Peace Summit – Grade 9 Humanities “Solving the Arab-Israeli Conflict”
Recently, Grade 9 Humanities students in engaged in a Peace Summit to try and resolve one of the most current and pressing global issues, the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Summit was a major assessment within our unit on Decolonization. Our essential questions to frame the Summit were:
How do historical perspectives impact governments
ability to create peace and stability?
How does the legacy of colonization influence
political, economic and social conditions today?
For three days, we argued, debated and compromised. Represented at the Summit were Israel, Jordan, Egypt, the United States, Palestinian National Authority and Hamas.
Some creative ideas to resolve the conflict centered on Jerusalem. Many thought that turning the Old City over to an international agency would allow for Jews, Christians and Muslims to access the holy site without ‘ownership’ issues since the Old City belongs to ‘everyone.’
Trying to resolve borders posed even greater debate – some students proposed keeping the security wall surrounding the West Bank, while some proposed tearing it down.
Others suggested going back to the 1967 borders, and some suggested that current borders should be maintained. This topic, along with many others, were left unresolved in our Summit, reflecting the genuine complexity of these issues.
From this activity, students learned that conflict resolution takes patience, that it is important to be able to examine an issue from more than one point of view at the same time, and that there is a need to be culturally sensitive to ideas that might conflict with one’s own.
Not surprisingly, the students rose to the challenge, and in relation to our ESLRs, were able to practice “Global Citizenship” in very real terms.
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