AIM started from the observation that in Brussels, a large number of hate speeches and acts of violence among young and old are based on Islamophobic and anti-Semitic stereotypes, reinforced by several events that have taken place in recent years in Europe and more widely in the West, such as the rise of the extreme right and terrorist attacks. At the same time, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to which a solution has still not been found, remains a very sensitive issue in our societies. The illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories by the State of Israel and the development of settlements have contributed to reinforcing the confusion between the Israeli government, society and the Jewish people.
In order to fight against these stereotypes and bring nuance to the discussions around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, AIM directly addresses young people and their teachers. Indeed, the project is now in its 7th edition and brings together each year around 45 young people from Brussels schools and youth centres from different neighbourhoods and backgrounds!
The first part of the project is based on several training modules focusing on the complexity of the conflict: history/geography, deconstruction of stereotypes, in particular anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, influence and analysis of the media, and workshops on the respect of Human Rights. In addition, special attention is given to group cohesion and discovery activities among the pupils of the schools participating in the project.
2. The trip
At the end of these 6 months of preparation, the young students leave for a week in Israel/Palestine to meet NGOs, visit a series of cultural and historical sites but also and especially to meet Palestinian and Israeli young people their age. The objective is to allow them to understand the complexity of the situation on the ground, to exchange with the different communities they meet and to put into practice what they had learned during the training.
3. The Ambassadors of Nuances
Nuance is not neutrality!
Through our programme, participants develop their critical thinking skills, learn not to limit themselves to the emotional approach to the conflict and form their own opinion on the issue. Using artistic tools, our young people go to different schools, youth centres and NGOs in Brussels and Belgium to open the debate with their peers on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to share their experience.
Le conflit israélo-palestinien reste un sujet très sensible au sein de nos sociétés. L’occupation illégale des territoires palestiniens par l’Etat d'Israël et le développement de la colonisation ont contribué à renforcer les amalgames entre gouvernement israélien, société et peuple juif. D’un autre côté, la réaction parfois violente de la société palestinienne et de ses alliés arabes ont contribué à renforcer les amalgames entre la société palestinienne, l’Islam et les mouvements terroristes islamiques.
Afin de lutter contre ces stéréotypes et apporter de la nuance dans les discussions autour du conflit israélo-palestinien, AIM s’adresse directement aux jeunes et à leurs professeur‧e‧s. Le projet IPPMC jeunesse en est aujourd’hui à sa 7ème édition et réunit chaque année environ 45 lycéen‧e‧s issu‧e‧s de différentes écoles et maisons de jeunes bruxelloises.
IN A FEW FIGURES
255 students have taken part in the project since its conception.
43 teachers accompanied the students
The training and study tour took place with 21 Brussels schools.
There have been 6 editions of this project.