"Non-violence is the only way of cleansing society of the tiredness, brutalisation and despondency it has been forced into." Ela Bhatt
During their first visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory in August 2009, the Elders visit peaceful protestors in the West Bank village of Bil'in, a Palestinian family living on the pavement after being evicted from their Jerusalem home, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
The village of Bilin in the West Bank has transformed from an anonymous farming village into a symbol of Palestinian civil disobedience. During their visit to the village, the Elders talk to Ethan Bronner of The New York Times about achieving freedom through nonviolent struggle.
Gali Agnon shares her story of using organic produce to foster solidarity and dialogue between the Palestinian residents of Wadi Fukin and their Israeli neighbours across the Green Line in Tzur Hadassah.
Fahmi Manasra, a resident of Wadi Fukin in the West Bank, expresses his hope that the village will one day enjoy stability, peace and prosperity alongside its neighbours - both Israeli and Palestinian.
On the second day of their visit to the Middle East in August 2009, The Elders meet Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad. They also cross into the West Bank, where they meet women from the Qalandia refugee camp and listen to the concerns of young Palestinians.
On the second day of their visit, the Elders met Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem as well as Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad in Ramallah. On their way to the West Bank, they stopped at the Qalandia checkpoint, where hundreds of Palestinians line up daily to cross into Israel under tight security. There they met Zaina who has made the crossing many times to go to school. Zaina joined other young Palestinians in conversation with the Elders later in the day to express their frustrations with the current situation and their hopes for peace.