Peace, Reconciliation and Tolerance in the Middle East: The Impact of People-to-People Peace Building Initiatives among Israeli Jews and Palestinians who lost a first-degree family member due to the conflict - A pilot study

Natalie Weder, Rebeca García-Nieto, Daphna Canneti-Nisim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict has taken its toll on both sides. Prominent among peace building initiatives is the Parents Circle-Families Forum, a cross-community peace building project of bereaved families. We examine the grieving process and emotional well-being of a sample of 21 Israeli Jews and Palestinians living in the West Bank, who have lost their loved ones in the context of ongoing war and armed conflict. We also investigate whether the positive attitudes and emotions toward the opposing groups can serve as protective factors associated with prolonged grief disorder (PGD). The most prominent finding of our study is that some attitudes (e.g., a positive attitude toward peace, being hopeful about the future, the ability to forgive the opposing group) can be considered protective factors associated with PGD. People-to-people peace building initiatives, such as the Parents Circle-Families Forum, reinforce these factors. Furthermore, they provide their members with social support and a strong sense of mutual commitment and responsibility, facilitating their grieving process, and emotional well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-81
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health Policy

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