On Common Ground: Conversations About Isael/Palestine

Join us for an inclusive discussion about Palestine and Israel. We strive to create a safe space where everyone can share their ideas and perspectives. All are welcome. There will be food. There will be more food if you help bake some and share it with us.

For those interested, here is a copy of the rules that we will be following to help facilitate productive dialogue:

1.) This is a safe space. Everyone must feel comfortable expressing their point of view without feeling threatened. Bigotry and anti-Semitism will not be tolerated. At the same time, criticism of the actions of the Israeli government is not the same thing as anti-Semitism.
2.) We are talking about ideas, not the people who hold those ideas.
3.) Words are powerful, but they are easily misunderstood. Be careful when choosing them, and always ask if somebody says something that isn’t clear. This prevents people from assuming the worst. Ask clarifying questions so you understand what you are criticizing before you criticize it.
4.) Listen. That’s a big part of why we are here. This isn’t a debate. Nobody wins and nobody loses. Don’t think of there being an imaginary scoreboard that whenever you make the other side look stupid you get a point. That doesn’t help anybody. We are here to exchange ideas and perspectives that are different from our own, not to invalidate other people’s beliefs.
5.) Just because you are speaking loudly doesn’t make your point any more important than anyone else’s point. Lets be respectful and give everyone a chance to talk, even the soft spoken. Be aware of how long you are speaking for. Give others an opportunity to speak, too.
6.) We all know lots of things. Don’t hold it against anyone if you happen to know something they don’t. They certainly know something you don’t. Don’t talk down to people or try and make them feel stupid. Displays of arrogance and condescension undermine our objective of mutual understanding and will not be tolerated.
7.) Upholding the truth is essential for effective discourse. However, the truthfulness of a particular fact that happened in the past and thousands of miles away is difficult to determine in the confines of a discussion room. Do speak up if something that you think is untrue has been said, and let us discuss it. But if all parties involved are equally sure of the opposite facts, it is fruitless to go back and forth about them. When we observe this happening, let us bracket the discussion and move on. Go to the library and look it up, then share what you have found at our next discussion.
8.) We speak as individuals, not the student groups we might or might not belong to.
9.) Be the peace you are working for. We are all here because we want peace, but this subject often brings out so much anger in people. We cannot work for peace carrying hatred within us. Be mindful when you feel anger arising. Try to be understanding.

Date: Wednesday, November 15
Time: 10:30pm – 11:30pm
Venue: 200 Church Lounge

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