conflict management

this article points out a systemic-perspective suggesting the "proximity talks" as a tactical move through which Israeli, Palestinian and American leadership can work within one strategy to reduce the power of the radical elements in their society. While many question the content-value of the "Proximity talks," many neglect the power structure it creates as an opportunity to put pressure on the radical elements within these societies and open the gate to agreement between Israel and Palestine. The concern should be the drift of the moderate elements in these societies toward radical reaction that will block opportunity for change. The inner conflicts within Israel and Palestine are blocking the progress and need to be contained for the establishment of a Palestinian state in near future.

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A Toast for Peace: Thoughts from Roi

by mgopin on November 26, 2009 · 0 comments

Roi Ben-Yehuda, a Ph.D. student at ICAR, is an Israeli writer based in the U.S. He is a regular contributor to Haaretz and France 24. He also writes his own blog, RoiWord. This article of his, which discusses Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement to pass a bill banning alcohol from kiosks and gas stations as well as limit its sales and advertisement, was published recently.

A Toast for Peace
By Roi Ben-Yehuda

netanyahu

A couple of weeks ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced his intention to pass a bill that would ban alcohol from kiosks and gas stations as well as limit its sales and advertisement. The purpose of the bill is to reduce the seemingly rising level of violence and road accidents inside Israel.

The subject of violence and alcohol has been recently seared into the consciousness of Israelis when a group of inebriated teenagers attacked a family of three at

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The TE’A Project

by mgopin on November 20, 2009 · 7 comments

I just attended a phenomenal performance by The TE’A Project which uses interactive theatre to inspire audiences to cross the barriers of race, class, culture and religion in America’s communities. It combines story collection, theatrical performance, and facilitated dialogue in a process that makes it possible for us to engage imaginatively with the barriers of social and cultural differences that divide us.

The performance I watched was called “Under the Veil” – Being Muslim (and non-Muslim) in America, Post 9/11.” It was based on stories collected from individuals living in New York and explored the theme of being young and Muslim in America today. It was excellent. Check out the schedule of performances to catch this phenomenal show!

The website also includes videos and streaming television about their project. Learn more at:  http://teaproject.com

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In a December 31, 2008 conference call with Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, an American grassroots Jewish organization dedicated to promoting a negotiated two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Marc shared his “on-the-ground perspective of the…violence in Gaza and southern Israel and the need for U.S. Leadership.”

Listen to the call here or read a transcript of the interview here.

Marc reflects  now:

I stand by much of what I concluded in that interview. I remember vividly the circumstances of that interview. I was on the floor of a very cold apartment at night, unsure if i would be heard because my only connection was skype (as usual no budget for my work), and my computer only worked with skype on the floor.

I was impressed with the questions I received, and it was rather a relief to reflect on the issues instead of living it. In the first days …

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Marc, Aziz , and Scott will be speaking Tuesday night in Boston. See the details below. Please come, or send others who you know in New England!
“Positive Change: Peace Steps that Can Make a Difference in the Middle East”

Come Tuesday night and get first hand inside information on the situation both in Syria and Palestine from two leading experts on the practice of citizen diplomacy and peacebuilding in the region. The Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, GMU, is engaged in vital work from Damascus to Jerusalem, but we need you to participate in developing a social network for positive change domestically and globally. The speakers: Aziz Abu Sarah, CRDC’s new director of Middle East Projects and a native of Jerusalem and Hebron, is one of the most important pioneers of nonviolent resistance and peacebuilding in Palestine who has received warm responses from hundreds of Jewish …

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SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — One year after a massive immigration raid at the largest kosher meatpacking plant in the United States, an Orthodox social justice organization announced the first seven recipients of its seal of ethical business practice.

Uri L’Tzedek recognized six kosher restaurants and a kosher supermarket in Manhattan with a Tav HaYosher, or ethical seal.

Mike’s Bistro, Mike’s Pizzeria and Italian Kitchen, Cafe Nana, Hewitt Dining, Your Heights Cafe, Hartley Kosher Deli and Supersol of the Westside are displaying the seal in their windows.

Uri L’Tzedek, which was founded by rabbinical students at the liberal Orthodox Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York, timed its announcement to May 12, the anniversary of the 2008 raid at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa.

The ensuing scandal and ongoing court cases generated widespread discussion of the ethical dimensions of kosher food production, and spurred several new social justice initiatives. They include the Tav

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Syrian Ambassador to the United States gives an important interview to CNN. The story is significant because Moustapha lays out the parameters of a separate Syrian/Israeli peace track, while also stressing the importance of a ‘comprehensive’ peace for Israel, which must include the Palestinian track. He also stresses that Lieberman is a more honest face of Israel than Livni and Olmert, considering the atrocities in Gaza. He would rather engage the real deal in Israel rather than deal with fake rhetoric. The nuances of his position are quite revealing of the different positions of Syria and Fatah. There is also praise for Obama and Mitchell, but caution that Mitchell’s job is harder than Ireland due to the pro-Israel lobby in Washington.…

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TURKEY’S RETURN TO GLORY

by mgopin on March 18, 2009 · 5 comments

This article just appeared in Today’s Zaman and in Zaman which is Turkey’s preeminent journal. As you can see this has been part of my ongoing efforts to introduce and encourage far more intermediaries in the Middle Eastern conflict who can be effective, trustworthy and more even handed that Western intervention. This is meant also to encourage the United States, Hilary Clinton, and others to follow the lead of where the most moderate voices of the Islamic world are going. This is also a development of my work in Syria which has encouraged cultural revival that is peace-oriented, practical and visionary at once.

Turkey’s return to glory
by
Marc Gopin
For reasons of history, culture and geography, there is a surprising opportunity for Turkey to assume a position of central global leadership in the 21st century and thereby further all of its legitimate national interests.

This is shocking considering the

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Rabbi Froman, who we have written about before, is determined to convince the Israeli leadership to speak to Hamas. The pressure to do so is mounting, even now in the capital of Israel’s only real ally, the United States. It is especially mounting due to the slaughter of civilians in Gaza, and the war crimes that are likely to be exposed in detail by the Western media’s entry now into Gaza. But Rabbi Froman always has one idee fixe, namely, that religious people need to lead the way into the conversation with Hamas, an odious idea for government people in general. Rabbi Froman is one of the most courageous and controversial peacemakers in Israel. Notice how he empathically engages his Jewish listeners. What one cannot see here is how he does exactly the same thing as he engages his Arab audiences. This combination is a rare gift and goes …

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A surprise development in the million dollar question of who President Obama will appoint to oversee  Israeli/Palestinian conflict intervention. I had lobbied hard in these pages earlier in the year for George Mitchell to be sent in. More recently there had been much speculation and controversy over the appointment of Dennis Ross. Serious media reports now indicate that former Senator Mitchell may be a strong possibility, and that this will meet with a much better reception in the world beyond the United States. I want to reiterate my arguments earlier for why Mitchell is crucial.

Here is an excerpt from Change in U.S. Middle East Policy:

The president must be a person who sees the need for constant engagement on the ground in Israel, so that both sides have a third party they can rely on to push for compliance to agreements. Both sides of the conflict need …

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