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The MidEast Web Middle East Dialog Resource

These pages are dedicated to dialog. All of the peoples of the Middle East, and our friends and relatives abroad should all be talking to each other and learning from each other and about each other, and we should all be helping to build a better future for the Middle East. You may be surprised how many of us already are: Arabs and Jews, Moslems and Christians, Palestinians and Israelis, Sunnis and Shiites, Druze and Bahai and Orthodox Jews and Reconstructionists and freethinkers. Dialog is the beginning of recognition that the other side is human - and a declaration that you are human and want to help your neighbor. Dialog is a learning experience and a teaching experience, for your heart and for your mind.

Middle East Truth Video - Simple truths and a personal narrative about Middle East Peace.

What you will find here

What we get out of dialog

The little gains - We have all been raised on a diet of hate and fear of others, which causes mental indigestion. Dialog helps cure it. Dialog teaches you new things about your neighbors that you did not know, and help you make new friends. Dialog is also your chance to make yourself known, and to teach your neighbors things they may not know.

Working together - Some dialog groups just talk and get to know each other. Others take an active role in changing the Middle East, by supporting peace education projects, hospitals and medical care projects. A healthy kid or a new schoolhouse built by cooperative efforts should be reward enough for anyone.

The big gain - The big gain for all of us can be a fear- free future - cemented by a web of friendships throughout the Middle East and between members of the Middle East diasporas abroad. Peace cannot be made and secured by political agreements. Dialog and cooperation will build peace, slowly but surely. It will not happen over night, and it will not be easy, but it is the only way that will really work in the long run.

How to Approach Dialog

Come to dialog to listen and learn and to share your yourself, your time and your knowledge. Leave behind the propaganda we are all taught and we all hear. You can enrich your new friends by sharing information and experiences. Share the painful things: what it is like to go through an Israeli check post, what it is like to survive a terror attack or a hijacking, to lose a loved one in a war, to live in Iraq or to have your house destroyed. Share knowledge and every day experiences: advice on how to build a house or fix a car, or a good book you read, or help with navigating the Web. Sharing skills and experiences builds respect and friendship. Talk to people as individuals and see them as individuals. Do not talk at people - nobody in dialog should be an enemy or an adversary. In a discussion, be prepared to admit you are wrong. That is how we grow. The truth does not lie with one side or one person.

A general dialog resource is located here.

"Talking Peace"  is a video documentary about a Jewish Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group in San Diego, California.

Dialog Versus Debate

Dialog is not the same as debate, though debate may stimulate dialog. If you come to dialog with the goal of debating, both you and your dialog partners may be very frustrated. There are many lists showing the difference between dialog and debate. This is ours. Can you think of other differences?

Dialog Debate
Partners Opponents
Understanding Convincing
Harmony Victory
Common ground Battle ground
Meeting points Talking points
Listening and explaining Telling and defending


What is NOT dialog?

Politically motivated propaganda that demonizes the other side, attempts to subvert dialog for other purposes, boycott campaigns and the like are not dialog, they are the opposite of dialogue. Learn to recognize them and avoid them. See A program for wrecking Israeli-Palestinian Dialog

How to Join a Dialog

There are many face to face dialog groups and e-mail ones as well. Below is a partial list. The MidEast Web Dialog Directory has more details about these and other groups. If your organization or group is not posted, let us know and we will add it!

If you don't find what you are looking for in the list, try any of the following:

In the MidEast  - Givat Haviva  is the premiere dialog center in Israel and will help groups start dialog.

The Abraham Fund sponsors and funds dialog and coexistence activities for Israeli Jews and Arabs.

Crossing Borders
This program is conducted by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research in Tel Aviv University (TSC) and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah (PSR) with the assistance of the Ford Foundation. The aim of the program is to give Israelis and Palestinians an opportunity to become familiar with the narratives and realities of the other side to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, thereby, hopefully, perforating the cognitive wall that sets them apart.

MidEast Web - Yes Us!! We will help you start a dialog. Hagit Ra'anan has organized  trips to Gaza and the West Bank where Israelis and foreigners, young and old, met Palestinians and share meals and other experiences. These trips were featured on Israeli television and her work has been publicized by the BBC, CNN and CBC. MidEastWeb is interested in organizing other dialog groups - and helping you organize them. Contact MidEast Web for more information. Of course, you can also join our online e-dialog group - for details click here.

CCRR - The Palestine Center for Conflict Resolution and Rapprochement, educates for nonviolent values and conflict resolution skills in Palestine.

Motivation Circle - This group promotes integrated life styles in Israel. They intend to found a multi cultural cooperative village in Israel/Palestine. It will include mainly Palestinians and Israelis, Jews, Christians and Muslims, religious and secular people. Property, incomes and expenses will be shared and it is open for everyone to join. The Motivation Circle serves as a supporting umbrella for those members that intend to actually found the village and live in it.

