Within its objective of stimulating dialogue within and between different groups and communities involved at different levels in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, IPCRI is currently organizing an innovative project to connect and empower International Relations students of Israeli and Palestinian Universities.
The Model European Union aims at gathering the future actors of conflict resolution in Israel and Palestine in a program that reflects “Unity in Diversity”. Indeed, we believe that EU’s values of dialogue, integration and diversity through cooperation and freedom of movement are essential attributes to reach a peaceful, equitable and sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This innovative reconceptualization of Model United Nation simulations will target young activists studying in Israel and Palestine, may they be Israeli, Palestinian or International students. Together, they will be trained in order to simulate a conference of the Council of the EU during which they will debate on collectively chosen topics.
Israel and Palestine already comprise great diversity. Indeed, students from all over the world participate in academic programs related to conflict resolution in Israeli and Palestinian Universities. However, even though they are taught about conflict resolution, these young scholars, either nationals or foreigners, study disjointedly. Such a situation tends to impede future opportunities for dialogue and constitutes a shortfall in these programs.
MEU is meant to complement such academic courses through the implementation of an educational program designed to foster mutual empowerment. However, the conflict implies material and psychological obstacles to bi-national encounters. Territorial separation and stigmas make constitute the main challenge to this project. Nevertheless, IPCRI’s long-established experience shows that persistent efforts can overcome such barriers.
As underlined, the lacking element in conflict resolution programs is Unity. That is why IPCRI seeks to provide the future resolution facilitators with a structure for dialogue and cooperation in order to replicate EU’s Unity in Diversity. This way, participants will be able to imagine and embody a regional organization for broad cooperation and integration in the Middle East, by replicating the European Union and discussing its issues.
Thanks to a solid training program, participants will be provided with practical skills that will stimulate their ability to reach multilateral solutions to national issues. This extracurricular experience based on mutual empowerment should result in new connections and innovative ideas for the future of conflict transformation.