2017 Summer Program: The Israeli-Palestinian Experiment: Lessons Learned and the Search for Common Ground
This unique approach to peacebuilding involves a partnership between educators from both sides of a conflict. Together they facilitate workshops whose aim is to develop a joint narrative history of a particular conflict region, e.g., Greek/Turkish Cypriots, Israelis/Palestinians. The program focuses on interactive discussion, historical perspectives, and problem solving techniques in search of common ground. The idea is to help participants understand the conflict from the point of view of the other side, so that they gain a deeper understanding of the human needs behind the rhetorical arguments and can eventually collaborate on the creation of an action plan based on consensus.
Professor Edy Kaufman, formerly of the Truman Center at Hebrew University, and Professor Manuel Hassassian, former Rector of Bethlehem University, currently use this approach to team-teach a course each summer for students at the University of Maryland. Their course also received considerable media coverage.