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Middle East peace discussion June 17

June 08, 2004

Palestinian-American statistician Aref Dajani and Jewish-American writer Walter Rudy will participate in a discussion before an interfaith audience Thursday, June 17, at 7 p.m., at First Christian Church, 1345 Potomac Ave., in Hagerstown.

The theme of the discussion is Building Bridges to Peace: Two States, One Common Land in the Middle East.

Dajani and Rudy have lectured together in such diverse locations as a conservative Jewish synagogue and a New Age spiritual center, said Ed Poling, a member of the Washington County Interfaith Group.

Poling said the encounters are dialogues rather than debates and are designed to show that people with different viewpoints on difficult subjects can discuss them without confrontation.

The speakers will explore the underlying causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the links between that conflict and the war on terrorism, the role of U.S. foreign policy, and the military situation in Iraq.

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Also to be addressed will be ways that people in local communities can support a more constructive approach to promoting resolution of these conflicts at the grass-roots level, Poling said.

Dajani and Rudy are members of Encounter, a worldwide Internet-based community of Palestinians, Jews and others dedicated to communication and reconciliation between people.

The event is co-sponsored by Ezekiel's Place Retreat in West Virginia, Valley Interfaith Council in Winchester, Va., and the Upper Potomac chapter of Amnesty International in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

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