When we think of how peace will be achieved in Israel, we tend to think of negotiations, diplomacy and other political methods. However, Dr. Shahar Sadeh, who is currently a visiting scholar at NYU, brings a different perspective to the table, and focuses on how shared environmental initiatives can lead to peace, both in general, and specifically in the context of the Israeli-Arab conflict. On November 30th, Dr. Shahar Sadeh spoke about her work at an event held by CAMERA-supported group Judges for Israel at Brandeis University.

Event poster for Dr. Sadeh`s lecture
Event poster for Dr. Sadeh`s lecture

One of the ideas Dr. Sadeh has worked on is the concept of “peace parks” – protected natural areas, in which multiple governments work together to protect natural life there. These peace parks can achieve multiple goals – they can lead to greater co-operation between governments, they lead to greater of engagement between local communities on different sides of a conflict, and they also have additional side benefits such as bringing in money from added tourism. There are over one hundred peace parks in the world today, and Dr. Sadeh is looking to bring the concept to the Middle East.

Dr Sadeh is an academic scholar in the field of Environmental Peacekeeping, but has also been involved as a practitioner in the field. In 2007, she founded the Van Leer Institute`s “Jerusalem Forum on Environment and Regional Sustainability” which focused on enhancing co-operation between Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian scientists, governments and NGO`s. In the course of her talk at Judges for Israel, Dr Sadeh talked both about her academic research, as well as her practical work in the field.

The event wrapped up an exciting November at Brandeis, with many events being hosted by Judges for Israel; On November 1st, Jonathan Elkhoury, a Lebanese refugee in Israel spoke about his perspective on minority rights in Israel. On November 3rd, there was a screening of “Mekonen: Journey of an African Jew” as part of its national opening tour. All the above events were sponsored by CAMERA.

Contributed by Aron White, CAMERA intern


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