Dear friends of NACAD,
We are planning to devote the NELSOZ (NACAD Experiential Learning Session on Zoom) scheduled for May 22nd to an exploration of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict because the timing is close to the 70th anniversary of the Nakba and Israel’s establishment. Palestinians’ reluctance to engage in dialogue is certainly understandable because the talking that has gone on for a long time has not produced any positive change on the ground, and this conflict seems rather intractable. The idea that we can’t prompt some change in the bigger arena is very frustrating. However, we do have control over the dynamics of the periodic online Authentic Dialogue practice circles we are calling NELSOZ. So, despite the lack of movement in the bigger arena, if you believe that Authentic, people-to-people Dialogue (AD) is at least part of the way forward, we hope you join us on May 22nd for an exploration of Palestinian-Jewish/Israeli sentiments from an AD perspective.
Here are some questions for that session: Where do we start? What’s preventing any movement forward? Can we overcome these hurdles at least within our limited NELSOZ circle? How? How can we help each other feel a bit safer so dialogue can take place, despite enormous odds?
We hope that a respectful and calm examination of why we are collectively stuck might bring us some insights. After all, if we are a small group of Palestinians and Jews/Israelis working to create new communication norms, who knows – maybe there is something to learn here if we see ourselves as a tiny microcosm of this larger community suffering from this seemingly intractable issue. That’s the question we can focus on, at least initially – what can we do with the miniscule amount of power we actually do have. Our surroundings may be shouting a message of powerlessness at us but being powerless is a choice. Let’s see if in our limited NELSOZ circle we can opt to own our power.