Israeli and Palestinian Identities in Dialogue: The School for Peace Approach by Rabah Halabi
Israeli Palestinians make up about 20 percent of Israeli citizens and, for the most part, live separate lives from their Jewish neighbors-lives fraught with political, social, and economic divisions. Attempts to initiate interactions between Palestinians and Jews outside official frameworks have often dissolved under political and economic pressures. One lasting effort began when the School for Peace was established in 1976 in Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, a joint model village set up in 1972 by a group of Jewish and Palestinian Israelis. Since its inception, the School for Peace has conducted hundreds of encounter activities to help create a more authentic and egalitarian dialogue between the Palestinian minority and Jewish majority. This volume is the product of the insight and experiences of both Arabs and Jews at the School for Peace over the last two decades. Essays address topics such as strategies for working with young people, development of effective learning environments for conflict resolution, and language as a bridge and as an obstacle. It is the first book to provide a model for dialogue between Palestinians and Jews that has been used successfully in other ethnic and national conflicts, and should be required reading for everyone interested in Jewish-Palestinian relations.