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
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.