How can two peoples, engaged in a decades-long bloody conflict, break the cycle of violence, reconcile their divergent interests, and construct a reality devoid of the deep seated hatred permeating their respective communities? A novel initiative called 'The Minds of Peace Experiment' (MOPE) attempts to tackle this vexed question by bringing together regular Israelis and Palestinians to simulate the process of peace negotiations. Sitting before an audience and assisted by moderators, two mock delegations discuss the conflict and the steps they consider necessary if it is to come to a close. This article discusses the general nature of the MOPE, its stated goals, and procedure. It focuses on several significant themes that emerged from one particular instalment of the experiment. The aim is to evaluate the utility of the MOPE along two dimensions. First, in terms of its capacity to affect the dynamics of the conflict. Second, in terms of its adequacy as a model of a genuine major Palestinian-Israeli public assembly. It is argued that the MOPE is an important addition to various strategies for conflict resolution, though its effectiveness is hampered by several factors that demand attention.
- Conflict resolution
- Minds of peace experiment;public assembly
- Peace process