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Will the Parties Conciliate or Refuse? The Triangle of Jews, Germans, and Palestinians.

Bar-On, Dan
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov, ed., From conflict resolution to reconciliation. New York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 239-253.

The idea of conciliation is related to normative religious discourse, such as in the prophecy that “the lion shall lie down with the lamb.” In social scientific study, however, the concept is complex in practice and in theory. Bar-On uses the post-Holocaust relationship between Jews and German Christians to illustrate religious and cultural differences that have worked against widespread conciliation. By comparison, Palestinians resist the Israeli desire to conciliate in the same way that Jews have resisted conciliation with Germans. Asymmetric power and issues of social justice in history come into play in these relations, as well as the view of self as the victim. The author provides a case study of the TRT group process, which focused on To Reflect and Trust in inclusive dialogues of Holocaust survivor and Nazi descendants, rather than explicitly discussing reconciliation or forgiveness. The TRT process has been applied in other conflicts, and also raises questions showing the difficulty of translating micro-level approach to the macro-political level.


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