mepeace.org

Hi everyone,

Some may remember that a while ago I told you about our project HotPeace.org - well its been a long time coming, but we have completely redesigned the site, and now we are asking people to participate!

Basically the idea of Hotpeace is that it is a peace process that anyone can contribute to - and you get to do so by talking to people from the other side of the conflict, and trying to reach an agreement with them. Its a really cool idea so have a look and sign up. Let's get the first few agreements going!

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I joined, and you can see me in mepeace as you and I do not need to leave.
Basil,
It saddens me you won't participate. The idea of hotpeace is to create dialogue, and to find novel ways to reach a solution. It is also to show that there are people on both sides who want peace and believe that there are many Palestinians and Israelis who also want peace like them.

Imagine if tens of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians were to go on the site and reach some sort of understanding between them- wouldn't that mean something?

You said in your profile that you want to work with other Palestinians and also with Jews on creating a strong Palestinian peace camp. Well I think that hotpeace would be a great way to do so.
Tomer
Can you explain why you can't engage in discussions at a neutral forum instaed of discussion at a forum that presupposes two national entities with conflicting agendas? What is wrong with mepeace in your mind?
Mazin:

I think mepeace is a great community; there is certainly nothing wrong with it. I see mepeace as a place to engage in discussion about the Middle East, and about peace - a community of peacemakers - while hotpeace is a peace process simulation - a laboratory to explore many different (but concrete) types of solutions, and to actually see if there is any support for them.

My hope is that hotpeace could appeal to a wide audience - where meapeace people are often highly involved in peace activities (which is great of course), I wanted to develop a project that will also attract people who wouldn't normally participate in such activities - because these are the people who need to realize that there is an alternative to the misery of the present. The best way I thought of to do so was to present them with a kind of challenge - and the challenge is that they have to represent one side in a peace negotiation. But making it clear at the same time that when they represent their side they don't represent the ‘official’ view, only whatever they think is right.

Yes I admit, the site was designed with the framework of a two state solution in mind. I for one don’t think there is a viable nonviolent alternative, at least in the short term. Even though the two state solution will undoubtedly have its short comings, I believe it is a first important step towards a more just future.
But if someone believes that this presupposition of two national entities is itself a tool of domination, that it is artificial and a false consciousness, well hotpeace is extremely open – anyone can join, anyone can add to the proposed peace plans, and anyone can propose any alternative route to peace.
if this is a laboratory to explore many different (but concrete) types of solutions I advise you to select and invite people and not let it to be open as mepeace.org.

you can see in mepeace how much energy is wasted by people who come here to preach their world view and not willing to work together for change.
Tomer: I am in the biology field. When I set up a laboratory for my students to work in and give them experiments to do, I encourage them to ask questions and be open minded. I remind them that scientific hpothesis must falsifiable and taht we must use our senses to understand things even if tehy do not fit into any preconceived notions we have. I would never set them up with an experiment where questioning the ideology is only allowed in one framework taht I would (artificially) set for them.

Neri: I only stay in mepeace because there are still some open minded people (like you) who are willing to consider different perspectives. I learned significantly from you in a positive way. Unfortunately I also learn in a negative way from some narrow minded people. By learning in positive way, I mean evolve my thinking towards humanity by a positive thoughtprovoking and meaningful way. Negative learning is learning that really does not change us merely reinforces certain kn owledge we already have (e.g. taht there are racist concepts inherent in tribalism). On average mepeace is still OK when you average trhe total experiences. But is it the best use of our time. I am not sure yet.
Mazin:

"I would never set them up with an experiment where questioning the ideology is only allowed in one framework that I would (artificially) set for them."

So let's imagine how that would work: you would enter class, and say - hello students, today we are going to experiment...

and that's it. any more words you say would already set up some kind of framework, because anything you say (take out your scalpels or whatever) already will set up an artificial setting through which your students will view their test subject (the poor frog, which your students now assume is going to be dissected by these scalpels).

In fact just by saying "today we are going to experiment" you are already setting up an artificial framework. In fact, just by being in a setting where they are students and you are the teacher is already an artificial framework.

My point is we all make suppositions, and every starting point for any experiment (or more broadly any social construction) is artificial. All we can do is acknowledge the presence of these presuppositions, and provide a mechanism for questioning them - I have tried to do both these things.

Finally, I will repeat once again - its not the case that only one framework is allowed - the framework of hotpeace is very MALLEABLE (i thought you may appreciate that word being from the biology field and all :)

Which is why I really hope you do decide to sign up, so you can help shape its form.
Tomer,

can you think how to modify HotPeace.org to include Mazin perspective?

.
I struggle with this as well. If the structure doesn't speak to both sides, how do we move forward? I would like to hear from palestinians on this.
Corey,

Yes I too would love to get more input here. But I don't think that the divide is between Israelis and Palestinians. From the objections I have heard here and elsewhere, I think the divide is between those who think a two state solution is possible (and under some conditions a good idea), and those who disagree. There are Palestinians and Israelis on both sides of this argument.

This does not mean that hotpeace only supports a 2 state solution (it supports discussion about all types of solutions), only that those who object to the site are thinking that it does.
Neri,
One of the nice things about HotPeace (if I may say so myself :) is that the process will tend to naturally discourage time wasters - if you are not willing to work for change, or just want to spread hate, troll, etc. then your group will not attract new members. Once we get going it will be easier to see what I mean- right now I am still waiting for a few more people to sign up before we begin.
Dear friend,

I understand strategy.

in my experience it is tricky and the vast topic you put needs a lot of time dedication.

I think that "structured dialog" is a good way to get a better and deeper discussions but it needs people with the right dedication and commitment.

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