The YWCA of Palestine established a human rights committee in 1982 following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The committee advocated for the recognition of the Palestinian people' human rights.
By September 2000, the Israeli Palestinian conflict had deteriorated significantly and had caused civilian casualties on both sides, and therefore, the East Jerusalem YMCA established its advocacy desk at the end of 2000.
The World Alliance of YMCAs fact-finding mission in November 2000 and the YMCA/YWCA International Observers Project based in Palestine and Israel in early 2001 documented the deterioration of the situation in their reports.
The EJ YMCA and YWCA of Palestine's long history of commitment, concern for people' rights and involvement in the above actions resulted in the decision to establish the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI) in January 2001. The JAI's exclusive role is to advocate for peace with justice in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The JAI wants to utilize the world movements of YMCAs, YWCAs, and international Church-related organizations (ICRO's) commitment and incorporate advocacy for the Palestinian people into their overall strategies and operations.