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nnOn December 5, 2006, the Palestine-Israel Journal organized a public event at Tel Aviv University, together with the Walter-Lebach Institute for Jewish-Arab Coexistence through Education. The featured guest speaker was Prof. Johan Galtung of Transcend, a Peace Development Network; founder of the Peace Research Institute, Oslo; and recipient of the 1987 Right Livelihood Award. The discussion participants were Dr. Walid Salem of the Panorama Center for the Dissemination of Democracy and Community Development, Jerusalem; and Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal of the School of Education, Tel Aviv University, a former PIJ co-editor. The event was chaired by Dr. Amal Jamal, head of the Walter-Lebach Institute. A highly enthusiastic audience of over l00 students, academics and the general public attended.

A parallel PIJ public event with Prof. Galtung was organized on December 6 at the Panorama Center, Ramallah, with about 30 Palestinian and international participants.

Prof. Galtung spoke about the "deep cultures" that exist among both Israelis and Palestinians. On the Israeli side he referred to "hard Zionism" of the Jabotinsky variety and "soft Zionism" of the bi-national/coexistence variety of Prof. Martin Buber. On the Palestinian side he sees a Qur'anic fundamentalist approach of Dar el-Harb, a permanent state of war and Dar al-Ahd, which supports coexistence. Although the two-state solution is the way to resolve these contradictions, that won't happen in the foreseeable future.
Prof. Galtung considers the European "community model" to be a successful solution for post-World War II Europe, and he believes that this model can be applicable for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well. Just as Germany became an integral part of post-war Europe, Israel can become an integral part of a Middle Eastern community. Such a community would consist of Israel and the five states that directly border on it - Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt.

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