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Research suggests that conflicts are much more likely to re-ignite in societies which have large Diaspora communities in the United States. This study examines the role of American Jewish, Arab, and other Middle Eastern Diaspora communities in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and addresses the generally neglected role of trauma and emotions in perpetuating conflict.

The project employed group relations conference methodology to conduct the inquiry. A group relations lens allows one to look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at multiple levels: on the psychological level (looking at issues of trauma, identity, collective narrative, emotions and unconscious processes); on the social level (looking at inter-group relations); and on the political level (examining the role of leadership, authority and power dynamics). A pilot conference, Authority, Leadership, and Peacemaking: The Role of the Diasporas was convened April 16-18, 2010. Surveys and interviews were administered before and after the conference in order to examine the impact of the conference on participants. The conference evaluation addressed the following questions: what did participants in the conference learn about the conflict? How did conference participants perceive their individual roles and the collective roles of their respective Diasporas in perpetuating the conflict there? What part might these conferences play in helping participants, as members of their respective Diaspora communities to contribute to the peace process? What processes/variables are at work during the conferences and afterwards that contribute to participant learning and action?

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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