Interfaith Encounter Association - Promotes dialog and interfaith meetings in Israel. A personal account of a peace walk in Jerusalem illustrates the spirit of this group.

Palestine Center for Rapprochement runs a dialog in Beit Sahour, near Jerusalem and has many contacts. Their sister organization is  Rapprochement Dialogue Center in Israel.

Peace Child Israel is devoted to educating youth and educators to dialog.

Open House in Ramlah run by Yehezkel and Dalia Landau, is a dialog group for Israeli Arabs and Jews. They have an educational program for children and a parents' support group.

YAKAR is a Jerusalem based group devoted to dialog both within Jewish society and between Arabs and Jews.


Common Ground - Building Bridges - Operates dialog projects for Israeli and Palestinian youth as well as for Americans.

Seeds of Peace - Seeds of Peace operates a dialog camp for Middle East Youth in Maine, and has branches throughout the Middle East. Click here for an account of an experience at the Seeds of Peace Camp.

www.soccerforpeace.com - The mission of Soccer For Peace is to promote tolerance, understanding and peace in the Middle East, and ultimately throughout the world, by uniting children of different backgrounds in their shared love of soccer. It is a New York based non-profit organization with neither political affiliation nor political agenda.

Middle East Peace Forum  is a  television show dedicated to fostering dialogue between people who may come from different perspectives but who share a common desire for peace in the Middle East. The Web site has live Web casts of programs, links and articles, and promises to have archival recordings of shows as well.

Bay Area - Len and Libby Traubman in the San Francisco Bay area are co-initiators of the California Living Room dialog. They also have several Web pages devoted to dialog and are always ready to help you, wherever you are.

If you are a physician, scientist or other professional interested in Profession cooperation in the Middle East, contact  The Alliance of Middle East Scientists and Physicians

Orange County California -  The Cousins Club of Orange County is a well established group that supports peace education projects in the Middle East, chiefly the Hope Flowers school in El Khader.

Los Angeles -Middle East Peace Net (MEPN) was founded to promote peace and democracy in the Middle East. The MEPN focuses on raising public awareness, networking and fundraising both in the United States and in the Middle East.

Boston - The University of the Middle East Project is an effort to bring educators together from all over the Middle East and teach them skills needed to build a better future.

Austin, Texas - The Austin dialog for peace  holds regular meetings between local Palestinian Jewish and other residents to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. 

Brooklyn, NY - The Dialog Project brings together groups of Palestinians and Israelis.  This group has attracted a great deal of attention in the press. It now has over 150 people meeting monthly or regularly in Brooklyn, New Jersey, Manhattan, Riverdale/Westchester/Yonkers, and Queens. Here is a link from a recent NPR broadcast: http://thedialogueproject.org/Citywatchdialogue.mp3 They travel to cities and present model dialogues.  Contact:Marcia Kanry marcia@thedialogueproject.org. (718) 768-2175 Fax: (718) 768 - 2094

Florida Middle East Peace Association  was established to promote dialogue through educational presentations, meetings, and other events, promote non-violence as a strategy and way of interacting with one another in activities, dialogue, education, and activism around supporting  Middle East Peace, and find common ground between polarized viewpoints.

Switzerland - The Basle Jewish Palestinian dialog can help you find contacts in Europe.

Canada - The Jewish - Muslim peace walk in Vancouver aims to build interfaith understanding and provide a common basis for working for peace in the Middle East. 

E-mail dialogs on the Web

MidEastWeb (that's us) provides an open e-dialog list where anyone can express their opinions, and a newsletter. To subscribe to our open e-dialog, click here. For more information about the dialog, click here.

The PEACE newsletter gives you a forum to express your opinions and get news about the Mid East. It  is not a list server list - but we do circulate articles and extensive comments of members. To subscribe to our newsletter, click here. For more information about the newsletter, click here.

The Encounter group has a list that is just for peace activists  (it is not supposed to be a political discussion group). For more information, click here.  To subscribe, click here.

Shalom Wa Salaam Dialog (Arabs and Jews Seeking Peace) carries out lively dialogs by e-mail (mostly about politics) and may also help you find a dialog group near you. To subscribe, click here.

The IFLAC USA forum is a Yahoo discussion group that facilitates communications for the International Forum for the Culture of Peace, founded by Dr. Ada Aharoni to further dialog through culture. To subscribe, click here. For more information, click here.

Dialog for Young People

Several groups offer dialog for young people:

Seeds of Peace - Seeds of Peace is a world famous organization that brings together young people from all over the middle east at their summer camp in the United States.  They have offices and activities in the Middle East as well.

