Publication Date

2002

Abstract

Since early October, 2000 violence, mistrust, and anger has raged between the Palestinians and Israelis on the borders of the Occupied Territories and between Israeli Jews and Arabs within the borders of Israel. The inconclusiveness of the Camp David II talks along with Ariel Sharon's antagonistic visit to the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif ignited a movement that had been taking shape for at least one year prior to September 28, 2000. In reflecting back from the present moment of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, what have we learned about the role of Oslo expectations, the media, and peace-building intervention in relationship to the current crises between Israelis and Palestinians? How can we learn from past mistakes to positively impact grassroots peace building? Through the qualitative analysis of 17 interviews with current peace builders (4 Palestinians, 3 Palestinian-Israelis, 10 Jewish-Israelis), qualitative analysis of newspaper articles from the first three months of the Intifada, and personal experience of working in peace-building activities, I have found that the most effective peace-building interventions are based on joint Arab-Jewish action which seeks justice and human rights as opposed to only dialogue. Print media reporting the conflict has proven to be inflammatory and has not adhered to the principles of positive journalism or seeking common ground and has served to exacerbate the conflict. The model, "Cycles of Revenge and Reconciliation" is relevant to this conflict, yet it needed to be adjusted to better reflect the specific context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and a new model has been developed from this research. This research can benefit academic conflict theorists, organizations interested in improving the effectiveness of their peace building interventions and people worldwide who need hope that conflict can be transformed.

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