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A non-violent approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

Joint research among three universities has extended to Palestinian youth, academics and policymakers a brave new approach aimed at addressing the most pressing conflict in the Middle East.
A non-violent approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
Overcoming conflict in the Middle East is an elusive prospect that requires building trust, creating dialogue and thinking outside the box, especially in the pursuit of non-violent solutions. The EU-funded CTMEE (Perspectives of Conflict Transformation from the Middle East and Europe) project supported capacity building and knowledge exchange among three academic institutions to investigate conflict transformation. It brought together the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University in the UK, Kadir Has University in Turkey, and the Arab American University in Jenin, Palestine to achieve this aim.

Focusing on conflict transformation primarily in Palestine, but also in Turkey, the project also examined how Western Europe viewed conflict in these areas as well. It looked at building a network of expertise on conflict transformation and how youth can contribute to peacebuilding.

Specific themes probed through workshops, research activities and conferences included youth and democratisation, nonviolent action and resistance, women and peacebuilding, theatre and art in conflict transformation, and EU aid policy in Palestine. The project team also considered the effect of boycotts of Israeli products in Palestine, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in cyberspace, human rights activism, and conflict transformation from a business standpoint.

The project’s results and conclusions were disseminated through the workshops and conferences, but also through journals and books. CTMEE also prepared to publish a book titled Conflict Transformation and the Palestinians. Equally noteworthy, the project team supported the establishment of a Master’s programme in Conflict Resolution and Development at the Arab American University in Jenin.

In parallel the project team spurred other academic projects to investigate the topic through Master’s and PhD programmes. It also provided valuable support and training for civil society organisations in Palestine on the topic. Hopefully these efforts will foster more understanding among the different sides of one of the world’s toughest conflicts and lead to smarter, non-violent ways of overcoming them.

Related information


Middle east, CTMEE, conflict transformation, peacebuilding, Palestinian-Israeli
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