MEPEACE Chat - Nov 14

Event Details

MEPEACE Chat - Nov 14

Time: November 14, 2010 from 8pm to 9:30pm
Location: MEPEACE Chat (
Event Type: chat, chat workshop, live chat, live discussion, mepeace chat, jewish, identity, state, peace, co-existence, nov 14
Organized By: Dialogue Team
Latest Activity: Nov 14, 2010

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Event Description

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We're proud to invite you to the second chat workshop of our current series on 'The Jewish State - Concept and Conceptions'.

When it comes to debating Israel, it's hard to find common ground. No other state of that size attracts so much attention on a global basis, no other state is that heavily criticized for its actions - and, sometimes unfortunately, even for its mere existence. In 2010, we're looking back at 62 years of the Jewish State - 62 years of the establishment of a stable democracy in a region shaped by authoritarian regimes, on the one hand, but, too, 62 years of non-existing peace with Israel's neighbours, on the other. We have witnessed an often brutal and unjust occupation of Palestinian territories for more than 40 years now, but must also take into account that current and past Israeli policy is partly due to the Israelis' fear of losing their tiny strip of land, of losing what they had strived for so long.

Talking about Israel is not like talking about Holland or Switzerland. We on, as peacemakers, aim for peace in a war-torn region, for normality in places shaped by fear and mistrust. Peace also means living a normal life - but life is far from normal neither in Israel nor in the occupied territories.

As you can tell from the series title, it makes sense to make a distinction between 'concept' and 'conception' (a legal distinction, but also applicable to non-legal situations), when talking about the Jewish State. While the concept is the basic idea of establishing a Jewish State, the conceptions are the different ways of interpreting Israel, the different views on how the concept be best transformed into reality.

The idea behind introducing this distinction is based on the fact that a large majority doesn't oppose the idea of a Jewish State itself, but the ways in which the state of Israel is actually conducted (current example: loyalty oath).

Two weeks ago, in the first workshop of our series, we had a closer look at the history of Israel and how it has affected the life of not only Israelis but, of course, Palestinians and the world, too. Let's now discuss the challenges for Israel and Jewish identity in the 21st century. Is there a basis on which a peaceful future can be built?

We are looking forward to hear your experiences and opinions as Israelis, Palestinians, or, simply, concerned citizens of the world - and it would be great if you could also share the experiences of your parents and/or grandparents.

Our leading questions will be:

What does the term 'Jewish' mean to you and how has our understanding of being Jewish changed over the years?

Given the options of the current Israeli government, how would you evaluate Israel’s potential to bring in line both Israel’s future as a state for the Jews and the need for peaceful co-existence with the Palestinians?

How has the notion of Israel as a Jewish state changed over the years?


Please note that the event will start on Sunday, 14 November at 20.00 Jerusalem time, in the MEPEACE Chat.

If you have any questions regarding the event, please don't hesitate to contact us at

We are looking forward to your participation! Dialogue Team
Çiğdem Yılmazer, Clara Singer, Tanya Kasim, Rachel Abramovitz & Oliver Haack

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