conversation peace.

Subject: Hi
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005

Hi Liz,

It was nice meeting you last night at XXXXX. I enjoyed hearing about your interest in the “conflict management and negotiation” program at BIU. I thought that it would be nice to share some ideas on the subject. It’s interesting that the program title contains the word “management” as opposed to “resolution,” which one would think would be the ultimate goal during the course of negotiations between two opponents. I suppose that for our particular conflict in the ME, the ultimate goal of resolution and the achievement of a final settlement involving a true peace is too unrealistic, given the persistent rejection and refusal to acknowledge our right to exist amongst most Arab/Islamic countries. In this context, the need to consider coordinated military, political, and diplomatic responses reflects the sort of managerial approach necessary to deal with conflicts and crises wherein “damage control” is often essential. I’m curious as to your motivations for choosing this area. Do you plan to pursue other higher academic degrees in conjunction with this program?

Best Regards and Shabbat Shalom,
XXX

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Subject: Re: Hi
Date: Mon, 26 Sept 2005

Hi XXX,

How was your weekend? Now that I’m working again, I’m remembering why weekends are so important… It’s a good feeling.

You make a good point about the program being titled “management” as opposed to “resolution”. I’ve thought about it too. Well, deep down I’m on optimist but I acknowledge that in this business of conflicts, management is a good start… maybe it’s hasty to think we will come to a resolution right away? I didn’t sign up for a 2-year course in “conflict resolution” – I should hope it takes longer. We should ask Nelson Mandela. Certainly Yitzhak Rabin wasn’t murdered when the answer to such a grand conflict is a 2-year Masters!

Aside from that, the course isn’t just about political/international scale conflicts, it’s a chance at interpersonal, corporate, out of court conflict management. I don’t know yet where I’ll end up, I only know right now that this could be a start.

That said, yes, I do see myself pursuing more and more education afterwards; I don’t know if that necessarily translates into more degrees. My patience for degrees isn’t the highest. But I am certainly open to more education by whatever means. For now though, I am beginning that journey with a 2-year course in conflict management.

I hope all is well in XXX.

Liz