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Bringing the Parties to the Table:
Simulating a Middle East Peace Summit
"There has been enough destruction, enough death, enough waste.
And it's time that together we occupy
a place beyond ourselves,
worthy of . . .the descendants of the children of Abraham."
King Hussein of Jordan - October 1998
Created by Joyce Valenza and Ashley Fusarelli; Adapted by Jessica Riley
For well over fifty years, the state of Israel has seen conflict. It is a complicated conflict over land, religion, resources, human rights, political freedom, security, and national identity. The triumph of the establishment of the Jewish homeland, seen by much of the world as an inspiring achievement, is seen by the Arab world as the dispossession of an indigenous people. Arguments over the ownership of the Holy Land of Jews and Christians and Muslims, and the status and treatment of Palestinians, have been the cause of wars in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, as well as recent activity in the 2000s.Though the world has watched the efforts toward peace over the past twenty years, Israel today is the site of new waves of violent uprisings, with each side blaming the other for the violence. The parties are once again at the table attempting to reach a final two-state solution. Is lasting peace possible between Israel's Jews and the Palestinian people? Can Prime Minister Netanyahu unite Israel's people and its divided Parliament? Can Palestinian leaders unite the many factions within their own people? Is it possible for two peoples--with diverse opinions, values, and characters--to share the land to which they both lay claim? What role will the pressure from surrounding nations and outside groups, some terroristic, play? What compromises and concessions must be made to assure a stable future?
This exercise is about global studies, but it is also about perspective, compromise, and conflict resolution. Perhaps neither side of the Arab-Israel crisis is currently ready for peace. Will a solution require the initiative of a leader with the "wisdom of Solomon"? The only safe prediction for the region is that things cannot continue as they are. No change is possible; no one wins, if people on either side of an issue do not listen to each other.
:Get ready! Your mission is to create a lasting and viable peace! You will take on the persona and ideas of your role to represent the varied points of view in the real peace process.
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