Reut Sadaka - Jewish Arab youth dialog group that operates Friendship Village and many other projects in Israel.

Peace Generation - A Peace camp for youths of Jewish and Palestinian background, in the San Francisco Bay Area of the United States.

Peace Child Israel - Dialog and relationship-building through dramatic performances.

A special sort of dialogue

Daniel Pearl was an American journalist who was murdered by Muslim extremists, because he was Jewish. His family created the Daniel Pearl Foundation  to further interfaith dialogue.

Judea Pearl and Akbar Ahmed The Daniel Pearl Dialogue for Muslim-Jewish Understanding is a series of personal yet public conversations between Daniel Pearl’s father, Professor Judea Pearl, President of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, and Dr. Akbar Ahmed, Chair of Islamic Studies at American University.  The dialogue grew out of Professors Ahmed and Pearl's shared concern about the deterioration of relationships between Muslim and Jewish communities around the world, and their strong belief that reconciliation between these two Abrahamic faiths can be achieved through frank and respectful dialogue. In 2006 Professors Ahmed and Pearl were awarded the first annual Purpose Prizee “in recognition of [their] simple, yet innovative approach to solving one of society’s most pressing problems.”    Click here for more information.


How to Start a Dialog

If the is no dialog group near you, or you want to do something different, you can start a dialog group by:

Posting a notice on the Web at different discussion groups.

Contacting local religious and community leaders, who often have interfaith and interethnic contacts.

Posting a notice in your University or student group.

Contact MidEast Web or any of the other groups above.

You can also start your own Web Site to publicize your dialog experience - tell us about it and we will link to you.

Dialog Resources - The Dialog to Action Initiative has a Web site dedicated to dialog resources. You can join an e-mail list for dialog leaders there, get help with funding and access a host of other resources.

Dialog Topics and Suggestions

A dialog group can do or discuss anything depending on the composition and cohesion of its members, and where it takes place. Here are a few ideas:

  • A Page of Dialog Materials - Ideas and stories that can be used and adapted for dialog groups.

  • Changing Sides - A Palestinian or Arab tells the story of a Jew living in Israel. A Jew tells the story of a Palestinian. The characters can be modern or historic. They can relate to every day events or to becoming a refugee or being a terror victim, or going through a checkpoint for example, or to positive experiences. Tell what happens and how you feel. Here is an example: a Palestinian and a Zionist discuss the question of Jerusalem from reversed vantage points.

  • A Program for Peace - Your group can build a simple program for peace. What are the important issues for both sides? Each side will learn a great deal about how and what the other side thinks, and you will build trust. The PEACE group declaration  is one example of such a program. The Basle dialogue group has another such example.

  • Jerusalem - Jerusalem will be one issue of any peace program, but it can certainly be the subject of a separate discussion.

  • What my Religion Tells me about War and Peace - What does your religion tell you is more important: Peace and Reconciliation or Territory?

  • Action on Issues - Your group can take up a cause - for example, charity drives for peace education projects, or start a campaign to pressure politicians about specific issues such as: speeding up the peace process or democracy in the PNA.

  • Water and Resources - Members can do some research on the water issue and come up with solutions and debate them.

  • Personal Experiences - Members can tell what happened to them. What made them trust/distrust the "other side."  There are several Web pages devoted to personal experiences in the Middle East conflict that may inspire discussion and thought in dialog. For example, an  exchange of letters between a Palestinian and an Israeli,  personal experiences related by different people  An Unexpected link  An interfaith walk for peace

Experiences of Others and Testaments to Peace


This promising email dialog was started by an aggressive flame letter that was answered with wisdom and patience.


The Story of PEACE tells how the PEACE Mid East Dialog group started from a letter from a Jordanian/Palestinian sent to an Israeli Web forum.

Dialog on Campus - JMP The Jewish Muslim Project

Harlan Luxenberg tells how this dialog project got started and what they did.  More

Saida Nusseibeh

My Experiences in Dialog - Saida Nusseibeh, a pioneer of Middle East Dialog, tells of her experiences in dialog since the 1980s.


A high school teenager gives a vivid, direct and moving account of her experiences at Seeds of Peace Camp.

A Bridge

This letter from a Palestinian to an Israeli was the start of a long standing friendship by mail.

Bereaved Parents' Group

A very special kind of dialog has been established between families of those who have fallen in the conflict.

Arab-Jewish Dialogue Of New Mexico

This group held a big public dialog in New Mexico.

Dialog In California

Here is a moving account of a dialog/panel discussion held in February 2001, in California.

You may be interested to know:

Arabic and Hebrew are Semitic languages and share many words - click here to learn some Arabic and Hebrew.



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