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IACM 2023

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The Zion Square Intercultural Dialogue Model: De-Escalating Identity-Based Crises Through Dialogue

The Zion Square Intercultural Dialogue Model Workshop presents a unique and applicable model for conflict management – one that can be applied in times of identity-based intercultural crisis. This pioneering model was formed during the riots of summer 2014 in Jerusalem. While undersurface intercultural tension always plays a role in the life in Jerusalem, the riots emphasized the fragile social reality that the citizens of Jerusalem experience on a daily basis. Thus, during the 2014 riots, and in additional riots that have occurred in Zion Square since then, members from surrounding communities, as well as professionals from the Jerusalem Intercultural Center, decided to initiate dialogues with extremists who were involved in the riots. In this workshop, we present the underlying basis of this dialogue model, while illustrating how to use dialogue even during extreme situations, when conflicts escalate into violence. The principles of the Zion Square Intercultural Dialogue Model teach us how to create understanding, even when we do not agree with the extreme actions or statements that have been exhibited in the heat of the escalating conflict. By practicing the main stages of the model, learners are exposed to a different method of dialogue – one that offers an alternative reality within the fragile and complex holy city of Jerusalem, and in additional intercultural societies around the globe.

Rachelly Ashwall-Yakar
Bar-Ilan University


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