Preparing for Peace
The website of the Westmorland General Meeting 'Preparing for Peace' initiative
The Education Programme
WAYS TO PREVENT WAR- Christian Peacemaker Teams- Activity 3 Notes
This activity will explore ways to avoid war by using peaceful means to resolve conflict. It is based on the work of Christian Peacemaker Teams in Palestine/Israel.
Hebron is the oldest inhabited city in the world. It is important in Jewish history because Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are buried there. It has, however, been an Arab Muslim city for 1700 years. Muslims also revere the burial place of Abraham.
In 1967 the Israelis captured and occupied the West Bank of the Jordan River, where Hebron is situated, during the Six Day War. In 1994 an Israeli settler opened fire on Muslim worshippers inside the Il-Ibrahim Mosque killing 39 people and wounding 125. There has been continued bitterness and resentment between the Israelis and Palestinians in Hebron.
Christian Peacemaker Teams ran a project in Hebron between 1995 and 1999.
The activity can be carried out in groups of 4 to 8. Each group is asked to plan a TV interview with either Jean Mellor or James Moxley who both come from your home town or city. They are members of a Christian Peacemaker Team based in the city of Hebron in Palestine.
Each member of the group is handed the information card below. They are asked to read the card and then plan an interview between a TV reporter and either Jean Mellor or James Moxley who are both members of a Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron. Any prompts required could include questions about what might interest a TV audience, particularly a local one: why the young people are there, do they really think they can make a difference, isnít it very risky, why should they get involved in someone elseís quarrel, do they think one side is more at fault than the other, how important is their religious faith in their work, how did they hear of Christian Peacemaker Teams in the first place?
Groups are asked how they have got on and asked to report any difficulties. They are then asked to choose someone to be J M and someone to be the reporter. The role of the other members is to act as the TV audience. They carry out the interview on camera.
In the full group the TV audience in each group is asked to give their views on the news item. Then the reporters are asked what they think the strengths and weaknesses of the interview were as a news item. Finally the JMís are asked for their feedback: to what extent did they start to feel like a Member of the Team?
NB It is important to ensure that the JM characters are no longer immersed in the role before they leave. This can be done by asking each of them to say who they are in reality and emphasising that JM was a role for them. Teachers will recognise if a student is responding deeply and may need to spend a bit more time with that individual understanding their reaction.
An opportunity for general discussion about the issues which the activity has raised. Do they think the Team is doing useful work? Can you do that kind of work without taking sides? Could it prevent war? Could it be done in other places? Would it have helped during the troubles in Northern Ireland? Do they know anyone who could do that kind of work?
Students could be asked to find out what happened at the Mosque and more about Christian Peacemakers Teams worldwide by using the internet or they could simply be told that the action was successful in preventing violence.
The following are useful web-sites for the Christian Peacemaker Teams Hebron Project:http://www.livejournal.com/users/cpt_hebron