Conflict Resolution

  • Which Israel on Film is Real? You Choose

    There is so much chaos in Israel and Palestine right now politically and in terms of peace and violence that it is hard for those of us who know them intimately to keep it all in perspective. For today I just ask you to choose which Israel. I thought I had seen everything. Here is a scene of a senior Israel Defense Forces commander ordering a soldier to shoot at close range a bound and blindfolded Palestinian teenager who earlier can be seen waving a Palestinian flag at a demonstration.

    This is filmed by a little girl from her window. Her father is subsequently arrested by the police. They can be heard in the background speaking in the film. Here is another version of the film accompanied by an official news story followed by an Israeli human rights group report. Of course, because this was caught on tape …

  • Heart of the Other: Between the Holocaust and a Palestinian Refugee Camp

    The Jewish Holocaust in Europe is the preeminent memory of millions of Israelis, many of whose families perished. It is a memory that spurs many Jews to suspect any possible coexistence with the Palestinians and the Arab world in general. This psychological reality of Israeli Jews has been resisted for decades by Palestinians precisely because it is so unfair that they should suffer because of what Europeans did to the Jewish people. Khaled Mahameed has challenged that resistance and has instead embraced the suffering and humanity of Jewish victims as a bridge between Palestinians and Jews, and as a way for each group to begin to humanize the other. Watch his methods in this documentary’s excerpts, especially the second video excerpt. Khaleed is representative of a cutting edge approach to conflicts that seem to be irresolvable in which courageous individuals and groups are going to the heart of the …

  • Religious Peacemaking in the Middle East

    Below is a letter from Elana Rozenman, an important religious peacemaker in Israel. The letter is a window into a world of Jewish/Christian/Muslim/Druze peacemaking that few know anything about outside of Israel, and yet their experiments in coexistence, dialogue and cooperation need to be studied and embraced. Notice the way in which the group copes with an attack in Jerusalem.

    Hebrew translation follows תרגום לעברית בהמשך
    Dear Friends,

    July 2- 3 we held a gathering of the Abrahamic Reunion CC in Zichron Yaacov along the Northern coast of Israel. We were men and women — Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Druze — sheiks, imams, rabbis, priests, and spiritual leaders. We were Israeli and Palestinian — joined by Sufi International supporters from the U.S. and Germany, including Anna and Shahabaddin David Less, and Andy Blanch. Our joint coordinators were Eliyahu McLeah, Ibtisam Mahamid, and Jirias Mansour.

    The Jerusalem group had traveled together

  • burst onto the scene of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking very recently. This is a crowded field of many fledgling and worthy groups, each seeking to make change in their own way. These groups have one overriding challenge in this most lasting Middle East conflict. That is the challenge of equality and equal voice. There is no greater or more important task today than to create a platform and envision a space in which Jews and Palestinians can engage in equality as they struggle to make positive change. There has been a lot of language thrown around in this conflict, language about coexistence, about dialogue, and about reconciliation. All good words. But we have come to understand that much of this framing is inadequate to addressing the deepest roots of the conflict, as well as a methodology of change that will really make a difference.

    The platform provided by, the …

  • Leo the healer: an untold story of Jewish/Palestinian medical partnership

    Originally published in Common Ground News Service

    WASHINGTON – It is the innocent victims of war that break our hearts when nations and groups cannot lay down their arms. We watch them bleed, we watch them die on a battlefield that is their home, and then we seethe with the outrage of Biblical prophets. But there are others among us who have no patience for impassive prophetic rage. They are the ones who sidestep the violence and, instead of shirking the bleeding of the innocent, replace the lost blood. They repair the bodies and thus embrace with both arms the ancient art of healing.

    There is a particular group of healers that share a common DNA. They are from two traditions, both tracing back to Abraham/Ibrahim, whose grave lies not far from the bodies that they repair. I speak of Jewish and Palestinian doctors who have partnered in their determination …

  • Mideast Peace Talks After Bush’s Visit: Analysis by Marc Gopin

    Marc Gopin, Professor at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution addresses the likelihood of a mid-east peace deal by the end of this year. Gopin considers the legacy of the Bush administration and what could be done in its remaining time. Interview conducted on by Scott Laurie on May 18th, 2008. Video courtesy of CTV.

  • Jewish Arabs and a New Middle East

    Common Ground News Service – Middle East
    by Marc Gopin

    27 March 2008

    WASHINGTON – In 1998, Prince Hassan of Jordan appeared on video at the University of Notre Dame, marking one of the first academic conferences in the field of religion and conflict resolution. As he spoke via teleconference, he quoted at length and with great love from the writings of Moses Maimonides the world-famous medieval Jewish philosopher who had been a chief conduit between Arab neo-Aristotelian philosophy and the Christian world.

    It was already a thrilling moment for me the conference was the first that I attended as an academic speaker but Maimonides was part and parcel of my sequestered religious childhood. I went to school for 13 years as a child at a place called Maimonides School, and prayed there on Sundays and Saturdays. For Prince Hassan,

  • Israelis are Talking to Hamas

    First published in Middle East Online


    WASHINGTON—There are Israeli Jews who have been talking to Hamas for years, especially Rabbi Menahem Frohman. In fact, there are more Israeli Jews, official and un-official, who would be talking not only to Hamas, but also to Syria and Iran were the White House not pressuring them against dialogue with enemies of Israel. This is unprecedented: a third party, supposedly mediating for peace, that forbids two parties from talking to each other.

    Sober intelligence analysts at the highest levels in Israel have been arguing the virtue of negotiation and a process of offers and counter-offers—not because they are nonviolence activists, but because they are realists seeking the path of least resistance to a more stable and safe Middle East. They have every intention of confronting the military threat from Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, but through a subtle combination of approaches, not the least

  • A Mufti, A Christian and A Rabbi

    In the West, A Mufti, a Christian and a Rabbi is often how a good interfaith joke begins. But I live inside this reality. I am a rabbi and my Syrian colleague, Hind Kabawat, is a Christian Arab. We have worked for four years with the Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmed Hassoun, in both Damascus and Aleppo. [Note: this has been moved down.] The three of us, along with many others of courage, have put on public events in Syria for four years that no one thought possible. No one believed Protestant, Catholic, Sunni, Shiâa, and Jewish clerics would sit together at a table, in front of cameras, working out the foundations of a tolerant civil society and making commitments to peace in the heart of Syria. We did this not only in the shadow of American neo-conservative efforts to attack Syria but also surrounded by militants in …