Michael Lerner, Rabbi of Beyt Tikkun synagogue in Berkeley; Editor of Tikkun, a Jewish magazine, Chair of the interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives
Rabbi Lerner will examine how the mutual demonization and discounting of each sideís legitimate needs drives the antagonism and explore the underlying psychological dynamics fueling the seeming intransigence on both sides. He argues that additional peace talks would be "virtually pointless" unless they are preceded and accompanied by a sustained campaign to change the way each side demeans and dehumanizes the other. Lerner's approach focuses on the pernicious effects of post-traumatic stress among Israelis and Palestinians. He takes inspiration from past movements to change public consciousness and argues that a fundamental transformation in consciousness is needed. How can we in the West help shape a global transformation in consciousness (and changes in foreign and domestic policies) that is needed to provide security, justice, and mutual compassion necessary for a lasting peace?