David Matz gave the keynote address at the Final Conference of the Building Peace Through Knowledge Project sponsored by USAID. The conference took place in East Jerusalem and brought together Palestinians and Jews in medicine, social work, education, and law. It was the last event in a four year dialog project.
Over four years, 140 professionals met to share expertise in dealing with the burdens of conflict as their students/patients/clients endured them. The conversations were technique-oriented: "What do you do when…?" But of course discussions of personal experience with the conflict wove throughout all the dialogs.
David spoke about the difficulties of sustaining dialog-produced relationships, and the painful space between the dialogs and the peace process. He proposed a strategy for eliminating that space. The address was followed by small group discussions elaborating on his ideas and focusing more generally on: Where Do We Go From Here?
The project was co-sponsored by Ben Gurion University and the Palestinian Neuropsychiatric Rehabilitation Center.