On Wednesday January 18th, five 11th grade students of Diplomacy and International Communications in English from Darca Begin High School, together with other Israeli students, tackled the issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with poise and grace at QASMUN.
QASMUN is the latest Debate for Peace (DfP) Model UN Conference, and was the first conference to be hosted by the prestigious Al-Qasemi High School and the first of its kind to be held in Baqa al-Gharabiya.
Over 150 Arab and Jewish 8th-12th grade students from more than a dozen schools and cities around Israel participated in the conference. There were six committees, discussing Education; Holy Sites and Religious Freedom; Incitement vs. Freedom of Speech; and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Two historical committees went back to 1947 and 1973, to look at an alternative Partition Plan and deal with the 1973 Yom Kippur War respectively.
The students made opening speeches, debated and negotiated on their way to passing resolutions on their different topics (aside from the Security Council negotiations committee, which ran into a veto from the US delegate). The conference afforded an opportunity for young Arab and Jewish leaders to debate some of the most critical issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to build bridges and make new friends in the process.
Darca Begin High School students: Amit Lipperman; Omer Sharir, Amit Ner Gaon had been chosen for Jerusalem Peacebuilders (JPB) programs in the US this summer on the basis of their participation.
Omer Sharir, a student from Darca Begin High School, who represented Palestine in the negotiations committee, said that “it was very challenging to represent the Palestinian Authority in the Security Council…because the PA represents the opposite of what I believe in, but the more I got into it, the more I learned and the more I researched about the topic, the more I enjoyed the actual day.”
QASMUN was part of the Debate for Peace (DfP) MUN program run in coordination with the IEA and JPB.