After writing the first draft for the Narratives project in April 1999, I contacted Benjamin Pogrund, director of the Yakar Center for Social Concern in Jerusalem, and Professor Riad al-Malki of Panorama in Ramallah. Riad introduced us to Walid Salem, head of Panorama's Jerusalem office, and the three of us met regularly for the next three years, to refine and then attempt to raise funds for the project. Ultimately, we received generous grants from the David and Elaine Potter Charitable Foundation in London and the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung in Jerusalem.
We planned to hold seven meetings at the Notre Dame Hostel, across from Jerusalem's Old City, each session to be introduced by an Israeli and a Palestinian paper. However, by the time we were ready to begin, events had already overtaken us in the form of the Intifada and closures of Palestinian areas, as well as Palestinian feelings that working with Israelis was inappropriate given what was happening on the ground. Our first attempt, in spring 2001, foundered on the unwillingness of many Palestinian participants to meet publicly with Israelis in Jerusalem. Our next two attempts, in fall 2001 and the next winter, did not work because too few Palestinians would have been able to leave the area of the Palestinian Authority and travel, whether to Jerusalem or abroad.
Finally, we were able to hold our workshop, covering four of the seven topics, in Larnaca, Cyprus, in June, 2002. This labored under two difficulties. First, as most Palestinian areas had been under curfew for months, many other organizations were holding long-delayed meetings, and some of our Palestinian invitees were at other conferences at the same time. Second, as closures were still in effect, several Palestinian invitees were unable to obtain visas either to come through Israel or through Jordan to get to Cyprus. We contemplated canceling once again in response to an appeal by several invitees who could not come, but decided to hold it nevertheless, and were glad we did. We later had two additional sessions in Jerusalem so all participants were able to come to at least one meeting.
A stenographic transcript was taken of all meetings. Currently, the transcripts and papers are being edited for publication in a book, which we hope will appear in the coming year.

The 1947 Partition Plan

The following pages consist of the papers of Professor Moshe Ma'oz of the Hebrew University and Walid Salem of Panorama, discussing the 1947 partition plan and its aftermath, and the transcript of the discussion that followed. It is not coincidental that we picked this session to present in the Palestine-Israel Journal. The events and motivations of that period are still among the most hotly debated controversies between Israelis and Palestinians. We also felt that both the papers and the transcript represented a particularly serious attempt to grapple with the issues. The transcript has been edited for reasons of space.

Our Appreciation

Benjamin Pogrund, Walid Salem and I have worked for three years, so far, on this project, but it would not have taken place without the support of a number of others. Our colleagues at the Truman Institute, Yakar, and Panorama were encouraging and helpful with suggestions. We are especially grateful to Dr Burckhard Blanke and Ms Anna Koehler at the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung in Jerusalem for having worked long and hard with us to ensure that the seminars took place, as well as for their sponsorship of the project. We are equally grateful to David and Elaine Potter and Michael Polonsky in London, who co-sponsored the project. We asked Dr Blanke - who happens also to be an historian - to chair the meetings. Much of the easy flow of discussion was due to his impartiality and deft direction. Last, but most certainly not least, we wish to thank all of those who participated in the project, both for having made it possible and for their flexibilty and good humor in dealing with the many changes and uncertainties.

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