Pre-session topic assignment and conversation: Prior to the beginning of the course each participant will be asked to write and post a short description of themselves, and then to articulate online what they hope to take away from the discussions.

Session One Topic: Setting the stage. In this opening online event the tone for the entire experience will be established; in essence, exploring a conflict that is difficult, if not impossible to comprehend. Both Israelis and Palestinians are entrenched politically, historically, and culturally in their positions. Yet, at the same time their positions are untenable. They have no agreed upon symbolic order, and the two parties ostensibly live in parallel universes. The bottom line and depending on one’s perspective: both sides can be considered correct, both sides can be considered horribly wrong.

Research Assignment One: Ascertain institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) working internationally to identify and document human rights issues and compile a resource list. From these organizations create an annotated list of key areas of the world where human rights are being violated. From the list write and post online, on our dedicated website, a short essay of the human rights you personally relate to the most, and how you would react, or not react, if those rights were curtailed.