Gaza—When Dorian Paskowitz came to Israel in 2007 on a mission to spread peace through surfing, he had a simple motto: “People who surf together can live together.” In Israel and Palestine, with near-constant conflict and some of the highest birth rates in the world, living together is becoming more important every day. Of course, this idea of living shoulder-to-shoulder in peace is not entirely welcomed by all the residents of the region. Bridging the divide that separates Israeli from Palestinian and Jew from Arab is essential to the region’s long-term stability, and surfing can unite people and create lasting friendships, not around politics or religion but around the joys of catching a wave.

This is a part of the world where peace projects, especially sport-based programs, are abundant. For three generations, the United Nations has operated recreational youth programming in...

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