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26/31- [Palestina] International Political Field Seminar

9th  International Political Field Seminar
Bridges Instead of Walls!
26th to the 31st of July 2011

Organized by the Alternative Information Center



In an increasingly globalized world, it is often the case that quantity of information is privileged over quality. We often deal with cultures without knowing their histories or the things that we have in common with them. We generalize about "East" and "West" forgetting that we have several traditions, experiences, and values to share. Talking about a cultural conflict, or a "clash of civilizations", is an overly simplistic way of characterizing differences, leaving historical facts, experiences, and common desires for interaction far from consideration.  Mutual understanding is the basis on which relationships have to be built, because all "sides" share values such as respect, tolerance and peace. Stereotypes should therefore not prevent people from approaching the "other" world, nor limit a constructive dialogue about values, ideals and our common future on this planet.

The idea to organize these international field seminars under the slogan “Building Bridges Instead of Walls” came from these firm beliefs. The seminar program proved its political, social, and practical importance through the action of the participants, who collectively described it as a very rich experience.

We at the Alternative Information Center will make the necessary efforts to continue developing the seminar experience. In this context the ideas, suggestions and encouragement of the participants and their commitment play an essential role. Let us unite our social, cultural, humanitarian, and political efforts as peoples from many nations in order to end the walls of occupation, aggression, discrimination and racism. Let us build the bridge of justice, peace, equality, human justice and respect.



The Alternative Information Center (AIC) is an internationally oriented, progressive, joint Palestinian-Israeli activist organization. It is engaged in dissemination of information, political advocacy, grassroots activism and critical analysis of the Palestinian and Israeli conflict. The AIC strives to promote full individual and collective social, economic, political and gender equality. Freedom and democracy, as well as rejection of the philosophy and practice of separation, are aims that the AIC pursues.




The goal of this field seminar is to provide participants with elements crucial to deeply understanding  the context and society of Palestine and Israel, thus enabling them to better advocate on behalf of a just peace in the region.   

Directly experiencing the effects of the conflict, as well as the living and political conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, will provide a unique, on the ground experience, as opposed to an understanding based on media, propaganda or rumors. This is a necessary step in the process of understanding the factors that have led to the present situation.  Comprehensive knowledge is the necessary starting point for building bridges.

The Palestinian voice is often ignored or accused  of extremism. As a joint Palestinian-Israeli organisation founded in 1984,  the AIC aims to create spaces in which the Palestinian people  themselves explain their struggle and give direct witness to their life under occupation.

During the seminar we will also conduct interactive meetings and workshops with Israeli experts and associations that share the same values of the AIC and are deeply engaged in promoting a just peace and social justice for both Palestinians and Israelis.

The networking of individuals, associations, political parties, information and media workers is fundamental in building a pressure group able to encourage governments and economic groups to act responsibly, without ignoring the consequences of their actions or non-actions.



The tools that will be used to achieve the aims described above include:

-         Tours throughout the West Bank, Jerusalem and Jaffa to view first-hand the living conditions of Palestinians under occupation

-         Meetings with progressive Israeli social and political groups

-         Lectures by Palestinian and Israeli experts about topics including economics, human rights, politics, social issues, international law, history and gender

-         Meetings with politicians, social institutions and grassroots associations

-         Cultural events (concerts, meeting with Palestinian families, etc)

-         Open discussions

-         Reflection moments

-         Participation in nonviolent Palestinian-led demonstrations



The  main guidelines adopted throughout the 7 day field seminar follow a logical path: providing elements for deeper, reflective understandings, having direct experiences, developing a critical approach and giving suggestions for effective advocacy.

The first step consists in presenting the general framework of Palestine and Israel with historical and political elements.

We will present the AIC vision, policies and activities in the field, and also a more comprehensive global perspective related to the attitude of western and Arab countries toward the conflict.


·        The first on the ground experience will be a visit to the Apartheid Wall and refugee camps in the Bethlehem area.

·        The group will attend a demonstration in support of nonviolent resistance.

·        During a visit to Hebron, where human rights violations occur on a daily basis, participants will meet an association for the monitoring of settlements in Hebron

·         During our weekly event at the AICafé, participants will meet movements for the Nonviolent Resistance.

·        A visit to Jerusalem is scheduled to see the reality of the Israeli settlements, both in and surrounding the Old City.

·        A tour of Jaffa will highlight the ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian population there, and will include meetings with Palestinian and Israeli social activists. 

·        In Ramallah we will explore the topic of detention and political prisoners with an association of specialized lawyers and activists, and have a meeting with members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and Palestinian politicians.

·        Together we will explore the economic dimensions of the Israeli occupation, in addition to women and gender issues within both Palestinian and Israeli societies.

·        A lecture about Israeli society will offer elements for understanding critical dynamics; the participants, moreover, will meet Israeli women and men who refuse to serve in the Israeli military.


The draft program is attached. Some changes are possible, although the aforementioned structure and topics will be maintained.


You can find more info, pictures of the previous editions and past participant experiences at: 



Registration deadline: 15th July 2011

Minimum participants for the seminar to take place: 10


For more information please contact:

Alternative Information Center

Bethlehem +972 2 277 5444

Or send an email to Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.

The cost is EUR  350 (1750 NIS) - EURO 100 deposit and EURO 250 upon arrival

It includes all meals, accomodation, transportation, workshops, visits and lectures. This cost does not include transportation to the region or health insurance for the period of the field seminar.


The AIC cannot accept any responsibility for any injury or damage that you may cause to yourself, others, or property during the field seminar.

All lectures will be in English.


Cari amici, compagni, studenti e docenti,

Vorremmo portarvi a conoscenza e invitarvi a partecipare alla nona edizione del seminario formativo internazionale organizzato dal centro israelo-palestinese Alternative Information Center(
www.alternativenews.org) in Palestina.

L´Alternative Information Center é un’organizzazione non governativa israelo-palestinese con sede a Beit Sahour (Betlemme/Cisgiordania) e a Gerusalemme, che attraverso la sua attività giornalistica, di ricerca accademica e di coordinazione politica lotta per la fine dell`occupazione israeliana e promuove l’uguaglianza dei sessi, l'uguaglianza legale, sociale ed economica, cosi come i valori di libertà, democrazia e il rifiuto della politica di segregazione.

Dal 26 al 31 luglio si terrà il nono seminario internazionale di formazione in Palestina “Ponti invece di muri” nato dalla convizione che una presa di coscienza a livello della societá civile internazionale sia necessaria a porre fine a questo conflitto coloniale. In coordinazione con numerosi altri gruppi della società civile palestinese ed israeliana, il seminario accompagnerà i partecipanti attraverso un intenso percorso di incontri, dibattiti e visite guidate al fine di approfondire la conoscenza dell`attuale situazione palestinese ed i suoi risvolti economici, politici e sociali. Alla base dell’impegno politico l'AIC pone un’analisi critica della società palestinese ed israeliana e una visione del conflitto nella sua dimensione globale.
I seminari saranno tenuti in inglese.

Le iscrizioni chiudono il 15 luglio – un minimo di 10 partecipanti è necessario perché il seminario possa aver luogo.

Programma provvisorio e formulario d’iscrizione sono scaricabili dal sito:

Per coprire le proprie spese organizzative, l’AIC addebita un contributo di 350€ (1750 NIS) - di cui 100€ da versare in acconto - per il programma completo - comprese tutte le attività, il vitto, l’alloggio e il trasporto sul luogo.

Per qualsiasi informazione non esitate a contattarci :    www.alternativenews.org

oppure: Ufficio di Beit Sahour: 00972 2 2775444           
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