A summary of the history of the region from 2000 BC to the present.
A time line of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from 1914 to 2001.
Some of the key issues in this conflict are:
Displaced Palestinians: One of the main obstacles in the way of the creating a lasting peace agreement is the question of whether displaced Palestinians should be allowed to return home. A good explanation of both Palestinian and Israeli views on this issue.
Jerusalem: The city of Jerusalem, holy for Jews, Muslims, and Christians, may well be the key to creating peace in the Middle East. This article summarizes the historical and religious significance of the holy sites within Jerusalem to each faith, as well as the options being considered by negotiators for this extremely significant city.
United States Involvement: 2006 will be the 50th year of American efforts to bring about an Israeli/Palestinian peace. The BBC's article on this coming anniversary summarizes these diplomatic efforts, and their failure thus far.
September 11 has had a devastating effect on prospects for peace in the Middle East. Why? Read on.
"'For Israel, September 11 was a Hanukkah Miracle,' Israeli political and security officials recently told the newspaper Ha'aretz. Thousands of American fatalities are considered a godsend -- in this cynical world -- because their deaths helped shift international pressure from Israel onto the Palestinians, while allowing the Israeli government to pursue its regional objectives unobstructed. And indeed, in the past months, the United States has unfalteringly supported all of Israel's actions."
Applied Research Institute's "Eye on Palestine" offers frequent reports on the regional effects of Israeli occupation.
The website of the Foundation for Middle East Peace contains articles and more comprehensive information on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The site publishes a biweekly settlement report, which according to the Foundation, is "known as the authoritative English-language source for information about settlements and the settler community."
INSPIRATIONAL PEACE EFFORTS
People in the Middle East and around the world are working to facilitate peace in the region. Here are just a few stories of organizations and individuals we found inspiring.
The 70-year-old-plus wife of a former American diplomat organizes speaking tours of America by Middle Eastern women through her small organization called Partners for Peace. These women relate their personal experiences of living with the fear, war, and violence in their homeland, in the hope that Americans will gain a better understanding of the situation and want to help.
The Compassionate Listening Project, a major initiative of the US-based MidEast Citizen Diplomacy group, brings together people from both sides of the conflict. By meeting and talking with the people they perceive as their enemies, participants begin to break down stereotypes and reconcile with each other.
The Seeds of Peace International Camp for Conflict Resolution brings Israeli and Palestinian youth together at a summer camp in Maine and teaches conflict resolution and peaceful coexistence. Seeds of Peace has also set up the Seeds of Peace Center for Coexistence in Jerusalem.
In their policy statement, Americans for Peace Now, the U.S. partner of the Israeli organization Shalom Achshav, compellingly argue that Israel has as much to gain from a Palestinian state as Palestinians do. APN believes that forging a lasting peace with the Palestinians is not only compatible with the Zionist position, but is necessary if Israel is to preserve its Jewish and democratic character.
For more information on other peace groups and reports by these groups: http://www.ariga.com/humanrights/
Visitors to The Place for Peace Portal share their views freely about the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process. All users are welcome to sign-up and participate in the polls, post articles, links and comment on material contributed by others. This is an interactive site where ones views cross all boundaries. The Place for Peace Portal (www.place4peace.com/) is a project of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information. http://www.ipcri.org.
There are many hundreds of resources available on and off the net to help people respond to September 11th and its aftermath. Here are some of the best resources of interest to dialogue leaders, peacebuilders and educators. The links are categorized into four topics:
The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office has created a new website for libraries interested in encouraging dialogue in their communities about the events of September 11. The site contains library, state humanities council and other resources for developing cultural programming. The website, called Encouraging Dialogue through Cultural Programming, is regularly updated to include additional materials and resources.
Study Circles Dialogue Guide for Responding to the Crisis
PCP Offers New Guide for Family Dialogues
Using Conflict Resolution Principles to Discuss the Current Crisis
Web Lab Testing Online Dialogues on Current Crisis
Discussion Guidelines from the Univ. of Michigan
CRS Pairs with Study Circles to Help Communities
Online Discussions Hosted by Search for Common Ground USA
Online Discussions on the Dialogue Webpage for Conflicts Worldwide
Free lesson plans and materials for educators:
Anti-Defamation League: Guidelines and Activities for Educators and Parents
American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee: Info on Arab Americans, ed. resources.
Arab American Institute: Info on Arab Americans, the Middle East and Islam, and various educational resources.
Assoc. of College & Research Libraries: Lesson Plans & Other Resources
Choices Education Project: Examining Policy Options
Education Development Center: 'Beyond Blame' Curriculum for Middle & H.S.
Educators for Social Responsibility: Build community and encourage dialogue in your classrooms.
Nat'l Clearinghouse for Bilingual Ed.: Resources on Middle East & Tolerance
PBS: Curriculum for Grades 6 to 12 Focuses on Tolerance & Problems with Blaming
Tolerance.org: Inspiring Testimonials & Resources for Teachers
Workable Peace: Curriculum on Responding to Conflict
Resources for Preventing and Responding to Youth Hate Crime:
Community Relations Service: Manual for Preventing Youth Hate Crime
Community Relations Service: Responding to Hate Crimes and Incidents on Campus
U.S. Dept of Ed.: Guide for Schools for Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate
Christian Aid: Info about what Afghans are facing. Includes a call for restraint from NGOs.
Christian Science Monitor: Info on the problems with getting aid into Afghanistan.
Int'l Crisis Group: Examines Potential Effects on Central Asian Nations.
Media Ed. Foundation: Online video "Beyond the Frame" features alternative perspectives.
Revolutionary Assoc. of the Women of Afghanistan: Provides an in-depth look at the conditions that women face under the Taliban, and info about what can be done.
Swiss Peace Foundation's Center for Peacebuilding: An excellent pre-Sept. 11 report on what is needed for reconstruction and peacebuilding in Afghanistan.
Thoughts in the Presence of Fear: Wendell Berry on technology and globalization myths.
United Nations: Great info on Afghan crisis (news releases, maps, statistics, and overview).
How the Conflict Resolution Field can Respond to the Crisis
Ariga Provides Middle Eastern Peace Resources
Conflict Resolution Resources on CRInfo Website
Statements from Nobel Peace Prize Laureates
PeaceQuest Promotes Middle East Dialogue
Conflict Resolution Email Newsletter
Eastern Mennonite U. Explores Peaceful Solutions
Conflict Prevention Network's Statement on the Terrorist Attacks
Here are several great ways to let your representatives know how you feel about the current crisis: Congress.org has phone, fax, email, web, mailing, and other info on your reps (search by zip code, state, or name). 9-11peace.org has phone numbers of world leaders and links to contact info on U.S., Canadian, and European reps. The American Friends Service Committee provides a tool for U.S. Americans to email their reps directly (choose from text urging peaceful solutions or compose your own). And Working for Change offers options for emailing your reps about specific topics (pre-written and editable).
9-11peace.org Offers Many Options
Calendar of Anti-War and Anti-Racism Events
Help Create a U.S. Department of Peace
Help Pass Federal Hate Crimes Act
If You're Going to Argue for Peace, Argue Well
Fly U.N. Flag as Symbol of Global Unity & Support for International Law
Great Resources from Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice
Petition for Peace, Justice & Continued Civil Liberties
Help Ensure that Afghan Refugees Receive Aid
|The Dialogue to Action Initiative and www.Thataway.org are ?2001 by Sandy Heierbacher and Andy Fluke.||?|
|Last updated Saturday, May 18, 2002 5:22 PM||?|