shy away from the challenges of addressing the occupation head on. “As long as I remember being a part of Hashomer, I remember knowing about the occupation,” she explained.