Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians

“…Is Co-Existence Possible in Israel, and Is Peace Possible in the Greater Middle East?”

Two Slifka-Malkin Scholars – One Jewish, one Arab and both Israelis – discuss the Brandeis University program that brought them together to peacefully coexist in study.  The session will cover how they were selected and their general impressions of life at the University and at home. They will also cover the issues of the times and their general perspectives as an Arab and a Jew growing up in Israel and living side by side at a time of unsettling discord. What was life like growing up in Israel, and what is at the heart of what is going on today?  Is co-existence between Arabs and Jews in Israel possible? They will also share their thoughts on prospects for the possibility of peace with Israel and Palestine and in the greater Middle East.

The Slifka – Malkin Scholarship for Peace and Coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Israel is a unique scholarship program at Brandeis University. Each year, it brings together an Israeli Jew and Israeli Arab who are committed to and will work to foster greater tolerance and understanding between Arab and Jewish Israelis. This program has been successfully ongoing from 1996. Students are selected not only for their academic achievements but also their demonstrated commitment to advancing coexistence efforts in Israel both in the university community and at home.

Overcoming the differences in the homeland seems to be a monumental task. Some believe an environment of constant conflict and lack of tolerance have combined to create dangerous behavioral attitudes in the youth on both sides. This is believed to be undermining the chances of ever having a peaceful resolution to the conflict within Israel, let alone in the greater region.  The discussion will address the greater Arab-Israel conflict about occupation and the right of Israel to exist along with the claim of two national movements on the same land, and particularly the Arab refusal to accept Jewish self-determination and the other occupation.  The conflict is further complicated by preconceptions and demonizing of the other by both sides.  How will this ever be resolved?