The Peace Cycle 2008

The 2008 Peace Cycle ended on Friday 29th August in Jerusalem. The ride this year from Amman to Jerusalem was a very successful event - the group of cyclists were amazing and everyone they met fell in love with them. They, in turn, fell in love with Palestine and the Palestinian people, and though the bike ride has ended, this is just the beginning of their journey for justice.
For the last 3 weeks, the cyclists have visited Arab citizens of Israel around Nazareth and Haifa who are denied their democratic and human rights. They then toured the Occupied West Bank from Jenin to Hebron, staying with Palestinian families and witnessing the cruel reality of their dispossession and occupation - house demolition, theft of land and water, settlement activity, closures, checkpoints, the effects of the wall, mass detentions, and collective punishment of an entire population. You can read personal reports by the cyclists by clicking here...
The Peace Cycle would hereby like to thank the Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies, ( especially George Rishmawi and Michael Awad, for their tremendous hard work, support and care of the cyclists throughout this years events. Organising a bicycle ride through illegally Occupied Territories is a difficult and potentially dangerous exercise, but the experience and expertise of the Siraj Center made it possible, and we value their partnership and their trust.
We thank the cyclists themselves - the group which took part this year were diverse and all brought different strengths and insights to the group. They are an inspirational group of people who took up this challenge with a passion for justice and a determination to do something positive about an appallingly negative situation. Their humanity is a shining example to others, and we hope they will all stay part of the Peace Cycle as we continue to work for justice for Palestine.
We thank the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, our chosen beneficiary for 2008, for their support and for taking time to show the cyclists their work in Palestine and how the money they have raised will make a difference to the people there.
We would also like to thank all our members and supporters - all those who helped organise or promote TPC, who took part in or came to events, donated to the cyclists or to MAP, sent messages of support or just followed the progress of the ride.
Most of all we thank the Palestinian people, for their hospitality, their warmth and the endless way they inspire us with their dignity and sense of hope.
During the autumn there will be an event where the cyclists themselves will come together to talk about their experiences in Palestine and share ideas on how we move forward and continue working for justice. This will be a public event, hopefully with some special guests, and all are invited - watch this space for details of date and venue and we hope to see you there!
The Peace Cycle

Detailed Itinerary for the Peace Cycle in Palestine


The next stage in the Peace Cycle – an urgent call for justice


2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Israeli state. The Peace Cycle does not pretend to know all the answers to the conflicts in the Middle East, and we would not deny any state its right to existence or security. We do however recognise that the creation of Israel caused what the Palestinian people call “al Nakba” - the Palestinian catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands of the indigenous population of Palestine were expelled from their land, thousands of innocent men, women and children were killed, hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed, and a process of ethnic cleansing began which continues to this day. Sixty years on, millions of Palestinian people are either living as refugees across the world or as prisoners in their own land, occupied by a regime that controls every aspect of their lives and denies them freedom or security.


We believe that if the Israeli people are ever to have the security they seek themselves, they must end the occupation of Palestine as called for under International Law and United Nations Resolutions. Only when Israel complies with International Law and the Geneva Convention on Human Rights, will a peace process have any chance of even getting started.

The Palestinian people have agreed to give up their right to 88 per cent of their land. They have said that in the name of peace they will accept 22 per cent of historic Palestine, and wish to build a state on Gaza, the West Bank (within the 1967 borders), and East Jerusalem.[i] But this land is still being occupied by Israel, which continues to demolish Palestinian homes to build settlements deemed illegal under International Law. Israel also continues to build a barrier in the West Bank which not only illegally annexes land which belongs to the Palestinian people, but which severs Palestinians from their land and from each other. The Palestinian people are now among the poorest and malnourished in the world[ii], and a whole generation of Palestinians has grown up knowing nothing of freedom, but only of military occupation and aggressive domination.


