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APN and ATFP foster dialogue on Israeli-Palestinian relations featuring interns and college students

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Americans for Peace Now and the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) have recently offered two events fostering open dialogue and constructive conversation about Israeli-Palestinian relations featuring our respective interns.

On July 18th a unique gathering of college students and recent graduates discussed how to constructively talk about Israeli-Palestinian relations on campus. American, Israeli, Palestinian and international students sat in a circle at the Washington Center for Interns and Academic Seminars in Washington, DC for a conversation moderated by APN's campus outreach coordinator Aaron Mann and ATFP's Tala Haikal, both recent university graduates.

group-image.JPG ATFP's Executive Director Ghaith Al-Omari and APN's Spokesperson Ori Nir opened the discussion by offering a platform for a civilized and constructive discussion on Israel-Palestine, which is based on mutual respect, empathy and a shared goal: Two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.

speaking_ghaith.JPG As we have done in past years, APN is hosting a Palestinian intern and ATFP is hosting an Israeli intern. Aseel Saied and Natan Odenheimer are this year's participants in the joint internship program that Americans for Peace now and the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) are running for the fourth consecutive year.

Aseel and Natan last week introduced APN and ATFP to fellow Israeli and Palestinian interns and spoke about the importance of the cooperation between the two groups - a pro-Israeli organization and a pro-Palestinian organization that share s strong support for a two-state solution - as a manifestation of the common ground that exists between Israelis and Palestinians and their friends in the US.

Aseel, who lives in the West Bank town of Ramallah, is a rising senior at Bridgewater College in Virginia, pursuing a degree in nutrition and wellness. She is working on a young women's empowerment project that will focus on training female Palestinian sports coaches with the assistance of Israeli sports professionals. Aseel's sister is a member of the Palestinian national women's soccer team.

Natan is a native of Jerusalem, is a rising junior at Brandeis, pursuing a degree in Middle Eastern studies. He served in the IDF as a combat soldier. He is a freelance writer who has published articles in Hebrew and English in publications such as the Forward, Haaretz and the Times of Israel. Natan is working on a project that would bring together Israelis and Palestinians in a virtual environment, online.

To read about past participants in the APN-ATFP joint internship program click here: And here: