Israeli, Palestinian students reach elusive peace deal
The peace-talks simulation was the culmination of a course in peace mediation and conflict resolution that the students have taken over the past few months.
By LIDAR GRAVÉ-LAZIPublished: FEBRUARY 26, 2018 19:49 Updated: FEBRUARY 27, 2018 00:52Advertisement
Students at the Eastern Mediterranean International Boarding School (EMIS) have achieved what senior global diplomats have repeatedly failed to accomplish: a peace agreement to end the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.More than 70 Israeli and Palestinian 11th graders, together with students from 17 countries at EMIS, reached the peace agreement last week in a 24-hour simulation of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.The peace-talks simulation was the culmination of a course in peace mediation and conflict resolution that the students have taken over the past few months. It was hosted by the Leon Charney Resolution Center, which is located on the school’s campus.“This program creates a platform for the students to experience the process of peace-making, to give them the tools of understanding and negotiating. It is an opportunity to empower themselves, to make a difference in their own lives, wherever their lives take them in the future,” said Tzili Charney, wife of the late Leon Charney and the founder of the center.EMIS is an international high school program that was established in 2014 in Hakfar-Hayarok on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. The school fosters international and intercultural understanding and promotes personal and social leadership through a shared two-year pre-university education and boarding experience.The student body is comprised of 20% Israelis, 20% non-Israelis from the Middle East – including Palestinians, Egyptians, Syrians, Moroccans and Afghanis – and 60% international students from China, Russia, New Zealand, Vietnam and numerous European countries.This year there are some 140 students from more than 40 countries studying toward an international baccalaureate degree, a diploma that is accepted by nearly every university around the world.Maya Kogel, EMIS’s marketing and admissions director, told The Jerusalem Post: “The students return to their countries after the two-year program and are ready to make a change, but with a different perspective - from Israel.”The intensive curriculum includes academic studies as well as a demanding mix of community service, outdoor activities and creative pursuits.Currently, a delegation of students from the school is visiting the United Nations, hosted by the UN International School.The school boasts numerous partnerships, including one with Tel Aviv University and Israeli hi-tech and clean-tech industries that promotes social and business entrepreneurship.“The international baccalaureate is a... unique program that, among other things, places an emphasis on self-teaching,” said Kogel. “The... student has to be very curious.”She added that for example, students’ grades consist of 70% from math tests, with the other 30% from a proposal on a mathematics issue that the students must independently develop and write about.The school receives hundreds of applications every year. Tuition and boarding fees are $32,000 per year, though the school provides needs-based scholarships to ensure that any student accepted is able to attend.“We provide a chance for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to attend,” Kogel stressed. “We provide four levels of scholarships and we aim to help students financially so that every student can apply and if they are suitable academically then they should be able attend the school.”Kogel added that the school is currently seeking to expand and is calling for applications from students both in Israel and abroad who have strong academic backgrounds, strong command of English, leadership skills and community involvement.