Middle East Dialogue Circles
In any given month there are approximately 110 active dialogers engaging in dialogue in and around New York City.
Isralies, Palestinains, American Jews and Arab and Muslim americans engage each other on issues surrounding the people, politics and history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Sample Dialogue Agendas and Descriptions
Mid East Dialogues meet in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Westchester. Conversations/encounters include former Israeli Soldiers, Holocaust Survivors, Naqba Survivors, College youth raised on Settlements in the West Bank, Palestinian Americans whose children are now studying in the West Bank, Jewish Americans with family in Israel, Palestinian’s who left following the 1967 war and more recently, Russian and Easter European Jews who found refuge in Israel, Yemeni and Iraqi Jews who identify as Arab and many “interested others” from all walks of life with a deep concern for and connection to the land and the people who live there. Groups vary each month with an average of 42 – 80 people meeting face to face all around the city.
Agenda I: Palestinian commemoration of Naqba
Jewish celebration of founding of state of Israel
Discussion Questions: Our stories about these events. How can our speaking about these events promote an environment for understanding and curiosity about each other’s experience?
1. How do you participate (or not) in these events?
2. How do you speak about these events in your own community?
3. How do you speak about these events with those outside your community?
4. Is there a difference between how you speak to people in your community and how you speak to those outside your community?
5. How does it make you feel when you hear the “other” speak about these events?
Agenda II: Discussion:
Meaning of “home” as it relates to Israel/Palestine
a. Reflections from last Dialogue: Feelings about “the land”: “Where do I belong? Some dialoguers said:
“Israel as the place where she can be herself, feeling as a guest in US.”
“Going to Germany torn between feeling herself an American or Palestinian”.
“Experience of persecution here, belief in Israel as the end of oppression, sense of betrayal”.
“Proud American, Palestinian home”
b. For Israel or Palestine to be considered “home” does that require a Jewish or Palestinian majority?