I am looking for a panel-in-formation for AJS 2019 which would welcome my proposal. I could adapt the draft below to harmonize with the panel theme.
"What now for Arab-Jewish peacebuilding projects?"
For many years small projects that bring Arab and Jewish young people together have flourished, some very briefly, others for decades, some within Israel, others with a wider scope. With the recent victory of Netanyahu and the news that most Israeli youth are moving rightward in their politics, what shifts in rhetoric, practices, outreach and goals might be needed to sustain and energize such endeavors?
For background I intend to focus on the unusual trajectory of Gisela Warburg Wyzanski (1912-1991), who as a young German Jewish woman became involved in Youth Aliyah and in the 1930s led groups of young Jews out of Germany to Mandate Palestine. Years after the war, having settled in Massachusetts, she founded Fellowship in Israel for Arab-Jewish Youth, a Boston-based interfaith group that raised money in the 1970s and 80s for programs for young Jews and Arabs within Israel which were intended to build a generation commited to peaceful coexistence.
Her way of justifying a long-term Jewish commitment to such projects provides a baseline for looking at a variety of more recent voices and at the challenging environment in which leaders and participants in current peacebuilding projects seek to chart a path.