Thursday, April 24, 2014

Understanding the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict: Lessons from an Unusual Classroom

Edward Kaufman and Manuel Hassassian are senior research associates teaching at the University of Maryland’s Center for International Development and Conflict Management.  Kaufman formerly directed the Truman Peace Research Institute at the Hebrew University and was a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, Washington, DC.  Hassassian currently serves as the Palestinian ambassador to the United Kingdom.
In 1992, two academics - one an Israeli from Jerusalem and the other a Palestinian from Bethlehem -- began team-teaching a course at the University of Maryland, College Park. The course's original title, “the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict,” has evolved over the years into a more forward-looking and open-ended title, “Conflict Resolution: the Israeli/Palestinian Experiment.” Based on this unusual and successful teaching experience, several lessons have been derived that readers will find illuminating given the prevalence of one-sided and mutually antagonistic ways of approaching and understanding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Dear colleagues and students: 

For all we know, the idea of team teaching our conflicts has been developed here at College Park; after two decades, ,with ups and downs, we are still facing one of the most difficult protracted conflicts. We wish to go on, hopefully, until our leaders and nations make peace. But we also are now thinking about spreading the word and legacy, and hence sending you all not only the invitation to join our GVPT309X intense three-week Second Summer 2014
course, but also the rationale that we have developed to maximize this unique experience.
Around the world there are not a few ethno-political conflicts, and we will be glad to coach any "partners in conflict" to experiment with one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of our lives. 

Feel free to contact us, 

Amb. Prof Manuel Hassassian and Prof. Edy Kaufman