Thousands of groups and organisations across the world are calling for an end to the occupation as the essential first step towards peace, and many Israeli people realise that they will never live peacefully until their leaders comply with International law and allow people their human rights.


But Israel is still not listening.


Strong pressure must be applied to Israel to end this illegal and brutal occupation. It does not seem that the United States of America will apply any real pressure to the Israeli government, but perhaps Europe can. Perhaps Europe will take a stand against injustice and tell Israel it must abide by International Law and the basic principles of human rights.


The next Peace Cycle will take its campaign straight to the heart of the European Parliament and tell them it’s time to take action, and we will call on all fair-minded and peace seeking people across Europe to join us!


We believe that if enough people know what is really happening in Israel and Palestine, and if enough people use their voices to demand justice, then those voices will have to be heard. 


Aims of the Peace Cycle 2008

·         To send an international group of cyclists direct to Palestine to show solidarity and support to the Palestinian people, and to encourage future advocacy and campaigning.

·         To raise funds to help alleviate suffering and hardship in Palestine.

·         To tour the West Bank on bikes with cyclists from the newly formed Palestinian Cyclist Club, to witness the occupation and its effect on daily life.

·         To return via the European Parliament in Brussels to meet with MEPs, followed by public and media events in the UK to speak of what we have seen and demand an end to this injustice.

Outline of events


In 2008, the Peace Cycle is organising unique events to show solidarity and raise much needed funds for the Palestinian people, and to demand action to end the occupation.

Unlike previous years, when the Peace Cycle campaigned in Europe at the start of the journey, 2008 will see cyclists from all over the world visiting Palestine first. This will enable participants to learn about the realities of life under occupation, meet and cycle alongside Palestinians, hear their stories and witness the situation first-hand.

This also means that instead of raising money to fund the bike ride across Europe, cyclists can help and support the Palestinian people who are living in increasing poverty and hardship.

We will therefore be asking participants of this years Peace Cycle to raise funds to cover the costs of taking part, PLUS an amount to donate to charities to help alleviate suffering and poverty and make a real difference to the lives of many people.

The Peace Cycle has made an arrangement with the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, so that donations can be made directly towards humanitarian aid in Palestine. Working with MAP in this way will ensure that the money donated by Peace Cyclists can help specific and urgent projects in the West Bank and Gaza – and we plan to visit some of those projects during the ride.

MAP’s goals are to:

  • Work with local partners to help meet the health and medical needs of Palestinians and other vulnerable communities in the region.
  • Respond quickly and effectively to emergencies and humanitarian crises.
  • Raise public awareness in the UK of the impediments to Palestinian access to health and medical care.

Medical Aid for Palestinians is a registered UK charity, number 1045315.

For more information about MAP, see their website at


Please note that everyone involved in organising the Peace Cycle does so on a voluntary basis, so once costs are covered, all money raised will go directly to charitable projects in Palestine.

The Peace Cycle 2008 will therefore enable cyclists to show their solidarity by being with the Palestinian people, and will help alleviate their suffering by donating urgently needed funds.

Then once the ride ends in Jerusalem, the Peace Cycle participants will travel to Brussels and campaign to the European Parliament, demanding that Europe takes action to end the occupation. We will be asking European groups and organisations to meet us there in a mass demonstration calling for justice and peace.

By taking part in the Peace Cycle 2008, you can be part of that united voice.

[i]The PLO has accepted that Israel’s 1967 Pre-Occupation borders (the “Green Line”) shall serve as the international border between the states of Palestine and Israel. In other words, Palestinians have recognized Israel on 78% of historic Palestine while accepting to create a state on the remaining 22%.  

The PLO’s position is consistent with international law, which forbids Israel from acquiring territory by force.

Source: PLO Negotiations Affairs Dept. Summary of Palestinian Positions, 3rd February 2002.


[ii] A special report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in July 2007 found that 56% of West Bank Palestinians and 70% of Palestinians in Gaza are living below the poverty line. This equates to over 2 million people living in poverty in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.