Working towards Israel-Palestine peace

Perhaps some of the ideas I proposed in my post “Violence is not the solution” are not so far off. I was inspired to read an article in my local newspaper this morning about a couple who lived in Israel and Palestine for many years and now do peace work in the region:

The couple, who moved from Israel to the Foothills west of Boulder in 1994, are planning a three- to four-week trip to Israel next month to present their conflict resolution training to peace workers at Neve Shalom, an Arab and Jewish cooperative community outside Jerusalem.

I looked up Neve Shalom and it sounds like an incredible community doing important work. The name means “Oasis of Peace” and their homepage defines them as:

A village, jointly established by Jewish and Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, that is engaged in educational work for peace, equality and understanding between the two peoples.

They have many wonderful projects, and one that caught my attention is The School for Peace, which has programs for adults:

Our goal is to develop participants’ awareness of the conflict and their role in it, and enable them to probe and construct their identity through interaction with the other; our orientation is shaped by the quest for a truly humane, egalitarian and just society.

Their staff facilitates encounters that stress dialogue in a safe environment. Reading about this program, I feel that this is the sort of work I would like to do: facilitating dialogues and deep, meaningful interactions between people. Some people from the program have written a book about their approach, Israeli and Palestinian Identities in Dialogue: The School for Peace Approach, by Rabah Halabi and Deb Reich. I definitely want to read it!

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