Last night I facilitated a dialogue about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for a group of non-Israelis living in Jerusalem. The dialogue was sponsored by this organization, which I consult/facilitate for on occasion. Although the group has facilitated over 200 dialogues in the USA on this issue, last night was the first one to take place in Israel.
It was a fascinating conversation, but the most interesting comment that was made was, essentially, “Why does this matter?” In other words, what’s the importance of dialogue, and more importantly, dialogue about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while we’re in Israel?
It’s a good question – in fact, it’s the one I’ve been asking myself for years, and the question that I hope is the basis of the dissertation I start working on imminently (I guess you could say I already have begun to work on it, since all my meetings here – or the large majority of them – have focused on preparations for next summer’s research). So I was intrigued by it last night. The interesting thing is, nobody really had a clear answer. It’s not that people didn’t think that this dialogue wasn’t important, it’s just that they couldn’t answer *why* it is. Interesting…
Anyway, my apologies otherwise for not posting much lately – it’s been super busy. But, I have some pictures from a trip last Saturday to Israel’s “Orchid Park,” and those should be posted soon.