Advice for teachers and schools on dealing with the current conflict in Gaza/Israel- Revised July 2014

We have published some updated guidance on dealing with the current conflict in Gaza and Israel. The guidance is also available as a pdf download here - Advice for teachers and schools on dealing with the current conflict in Gaza

We welcome any feedback or resources to improve this guidance.

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Advice for teachers and schools on dealing with the current conflict in Gaza/Israel

(revised July 2014)

Although we are focusing on the needs of Jewish teachers and students all advice applies equally to other groups of people or individuals that may have strong associations with the conflict regardless of religion or ethnicity.

What to do, what not to do:

  • Depending on context, listen, acknowledge the views being expressed, you do not have to offer your own views. It is fine to say ‘I don’t feel comfortable discussing this’.
  • This conflict is very emotive, particularly in light of the religious associations of the geographical area, and the often graphic media coverage. Be sensitive to the variety of emotional needs staff and students may be bringing to school.
  • Jewish teachers and students might have a range of opinions about the conflict, which they might feel apprehensive discussing.
  • Jewish teachers and students are often a tiny minority in the staff or student body and thus can feel pressure as a representative of an entire people. This can be more intense when in an environment of people with contrary views.
  • If you do choose to discuss this issue, ensure that you show news and information from a range of perspectives.
  • Be wary of labelling or judging people as a homogenous group; for example, All Israelis…, all Palestinians… All Jews… All Muslims… There are of course a diverse range of opinions within religious and ethnic groups. People should not be labeled by those that appear to represent that group on the news.
  • Be aware that the conflict has a long history and is more complex than can be conveyed in a conversation, news bulletin or lesson.
  • Displaying materials: Schools and Teaching Unions should be aware that political posters often use inflammatory language which may cause offence.
  • They should be displayed with caution and consideration to all who might view them.

Who to contact:

For general advice

Union advice lines

Interfaith and reconciliation organisations

  • Three Faiths Forum (3FF):

3FF offer a range of programmes including encountering faith and belief
Contact: Aisling Cohn 020 7485 1390 aisling@3ff.org.uk
Schools website: http://www.3ff.org.uk/schools/
Twitter: @3FFSchools
Resources: http://www.3ff.org.uk/resources/

  • OneVoice Movement:

OneVoice runs educational sessions and discussion events in schools
Contact: Sharon Alsoodani 07835 141 010 sharon@onevoicemovement.org.uk
Outreach and Education Program website: http://www.onevoicemovement.org/programs/view/outreach-and-education-program
Twitter: @OneVoice

  • St Ethelburga’s Centre for peace and reconciliation:

St Ethelburga’s offers training in conflict resilience and community reconciliation
Contact: Justine Huxley 07989 545 958 justine@stethelburgas.org
Website: https://www.stethelburgas.org
Twitter: @StEthelburgas
Resources: https://www.stethelburgas.org/resources

  • Yachad:

Yachad is a UK based pro-peace, pro-Israel organisation
Contact: Rebecca Daniels Rebecca@yachad.org.uk
Twitter: @YachadUK
Educational resources: http://yachad.org.uk/educational-resources/
#hungryforpeace was a cross communal fast against violence in the Middle East that took place on Tuesday 15 July, which was both the Muslim month of fasting Ramadan and the Jewish fast 17th Tammuz. To find out more about Yachad’s involvement in the #hungryforpeace fast, click here
News articles written about #hungryforpeace:
Telegraph
Washington Post

 
Some suggested links for more information on the current situation

Embassy of Israel – Click here for their recent update
Twitter: @IsraelinUK 

Ha’aretz - http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.604898
Twitter: @haaretzcom

Times of Israel – http://www.timesofisrael.com/
Twitter: @TimesofIsrael

+972 Magazine- http://972mag.com
Twitter: @972mag

B’Tselem- http://www.btselem.org
Twitter: @btselem

 
Reporting incidents

  • For any incidents of racism or race hate related to the conflict contact your local police or school police liaison officer
  • Community Security Trust (CST)www.thecst.org.uk 020 8457 9999 (London) or 0161 792 6666 (Northern Regions)

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