Israeli writer and former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Meron Benvenisti, is visiting Belfast this weekend for a number of speaking engagements.
Mr Benvenisti was Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem in the 1970's and is currently a regular columnist for Haaretz, Israel's largest daily newspaper. In the 1980's he established the West Bank Database project which has recorded human rights abuses by Israelis and Palestinians in the area.
Mr Benvenisti believes that Israel/Palestine has enough historical and physical space for the people of both nations and that one day it can be a shared homeland. He has published a number of major books on the Israel/Palestine issue. These include Intimate Enemies: Jews and Arabs in a Shared Land (1995), City of Stone: The Hidden History of Jerusalem (1996) and most recently Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948 (2000).
Recently Meron Benvenisti has led a research project called The Morning After, which is attempting to explore the implications for Israeli society of the possible arrival of peaceful relations between Israel, the Palestinians and Israel's Middle Eastern neighbours.
On Monday January 7th 2002, at 7.30pm Meron Benvenisti will be giving a public lecture on the objectives and results of the Morning After project. His lecture will be held in the Ulster Museum and is entitled “Beyond Conflict: Exploring the Implications for Israeli Society and Seeking Lessons for Northern Ireland”.
Mr Benvenisti's visit is part of ongoing contact between Northern Ireland and Israel/Palestine to examine ways of dealing with the effects of conflict in divided societies.
For further information contact
Will Glendinning, Chief Executive, CommunityRelations Council,
Tel 028 37 507219 (home), 07710 74754 (mobile)
Professor Fred Boal, School of Geography, Queen'sUniversity