I've been asked to give a KIC session to a group of students who are in Israel for the year. No big deal, right?!! Actually, it presents itself as an irresistable and refreshing challenge seeing as the coordinator wants me to facilitate understanding of the Palestinian view on the conflict.
The truth is that I always recognise the Palestinian position (though I reserve the right to regularly disagree with it). The challenge will be to build a thought-provoking and interactive session that focuses on the other side's view of Israel and the world they experience. I'll keep you updated with this new aspect of the KIC educational sessions.
The other Bush (Laura, the First Lady) came (almost too) in touch with the essence of the conflict yesterday as she visited Jerusalem on her whirlwind tour. The media (Israeli & foreign) has been highlighting the emotional atmosphere that enveloped her entourage. Still, I liked the concept of her visit and the understanding of the tension that she spoke about to the media. Grasping the religious and emotional sources of the conflict is an important step in understanding the tension (and violence) that can exist here. World leaders could learn a lot from Laura Bush's approach.
One Israeli-Arab has already caught on to a good idea. He has opened up his own Holocaust Museum in Nazareth in attempt to expose Arabs to the Shoah concept. Worth a read and let's hope such initiatives will encourage a new sense of mutual understanding, even if there is some concern about the museum's underlying message to Palestinians and the establishment of the Jewish state.
KIC me when you feel like it - I welcome your feedback!