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Many on campus have strong feelings about the endless conflict in the Middle East. Due to their very different narratives, Israelis celebrate their independence and Palestinians mourn for their naqbah (catastrophe) on the very same date – this year on Thursday, April 26th. Late that afternoon, Hillel and the Student Alliance For Israel (SAFI) are sponsoring an outdoor campus-wide celebration on the Campus/Fitness Center Quad. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) will hold vigils and demonstrations on the Academic Quad from April 24-26 to make their views public.
On April 26th, Hillel is putting up a special Sulha Tent at its event for those who, while disagreeing profoundly, may still seek to engage with each other and passionately argue their positions persuasively. Sulha in Arabic means reconciliation. S’liha in Hebrew means pardon or forgiveness. For the first time in memory on campus, a venue will be available for people who disagree to actually try and be in dialog. We may not change the world, solve the conflict, or alter anyone’s view of the conflict, but at least a dedicated space will allow folks to air what is on their minds in a safe and relaxed environment. Tea and dried fruits will be served.
Faculty and students are invited to sit in the Sulha Tent and present their views within the bounds of civil discourse. Anyone can do so. If you wish to make an actual presentation to whoever comes to sit in the Tent (and not just simply schmooze or shoot the breeze), please let Jewish Chaplain Michael Faber know of your desire to do so, and he will be sure to allocate time for it. From Radical Right to Radical Left and everything in between, there will be room to present and to listen to every view under the sun, no matter how disagreeable, all within the bounds of civility in this academic environment. Please join us in this effort to finally open a “Difficult Dialog.”
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Michael Faber at firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 274-3323. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.
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