A Brief Report on IPCRI’s Activities Over the past Months

December 18, 2002

It is almost the end of 2002.  This has been a terrible year and we all hope and pray that next year will bring some better news – although we are not very optimistic that this will happen.  On the immediate agenda are the elections in Israel which at this point do not look too promising for those who hope that we will get back to the negotiating table.  We also have the possibility of a war in the Gulf that will have tremendous impact on this region and on the whole world. We also have the Quartet – the US, the EU, the UN and Russia – with a new peace plan for the region called the “Road Map” which is apparently on hold until after the Israeli elections.

Request for Your Support

In IPCRI we carry on and push forward, as you will see below.  This is the time of year that we ask you to see if your finances allow making a small financial contribution to our work. We are constantly expanding our activities and reaching out to new constituents in Israel and in Palestine.  We do not always have funding to support these activities, but we engage in them because of their importance and because we believe that we will find supporters who share our view that the process of making peace is long and tedious and cannot be stopped for even one day.

In light of the surge in our activities, we hope that you will agree to lend your financial support to increasing and expanding our work.  Every contribution helps. Those who can afford to offer their support should send a check in any acceptable currency to:

IPCRI
P.O. Box 9321
Jerusalem 91092
Israel

 

We would also like to share with you the summary of a doctoral dissertation that was conducted on IPCRI’s Peace Education Program.  The findings were surprising even for us:

The Concept of Peace as Perceived by Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian (from the West Bank) Adolescents as a Function of Participation in a Peace Education Program (2000 – 2002)

 

Yifat Biton, Ph.D.

(Under the Guidance of Prof. Gabi Salomon)

 

 

This study examines the way in which 523 Jewish-Israeli adolescents and 428 Palestinian adolescents in the Palestinian Authority perceive the concept of peace, as a function of their collective narrative and participation in a peace education program. It was found that Jewish adolescents tend to perceive “peace” more as “negative peace” - the absence of war, terror activities and different military activities. In contrast, the Palestinian adolescents tend to perceive “peace” more as “structural peace” which means to carry out social justice and the reform of injustice, which will be implemented by the return of their lands and establishment of an independent state. This disparity in the perception of “peace” is due to the differences between the Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian collective narratives. Participation in a peace education program (IPCRI’s “Pathways into Reconciliation”) contributed to the adolescent’s perception of the concept of peace more as “positive peace” than prior to their participation, and in comparison to adolescents who did not participate in the program at all. Among Jewish-Israeli adolescents the program also increased their perception of peace as “structural peace” (a positive notion of peace). Among the Palestinians, participation in the program curbed the deterioration of their harsh feelings towards the Jews; it lowered among them their level of support of war as a strategy for achieving peace, while among Palestinian adolescents who did not participate in the program the level of support of war doubled.

 

 

The following is a summary of our activities.  IPCRI’s work is currently organized in the following way:

I.                   Political Initiatives

a.      Economic Working Group (meeting every six weeks)

                                                               i.      Bankers sub-group

b.      Jerusalem Working Group (meeting every two months)

                                                               i.      Ring road study

                                                             ii.      State of Jerusalem Report

                                                            iii.      East Jerusalem Development Company report

                                                           iv.      Infrastructures report

                                                             v.      Neighborhood organization plans

c.       Agriculture Working group – Farmer-to-Farmer (meeting every two months)

d.      Verification Working Group (meeting every two months)

II.                Peace Education

a.      New Teachers encounter

b.      Veteran Teachers encounter

c.       Principals encounter

d.      Students encounters

e.       Virtual encounters

f.        Curricula review and re-writes

g.      Text Book review and recommendations

III.             Environment & Water

a.      JEMS/Israel (Joint Environmental Mediation Service)

                                                               i.      Nahal Tzalmon Mediation

                                                             ii.      New training course

b.      JEMS/Palestine(Joint Environmental Mediation Service)

                                                               i.      Seminars

c.       Water Working Group (meeting every two months)

