Palestinian academics contributed to Bridging the Divide, a book published jointly with Israeli academics. I will go through the chapters of the book. I wrote the first chapter, the historical review of the cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian civil societies, with Edy Kaufman.
The second chapter, about the Palestinian civil society, was written with Dr. Manuel Hassasian. The third chapter, about Israeli civil society, was written with Dr. Tamar Hermann
from Tel Aviv University. The fourth chapter, about joint ventures, was written with Gershon Baskin
and Dr. Mohammad Dajani.
The fifth chapter, about negotiation, was written with Menahem Klein
and Dr. Riad Al Malki.
The sixth chapter, about the strategies of non-violence, was written with with Dr. Mohammad Abu Nimer,
an Israeli Arab who lives in the US. The seventh chapter, about the roles of Israelis and Palestinians in the peace process, was written with Dr. Khaled Abu-Asbah
and Shuli Dichter.
The eighth chapter was written with with Edy Kaufman and Juliet Verhoeven.
We held a meeting about the Code of Ethics in Barcelona. The Palestinians who attended included Mr. Sami Al Kilani
from Nablus University,
Dr. Noah Salameh,
director of Wifaq Center in Bethlehem, Riad Malki, myself, Dr. Mohammad Dajani, Atel Kaimari, a well-known journalist, and Ilan Halevi
who is a Palestinian Jew, not an Israeli, who lives in Paris and Ramallah and who has been a member of Fatah since 1971. The Israelis included Edy Kaufman, Menahem Klein and Yossi Yonah,
from Beer Sheva university
and others. There where a number of Spanish people as well. In this conference we discussed issues related to the academic debate. I can talk about the Israeli-Palestinian interaction during that conference. Menahem Klein wrote about Edward Said.
I wrote a paper about the debate around normalization, how it affects relations with Israel, and the Arab position concerning the issue. I found that there was a strong Israeli position against normalization. Normalization isn't rejected only by our side, but also by the Israeli side. This issue is problematic. For example, when the settlers claim that the Palestinians are strangers in this land, and that they should either live as strangers or leave, this is a position against normalization. When Israel claims that their basic identity is European, not Middle Eastern, they consider themselves to be in a position of "us against Arab culture," even against knowing about Arab culture, and this is a position against normalization.
There were differences of opinion among the Israelis themselves. Menahem Klein's position about normalization was that the Israelis should be part of the European culture. Yossi Yonah's position was that Israel will cease to exist if it does not know the language and culture and become a part of the area. Edy Kaufman claimed that every nationality may have many identities. Israel may have a European identity and a Middle Eastern identity. He also said that the Palestinians may have a European identity or a Middle Eastern identity without contradiction. Among the Israelis there were three main positions about the identity of Israel.
Among the Palestinians there was debate about Edward Said. One side claimed that it is enough to create a thinker that makes important contributions to human culture. The other side claimed that Said should have left a mark on Palestine like the architect Gaudi
left his mark on Barcelona. This is an example of the pluralism within the two sides. The debate during the conference was good. The conference papers are going to be printed as a book financed by the city council of Barcelona. Based on the results of the conference, we will continue our work on the Code of Ethics.