Armed with knitting needles, Israelis and Palestinians are knitting for peace!
The TikkunTree Project is a community knittivist art project dedicated to advocacy of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. This ambitious community art project is growing a tree, an enormous knitted tree whose fiber leaves and fruits and branches will shelter doves made of yarn: it’s enormous canopy will eventually protect a silent candle vigil from “the winds of conflict.” The Hebrew phrase “tikkun olam” can loosely translate to “repairing the world”. Check out some amazing people who are stitching together a peace movement through simple, ancient craft, using sensitively produced fiber.
The “peace tree” grows through contributions by knitters, embroiderers, sewers and crocheters with an interest in Middle East peace in general, and peace in Israel in particular. Its abundant foliage is made up of crafted leaves, olives and doves, all suspended from a knitted tree trunk structure. Everyone, everywhere is invited to add to the inspirational art work.
TikkunTree Project, which began in 2007, was inspired by the destruction of olive groves during the continued Israeli occupation and settlement of Palestinian territories. The organizers say that, until its eventual exhibition, the TikkunTree is intended to serve as a vehicle for conversation about peace as it travels to knitting circles and community groups, making intermittent public appearances as it grows.
The project does not promote a specific point of view. Its only purpose is to spread public awareness, encourage thought, and inspire discussions about hostilities between Jews and Palestinians, the effects of occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and conflicts further afield in the Middle East.
TikkunTree also aims to support the livelihood of Israeli Jewish and Palestinian West Bank shepherds by encouraging the use of Peace Fleece Yarns. All proceeds from the purchase of Peace Fleece Baghdad Blue yarn benefits the remarkable bi-cultural community of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam (Oasis of Peace), thrice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, offering additional support for the courageous peacebuilders in Israel and Palestine.
The project founder is a mysterious blogger and craftswoman who goes by the name Leslie Tikkuntree, or tikkunknitter. She writes that, “to pursue justice globally, we must support the peacebuilders in our midst.”
Her fantastic knitted patterns for Judaica (such as a knitted Seder plate, above, and the “Ten Plagues” seen at left), as well as inter-faith and inter-cultural projects, can be found on her Ravelry page here. The patterns are available for a nominal fee (typically $5-10) which is donated to one of the peace-building organizations featured on her Peace Builders page.
Want to be part of this very cool project? Check out theguidelines, and get stitching for peace.