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empathy

  • What would you do if soldiers dragged your son out of bed in the middle of the night?

    After more than half a century of occupation, most Israelis can no longer imagine themselves in the place of the Palestinians. But if we cannot imagine what it is like to live under occupation, we must at least confront its brutal reality.  Twenty years ago, in March 1998, the head of the Labor Party Ehud Barak was asked by Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy what he would do were he a young Palestinian living under occupation. “If I were a Palestinian of the right age, I would, at some point, join one of the terrorist groups,” Barak answered. [tmwinpost] Today, not…

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  • Educating toward peace: Two narratives for two peoples

    After Oslo, Israel made an attempt to institutionalize education toward peace, but it drowned in bloodshed and violence. A look at the situation today. By Gil Gertel Not a single educator has made a single educational declaration regarding the current situation over the past month. Nothing. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett keeps repeating that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “is the head of the serpent of incitement.” In 1994, following Israel’s peace talks with the Palestinians and with Jordan, the school system, too, addressed the subject. It was called “education toward peace.” To quote the newsletter published by the Curriculum Department…

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  • October 2000: How to get Israelis to empathize with Arabs

    A former editor of Israel's flagship weekend television news program reflects on the challenge of presenting the October 2000 events — when Israeli police killed 13 unarmed Arab protesters — in a way Jewish Israelis might empathize with the pain of the country's Palestinian population. By Anat Saragusti It was an intense meeting in a small room on the second floor of Channel 2 news in Tel Aviv. We tried to come up with the perfect mix of views to make Israeli Jews make sense of what would eventually come to be known as the "events of October 2000." Back…

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  • The mentality of conflict: Six steps to avoiding empathy

    From Protective Edge to the Jerusalem implosion, the mentality of conflict has been pushed under a microscope. During that time I’ve noticed a few axioms about how Israelis experience these wars. I imagine other sides in other conflicts may share them too, although they require pretty close scrutiny and insider knowledge – so I won’t venture to generalize. Here is what I’ve seen. “Our” in this case means “Israeli,” since I am one. 1. All our violence against their civilians is a matter of exceptions and anomalies, by bad apples and extremists. When they attack civilians, this represents the true…

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