International Relations

Middle East Conflict Resolution

Client

Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

Results

Trained 22 Israeli and Palestinian facilitators, Joint Israeli-Palestinian maternity care project in the West Bank, Mediation training tool used by Israelis, Palestinians, and students around the world

Projects

Co-Facilitator Training for Partners in Conflict 

  • Middle East Conflict Resolution Project (MECORP) 
  • Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

To build a professional team of Israeli and Palestinian cross-cultural conflict resolution experts, MECORP trained 11 Israeli and 11 Palestinian participants to co-facilitate joint Palestinian-Israeli meetings, as well as discussions within their respective communities. Podziba Policy Mediation provided training on facilitating value-based conflicts.  The project goal was to increase local facilitator capacity to reduce dependence on foreign facilitators.  

Participants went on to co-facilitate dialogues within their own communities and between Israeli and Palestinian communities.

Middle East Fellows Dialogue

  • Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East
  • John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

The Middle East Fellows of the Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East (Fellows) were Israeli and Arab health care professionals. Their fellowship program required participation in dialogue sessions to discuss regional conflicts with mutual respect and understanding.  The goal was to build relationships to support joint health care projects in the West Bank and Gaza.

Susan Podziba was retained to restart their talks and facilitate discussions after initial meetings led to strained relations and some fellows’ refusal to participate in future sessions. After meeting individually with each fellow as part of an assessment, Ms. Podziba designed meetings to allow legitimate concerns to be safely expressed and heard. Most fellows participated. 

Relations improved among the fellows as they respectfully discussed difficult and painful issues. Upon return to the region, some of the Israeli and Palestinian fellows created a joint maternity care program in the West Bank.

Water on the West Bank Negotiation Simulation

Published by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

“Water on the West Bank” simulates mediated negotiations among the Mayor of Bethlehem, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bethlehem Water Authority, Palestinian Landowners and Farmers Committee, Coordinator of Activities in the Territories of the Israeli Civil Administration, Deputy Commissioner for the Gush Etzion Region of the Israeli Water Commission, and the Project Manager of Mekorot, the Israeli national water company. The key issues include control of a deep water well and allocation of water resources for residents of the surrounding areas. 

The simulation is based on research Susan Podziba conducted on the availability and distribution of water resources in the West Bank for the West Bank Database Project. At the time, a Christian-American company proposed to dig a deep water well that would have increased the water available to all in the region, but would have likely caused an existing well controlled by the City of Bethlehem to run dry. Opposition to the new well became so fierce that the proposal for the deep water well was rescinded before any significant discussions took place.

The Water on the West Bank simulation is available from the Program On Negotiation at Harvard Law School (in English and German). It has been used to train officials from Israel’s Ministry of Justice, participants in numerous conflict resolution workshops and mediation trainings, Palestinian and Israeli environmental mediators, and students of negotiation around the world. 

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