                                                               i.      International Conference

    IV.              YES PM – Evaluation of People-to-People activities, challenges and possibilities

V.                 Other Initiatives

a.       Patch Adams Visit – December 8-15, 2002

b.      Medical Associations Meetings – in the works

c.       Confederation Program – in the works

d.    Working group on Implementing the Road Map

e.   Karni Check point evaluation and making recommendations (Economic Working Group)

 

A note on the Peace Education Program

This is IPCRI’s largest program.  We have witnessed the largest growth of activities here as well.  In the new school year that began in September IPCRI has recruited 100 new Israeli and Palestinian teachers joining the other more than 250 other Israeli and Palestinian teachers already teaching the IPCRI Peace Education Curricula.  The program is now being carried out in more than 70 Israeli and Palestinian high schools with about 4,500 Israeli and Palestinian students participating in the program. Many schools are teaching the programs offered by IPCRI in both the 10th and 11th grades. IPCRI is currently beginning to re-examine that curricula that were developed five years ago and adding new materials that relate to the breakdown of the peace process over the past two years.  IPCRI is also engaged in US Congressional Study of the Palestinian text books aimed at making recommendations for improving the text books in the spirit of education for peace and tolerance.  We believe that this must also be done for Israeli text books and we hope that funds will be found to do so.

The following is a list of our activities (all involving equal numbers of Israelis and Palestinians together) since June 1, 2002:

June 1-6, 2002  - Meeting of Economic Working Group
June 6-9, 2002 – Training Course of Environmental Mediators
June 11-12, 2002 – Student encounter
June 18, 2002 – Internet Chat between Israeli and Palestinian classroom – Virtual encounter project
June 23, 2002 – Nahal Tzalmon mediation meeting
June 28 – 30, 2002 – Workshop of Israeli and Palestinian Dialogue NGO’s – Part of YES PM project (Years of Experience in Strategies of Peace Making)
July 7, 2002 - Nahal Tzalmon mediation meeting
July 14 – 21, 2002 – Participating in course on strengthening policy and practices in Peace making
July 21, 2002 - Nahal Tzalmon mediation meeting
July 28-August 1, 2002 – Veteran Teachers encounter (85 teachers)
August 10 – 21, 2002 – Summer camp in Italy
August 20-22, 2002 – New Israeli teachers training
August 25, 2002 - Nahal Tzalmon mediation meeting
August 25-27, 2002 – Participation in International Course on Water Disputes, Geneva
August 25 – 29, 2002 – Meeting of Economics Working Group
September 7-12, 2002 – Participation in meeting on EU Policy vis-à-vis the Middle East, Greece
September 22-24, 2002 – New Israeli Teachers Training
October 3-5, 2002 – New Palestinian Teachers Training
October 6 – 10, 2002 – Training Course for our environmental Mediators – JEMS
October 13, 2002 – Meeting of steering committee for new agriculture cooperation project
October 18-19, 2002 – Training for Jewish Religious teachers
October 17 – 20, 2002 – Meeting of Jerusalem working group
October 22, 2002 – Meeting of Steering Committee of the Economics Working Group
October 24-28, 2002 – Meeting of Economics Working Group
October 29-31, 2002 – Meeting of Water Working Group
October 29, 2002 – Meeting of Steering Committee of Agriculture working group
November 1-3, 2002 – Training for New Palestinian teachers
November 4, 2002 – Opening Ceremony for Peace Education Project 2002
November 22-28, 2002 – Teachers’ workshop – working on evaluating Israeli and Palestinian text books
November 26, 2002 – Meeting of Israeli and Palestinian People-to-People NGO’s
December 3, 2002 – Workshop for Jewish Religious teachers, heads of Yeshivas and Religious school headmasters – Meeting the Other
December 8-15, 2002 – Dr. Patch Adams and 10 Clowns and Physicians visit Israel and Palestine – arranged by IPCRI


 

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www.place4peace.com

www.our-shared-environment.net