Talk Peace - Make Peace 2006
An Israeli - Palestinian Joint Project
The Project will bring together on a continuous basis, young Palestinian and Israeli political and community leaders, in order to learn about each other on the personal, the cultural, the social and the political levels. The purpose is to develop an open dialogue and to build trust between young leaders that will - at least some of them - join in the next future, the circles of decision makers of the two societies.
The organizations participating the Talk Peace - Make Peace 2006 project, do not endorse any particular political solution to the Middle East problems. They believe in the rights of the Palestinian people to self - determination, including the right of a sovereign independent state, accept the legitimacy of the Palestinian National Authority and believe in the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security within its borders, as agreed upon by international agreements.
The newly conceived peace process between the State of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority is struggling to establish. Powerful political leaders on both sides are doing whatever they can to stop it. They want to retreat to the historic means for settling disputes between these two communities living in the "Holy Land" - brute force and violence. Unfortunately, these extremist forces find support in their populations. Mutual hostility, fear and hatred run so deep, that any provocation from either side raises high waves of rage and violence.
In this frustrating, dangerous time, we must remember that this situation has been existing for almost hundred years. Any effort to change, obviously faces enormous difficulties.
On the other hand most people believe that change is vital for the survival of both peoples. The main obstacles are mutual suspicion and mistrust. It must be clear, that no signing of any agreement between politicians and leaders can be realized, if majority of the involved people don't accept it. Norms, values and entrenched habits must change. No lasting peace can establish, without structuring a "culture of peace". This change has to start with the young generation, above all with the Young Leadership of it.
To give an opportunity to individuals from the young generation of Israeli and Palestinian community and political leaders, as well as civil servants, to open a dialogue and to build bridges between them, through a series of meetings, workshops and seminars, dealing with each of the two societies, their problems, achievements interests. Along the Project's course problems of the two societies, their way of mind, culture, values and interests will be learned, personal connections will create, level of prejudices, stereotypes, mutual suspects and fears will reduce, therefore every future meeting, business or negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians, in which graduates of the Project will be involved, will have better chance to finish with a positive result.
We believe in continuous educational process, in which cognitive and emotional components will be involved.
Only the work on both levels will be able to bring positive and lasting results.
1 - Long weekend meeting of all participants in Jordan, Turkey or Cyprus. ( three days)
Content: Interpersonal acquaintance. Expectations from the Project. Presentation of the
program Cultural acquaintance. Stereotypes. Self determination. The political situation.
Fear of the peace - on both sides. Vested interests of the two sides.
2 - Eight monthly sessions, in which each side will run separately parallel program. From the
other side only lecturers will take part in the activity.
A - Making acquaintance with the Palestinian society and the Israeli society (full day )
B - Impact of the occupation on the Palestinian society - and the violence on the Israeli
society. ( full day )
C - The two societies - changes during the last 100 years ( half day )
D - Narratives of the two nations about their history. ( weekend )
E - Islam and Judaism: different directions in the two religions (full day )
F - Jewish - Arab relationships during the history. (half day )
G - Israeli and Palestinian leading figures. Biography and ideology. (full day )
H - Meeting with Israeli and Palestinian public figures (full day )
3 - Long weekend meeting of all participants in Jordan, Turkey or Cyprus. (three days )
Content: To clarify unclear subjects that arouse during the course.
The two administrations - in brief
Summing up the Seminar. Ways for further cooperation.
12 participants from each side: all together 24 young leaders. All of them active in their communities or in the political organization they belong to. Some of them are already in position of middle level decision makers.
Age: 20 - 35
Schedule: Start 1 December 2005. End 31 September 2006
Criteria of success:
1 -The respectful opinion of participants from both side about each other and the relationships between them.
2 -Their recommendation to keep on the Project.
Responsibles to managing the Project:
Friendship Village: Youval Arbel
Palestinian Institute for Democracy & Peace: Abdallah Kiswani