Middle East peace talks come to Scotland

By Stephanie Brickman, July 22, 2010

Edinburgh has been hosting a summer school promoting dialogue and understanding between young Jews and Arabs in Israel and beyond.

The Windows for Peace project began as a magazine featuring letters young people wrote to one another and articles about their situations.This has now extended to two weeks of intensive workshops in a neutral country.

It is the second summer school to be held in Edinburgh and a prime mover has been Judy Sischy, director of the Scottish Council for Independent Schools and an Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation member.

"It fired my enthusiasm because it's about young people," she said. "They showed me a very early newsletter that was short letters from the children to one another. They were such moving letters. I think the only hope is to start with the youngsters."

Organiser Rutie Atsmon said the programme was geared to help teenage participants "cope with reality and history. If the sessions are easy, then there's something wrong. We're touching painful issues and it's hard on everybody. We're all part of the conflict."

This year's group included five Israelis from Tel Aviv, six Palestinians from Tamra in the Galilee and four teenagers from the Jenin area.

Last updated: 4:15pm, July 22 2010