Jewish Aid, Mitzvah Day and Budo for Peace

November 23, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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Budo for Peace is a multi-ethnic NGO which uses martial arts as a framework for building peaceful relationships with members of different cultures, religions and nationalities. The Japanese word budô literally means “the way of stopping conflict”.

This week, NSW Maccabi Vice President Danny Hochberg and CEO, Mick Vasin attended a special event at Sydney Secondary School in Leichardt. Along with Government and Community dignitaries, they lent their support to Budo for Peace.

l – r – Danny Hakim, Danny Hochberg, and Abed El Salaime

Budo for peace, the brainchild of Danny Hakim, formerly of Sydney and now living in Israel, and a well known Maccabi member uses karate to promote understanding between Arabs and Jews. The Budo for Peace organization ( is a non-profit organization which Danny, a world champion Karate exponent, founded 8 years ago in Israel.  The organization is made up of Arabs and Jews from throughout Israel. They are in Sydney for theWorld Shotokan Karate Games being held at the Sydney Olympic Park sports center in Homebush. Danny is leading both the Israeli team and the Budo for Peace team. He has chosen to launch the Budo for Peace project internationally in Sydney to coincide with the World Games.

It was not lost on all present, that in these difficult times for Arabs and Jews in Israel, that a group of Arabs and Israelis have chosen to use fighting as a positive force rather than the negative one we see on our screens.
It should be noted that this is a family event, with Danny’s brother Paul, who also lives in Israel, and his sister Carol who still lives in Sydney, both participating in the team.

The Buda for Peace Team is on the move to Melbourne and will feature on Mitzvah Day on Sunday.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” In the context of the Middle East, her words were prophetic, particularly following the last 8 days of intense battle in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Against the backdrop of raw and recent conflict and the decades-long Israeli-Arab conflict, there are pockets of hope and people working hard to create, nurture and develop grassroots co-existence between Jews and Arabs. When you explore just one project, such as the martial arts initiative Budo for Peace (BFP), it opens up the possibility that reconciliation in the Middle East may actually be attainable.

Founded in Israel by international Karate champion and ex-pat Australian Danny Hakim, BFP aims to strengthen participants’ physical, mental and cognitive abilities and break down barriers by teaching traditional martial arts such as Karate, Judo, Aikido, and Taekwondo.
The program operates in Jewish, Muslim, Arab and Druze communities in Israel and Jordan.

In Sydney this week Hakim, together with Palestinian martial arts expert, Abed El Salaime launched Budo for Peace internationally. As part of the launch, it was announced that Australia and Turkey are joining BFP as affiliate countries. At the event, Hakim and El Saime spoke about their vision for Budo for Peace internationally and highlighted the success the organisation is having in rising above religious and ethnic conflict in the Middle East.

Danny Hakim, an Australian Jew of Middle Eastern background says “I have represented Australia internationally in Karate for over 20 years and it always struck me how martial arts, with its strong focus on respect, allowed Australian participants from diverse backgrounds to overcome their political or religious differences and build lifelong relationships. This is what compelled me to establish Budo for Peace in the Middle East, where we now have 34 clubs and 600 participants, including Jews, Arabs, Palestinians, Jordanians and Turks.”

Abed El Salaime agrees that it was the framework of martial arts, and its principles of mutual respect, humility and equality, which were a great leveller amongst BFP members, regardless of religious or ethnic background.

Zionist Council of Victoria president Sam Tatarka said the communal roof body was thrilled to be working with Budo for Peace on their one-day visit to Melbourne. “Following a devastating week in Israel and Gaza, here is a hopeful story about Israelis and Palestinians who are connecting with each other on the most basic level, simply because they are all committed to this unique brand of martial arts”.

While the team’s schedule in Sydney was hectic with the launch and competing at the 11th Shotokan Karate-do International Federation (SKIF) World Congress and Championships, their visit to Melbourne will be relaxed. As guests at a multi-ethnic picnic hosted by Jewish Aid on Sunday November 25, they will mingle with the crowd and demonstrate their Budo for Peace skills.
Sunday November 25 marks “Mitzvah Day” – “Good Deed Day” across the Melbourne Jewish community and the picnic is Jewish Aid’s annual interfaith event with members of the local Sudanese community. On Sunday that interfaith will be given a new perspective with the Budo for Peace team.

36 different organisations will be involved in activities across Melbourne on Sunday.

For a list of what’s on where and when click on


2 Responses to “Jewish Aid, Mitzvah Day and Budo for Peace”
  1. Michael says:

    I would like to know how much money these Jewish do gooders are giving to Jewish Israeli victims of Arab / Muslim terror attacks
    Charity starts at home

  2. Paul Winter says:

    While it is good to show that Jews and mohammedans can relate to each other as human beings, the exercise proves abslutley nothing. We know that Turkey was a friend of Israel before the islamists took over. Iran was a friend of Israel before the ayatollahs took over. Azerbaijan is friendly towards Israel and is an enemy of Iran although both nations belong to the Shi’i faction (and Khamenei is an ethnic Azeri). And we saw that muslims heoped Jews in Bosnia during WW2. It means nothing.

    The moderates are ignored or silenced or killed by the jihadis, who are merely observing the commandments of the koran. But more importantly, how a mohammedan acts towards an infidel will depend on where he is. With an infidel s/he may well be fine – at least superficially. In his or her own group he quite likely will be pressured into silence or may reveal true feelings of hate. We

    We must never be so arrogant as to believe that the modes of personal and social behaviour regarded as the norms in Western societies are not far more distorted and deceptive in mohammedans societies where taqqiya (lying) and tawriyya (dissimulation) are the social norms.

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