Grassroots Jerusalem is a rapidly-growing Palestinian NGO which aims at the self-empowerment, self-representation, and connection of Palestinian communities in Jerusalem. Grassroots creates a platform for Palestinian community based leadership, advocacy, and unified activism.
Mission and Purpose
Grassroots Jerusalem is a platform for Palestinian community-based mobilisation, leadership, and advocacy that helps Palestinian communities in Jerusalem strategically address the humanitarian, developmental, and political issues which systematically disempower and dispossess Palestinians across the city.  The organization aims to find and amplify local resources available for and from grassroots leadership and organisations, by developing environments for sharing and exchanging information, knowledge, and experience as well as coordinating on issues of urgent and long-term concern. 
Origins and Development
In 2009, Micha Kurz and Khaled Farrag, an Israeli and a Palestinian activist, realized that in Jerusalem, a platform for civil action against house demolitions, evictions, and settlement activities was missing. The initial idea behind Grassroots Jerusalem was to provide a space for Palestinian activists to exchange, coordinate, and deliberate. Secondly, the founders understood that Palestinian community voices in Jerusalem are not heard on political levels. In 2011, Grassroots opened the Markaz Al Kul (Centre for All) community center in Sheikh Jarrah, an East Jerusalem neighborhood, with the support of Dan Church Aid and the European Commission. Grassroots quickly established lasting partnerships with over half the Palestinian communities in Jerusalem, building strong relationships with leaders and community-based organizations (CBOs). Since 2011, new community maps have been designed and visions and implementation plans have been developed within each partner community. An online information source for the coordination of humanitarian development and advocacy was implemented and a ‘Legal Clinic’, providing legal advice for Palestinian Jersualemites, was established. In 2013, the NGO expanded and moved into its present political community center which it named AlMarsa—The Harbour.
Despite its Israeli-Palestinian founding figures, Grassroots is a Palestinian organization working with Palestinian communities only. The rationale is that peaceful co-existence is an unworkable idea in a situation of occupation and continuous dispossession. Co-existence in that sense invites the occupied to acquiesce to their situation of rightlessness. Regarding the idea of co-existence as a normalization of the occupation, Grassroots discourse, accordingly, strongly prioritizes freedom and ending the occupation. 
Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding
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Specializations, Methods and Tools
To realise their vision, Grassroots Jerusalem has developed three interlocking pillars (Mapping and Assessment, Local Mobilisation, Global Mobilisation) that support their platform for community development and advocacy. Together, they provide a platform for change agents to develop their own capacity and enable the development of their communities. 
With its mapping activities, Grassroots aims to communicate the realities of spatial control, to identify issues of shared concern, and to provide the information necessary for community members to connect, coordinate and advocate. Grassroots works towards realizing the latent capacity of Palestinian civil society by visually mapping the seemingly disparate spatial moments of suppression and highlighting patterns of resistance and self-representation in collaborative mappings. 
Major Projects and Events
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Analysis and Lessons Learned
Grassroots has built an organization that is anchored in the great majority of Jerusalem’s Palestinian communities. It has become a hub and a public space for community organization in the city. Grassroots, however, aims higher. The level to be reached, as one of its full-time employees says, is that “nobody can ignore the communities anymore”—neither Israel, with its continued annexation and settlement politics in what it regards as its “undivided capital”, nor the Palestinian leadership itself, nor those international actors whose influence weighs heavy on the conflict. 
Grassroots is a political organization operating in a politically charged environment. Thus, some communities had problems accepting Grassroots as an organization whose leadership is both Israeli and Palestinian. The joint Palestinian-Israeli management sometimes gives the impression that the organization works by the values of co-existence. To Palestinians, this is considered as normalization of the occupation, and under this wrong impression, they might refrain from working with the organization. However, the work of Grassroots can overall be considered a success. The NGO has gained trust within the communities by not advocating pre-defined political goals, but rather strictly following the lead of the community interlocutors themselves. Rather than only giving the organization its name, the grassroots-approach truly lies behind the success of the NGO. 
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 NGO Monitor. (2020, Nov 10). Grassroots Jerusalem. https://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/grassroots_jerusalem/
 http://www.grassrootsalquds.net/grassroots-jerusalem/about#onePage [DEAD LINK] Update: similar information can be found at https://www.grassrootsalquds.net/
 Participedia Contributors. (2014, March 25). Grassroots Jerusalem's Mapping and Storytelling Project. https://participedia.net/case/2342