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Sophomores Attempt Compromise in Israel-Palestine Conflict in MUN Conferences

By Violet Basley, Devin Osman, and Jax Novak

The 10th graders executed their Model United Nations conferences this week, attempting to negotiate solutions to the ongoing conflict in Israel/Palestine. The three sophomore pods held separate mock conferences on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in Peter’s classroom, which they flipped into a simulated version of the UN Assembly Hall. All three pods had different outcomes in their conferences, but all three found possible compromises.

Sarah Brockett’s 10th-grade class had their Model UN conference on Tuesday, March 12th. There were four resolutions passed: France proposed a two-state solution; Japan proposed humanitarian aid and Palestinian refugee camps to receive food and water; the US proposed Israel and Palestine as UN peacekeeping missions; the UK proposed the protection of civilians and the authorization of immediate humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza. 

During their conference, countries came together with allies and created amendments for these four resolutions. There were two amendments passed. The first was to procure funding from surrounding countries and more from UNRWA, making new camps with food and water and expanding already existing refugee camps. The second is a two-state solution, where Palestine would become its own sovereign nation and the two countries would live peacefully side by side.

Sarah reflected, “I hope that students understand that international relations are deeply complex, and that it’s worthy to try and solve these major global issues in a diplomatic way.”

Peter Bradley’s AM class’ conference on Thursday saw four resolutions proposed. The resolution that ultimately passed was proposed India (Penny Mark) for a modified two-state solution with a partition plan and setting up democratic elections in Palestine. Many amendments were made, and it concluded with an amendment for a temporary ceasefire in which Israel’s troops would be replaced by UN peacekeeping forces who would arrest, disarm, and prosecute Hamas.

Max Magee, who represented Israel, reflected on the result: “Based on the perspective of Israel, it was a win for Israel. But if we take ourselves out of the perspective of  Israel it was a terrible resolution for the citizens of Palestine. It really showed the abuse of power of the United Nations Security Council.” 

Penny shared her learning: “My biggest takeaway was about the conflict itself and what people are experiencing. I also learned a lot about how the system works in resolving these types of issues.” 

Peter’s PM pod proposed four different resolutions. Israel’s resolution to take care of Palestinian refugees was ultimately passed with an amendment that included a three year ceasefire. Israel also agreed to accept sanctions on their trade in exchange for Hamas being taken out of power.

A highlight of the conference happened when a member of our Inclusion Department, Academic Coach Charlie Newton, stepped in for an absent student to serve as the delegate for the United States. In keeping with the U.S. would actually do and say, Charlie’s accurate representation of the U.S. angered the majority of the rest of the delegates. South Africa (Thalia Campbell) along with the United Kingdom (Devin Osman) expressed their distaste towards Israel and the U.S. The United States (Charlie) retaliated with mediocre insults towards the United Kingdom’s claims and government functions, along with South Africa’s biased government policies. Other nations got involved in the protestations against the U.S., which resulted in a contentious conference where resolutions were difficult to pass. 

Peter reflected on the outcome of this project: ”I am so proud of my students. Never in my life have I heard so many students call learning about history fun. In a pretty regionally-focused community, we brought the world to them and made them more globally aware.”


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