From little Acorns

The Baltimore Sun has a story about how education offers a small ray of hope for the middle-east:

University of Maryland researchers Edy Kaufman and Manuel Hassassian know something about negotiations. One Israeli, the other Palestinian, they sat down and figured out how to teach a class on the Middle East together.

“This arrangement has been difficult at times, but we have learned to make it work,” says Hassassian, the Palestinian ambassador to the U.K. and former rector of Bethlehem University in the West Bank. “We see the project as an experiment in conflict resolution, moving from adversarial discourses about the past.”

Kaufman, a longtime professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, concurs. “We agree about many things, disagree about others. But we begin with a deep, mutual respect and we bring that to the classroom,” he says.

If only debates on the middle-east were conducted the same way here then I (and I suspect many others who read Harry’s Place with a growing sense of futility at watching polarised westerners lobbing insults at each other as a substitute for bombs) might be bothered to join in.