The Peres Center for Peace Partners with ImpactGames to Distribute 100,000 Free PeaceMaker Video Games in the Mideast
Pittsburgh and Tel Aviv, November 21, 2007 — With the Mideast Peace Summit in Annapolis, Maryland just days away, 100,000 Israelis and Palestinians living in the actual conflict zone are about to try their hands at solving the peace puzzle—one game at a time. In an unprecedented giveaway, the Peres Center for Peace is distributing 100,000 free copies of the interactive game PeaceMaker to people in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
PeaceMaker is an award-winning interactive game that allows players to get inside the unpredictable politics of peace, discovering firsthand the huge challenges of leading a country, a people, and an international process. PeaceMaker players must choose to play either as the Israeli Prime Minister or Palestinian President. In the course of a typical game, players encounter real-life incidents affecting the Mideast, from protests and political pressures to violent acts, and the player must decide what to do next in order to achieve a virtual peace.
Approximately 75,000 copies will be sent to subscribers of the Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz on November 27, with 10,000 copies of the game distributed through the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds. An additional 15,000 copies of PeaceMaker will be distributed to Palestinian and Israeli high school classrooms and taught by specially trained teachers in the coming months.
“Since we first got the idea for PeaceMaker, it has been our hope to put this game in the hands of people who live with the real conflict every day, so they can play as the other side. With this game, the people can succeed where politicians and leaders have failed until now–bringing peace to the Middle-East,” says Asi Burak, co-founder of ImpactGames. “We are so grateful to the Peres Center; their high reputation, educational expertise and outreach to community groups in Israel and Palestine made this project possible.”
“It’s significant that the PeaceMaker giveaway in the Mideast is happening around the peace summit, but also at a time of year when millions of Westerners begin their holiday shopping by purchasing games where war, violence and conflict are central points of the game. To win at PeaceMaker, you have to cooperate with the other side and reach an understanding; you must challenge any prior knowledge or assumptions you have about the Mideast conflict,” says Eric Brown, CEO of ImpactGames.
Leading a new breed of games that are based on current events, PeaceMaker was created by a former Israeli Army Intelligence Corps captain, Asi Burak, and American Eric Brown, who met at Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious Entertainment Technology program. They created PeaceMaker with a panel of Palestinian and Israeli consultants and launched the game earlier this year. PeaceMaker is the first in a line of news-oriented games the Pittsburgh-based company is developing and is available in English, Hebrew and Arabic.
I would say that you’re poor delusional souls,but your delusions have cost us thousands of dead and wounded, and G-d knows how many more until we undo the damage you people have done.
Albert Einstrein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Do you not see whathappened when we gave OUR Gaza to the Philistines?
It was like dumping a bucket of blood in a shark tank; as we knew it would be. Nearly 10,000 Jews were ethnically cleansed, vibrant,thriving communities were destroyed, lives were destroyed, families were destroyed, and what we got in return was qassams on Sderot and Netiv Ha’asarah, Gilad Shalit and war in the south, war with Lebanon in the north.
It’s time to stop with your foolishness. Reality-check:
The Philistines would have had a state in 1937 with the Peel Plan, but they violently rejected it.
They would have had a state in 1948 with UN 181, but they violently rejected it (and actually claimed that the UN had no such mandate!).
They could have had a state in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza from 1948-1967 without any Jews- because the Arabs had ethnically cleansed every last one; but they violently rejected it. In fact, that’s exactly when they established Fatah (1959) and thre PLO (1964).
They could have had a state after 1967, but instead, the entire Arab world issued the Khartoum Resolutions:
A. No peace with Israel
B. No recognition of Israel
C. No negotiations with Israel
They would have had a state in 2000 with the Oslo Accords, but they violently rejected it- as always.
No more. They won’t have a state here, and if they don’t stop their violence, they won’t even exist here anymore. They will have to go to their own land; Jordan.
And you can take that to the bank- the EAST Bank.
i here from radio i can play a free game how can get it
Saw the news in Haaretz. What a perfect timing for this to happen.
I thought the game would be easy — just appease the Other Side, play hippie-dovey and win. I only started playing, lost my first game, and am in the middle of the 2nd. It turns out to be more challenging and interesting than I expected. I’m looking forward to winning it, then will try playing as the Other Side. Thank you for making this experience avialble!
My guess is that Mr. Kohen hasn’t been playing the game.
Thanks for stopping by my blog, Asi. I didn’t hear about the game from Al Quds; I didn’t know you had a partnership with them. I think I heard about it in the Haaretz article referenced above.
I’ve managed to win at all three levels as the Israeli PM, but only in calm mode as the PA President. The reliance of the PA on international aid makes the game tough when things are Tense or Violent.
I would love to get copies for my students in Ramallah!
The Land of Israel and its uncontested Capital Jerusalem
The Qur’an 17:104 – states the land belongs to the Jewish people.
If the historic documents, comments written by eyewitnesses and declarations by the most authoritative Arab scholars are still not enough, let us quote the most important source for Muslim Arabs:
“And thereafter we [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd’.”.
YUSUFALI: And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, “Dwell securely in the land (of promise)”: but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.
PICKTHAL: And We said unto the Children of Israel after him: Dwell in the land; but when the promise of the Hereafter cometh to pass We shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations.
SHAKIR: And We said to the Israelites after him: Dwell in the land: and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will bring you both together in judgment.
– Qur’an 17:104 –
Any sincere Muslim must recognize the Land they call “Palestine” as the Jewish Homeland, according to the book considered by Muslims to be the most sacred word and Allah’s ultimate revelation.
“The birthplace of the Jewish people is the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael). There, a significant part of the nation’s long history was enacted, of which the first thousand years are recorded in the Bible; there, its cultural, religious and national identity was formed; and there, its physical presence has been maintained through the centuries, even after the majority was forced into exile. During the many years of dispersion, the Jewish people never severed nor forgot its bond with the Land. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence, lost two thousand years earlier, was renewed.”
If people of any nation were exiled to other country’s and than years later were able to reclaim their country, the world population as a whole would support such action and would not consider giving a piece of the country to the foreigners who are residing there, and under no circumstances would they consider parceling portions of the county to be set up as a separate State for the foreigners.
Why should anyone in the world consider doing this very same action with the land of Israel which is a Jewish land for thousands of years?
The Arabs living in the land of Israel have come from the surrounding Arab countries; they have no right whatsoever to any part of the land of Israel.
In the past hundred years many Jews were ejected from Arab countries surrounding the land of Israel, their property taken and their homes and lands taken over.
Let those Arabs who want to Claim the land of Israel as theirs go to those Arab countries and the homes and lands that the Jews were occupying.
Any part of the land of Israel is not occupied territory; it is legally a Jewish land and has been for thousands of years, no Arab has any right to claim any rights to the land of Israel. The surrounding Arab countries compose of over 100 million people and millions of square miles, why do they have to bother little Israel with its territory about the size of the State of New Jersey.
Maybe the world should consider giving European countries or parts to the Italians, since the Romans occupied it for many years.
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its cunning.
May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.
Jerusalem, the uncontested and undivided capital of Israel, is located in the heart of the country, nestled among the Judean Hills. The city’s ancient stones, imbued with millennia of history, and its numerous historical sites, shrines and places of worship attest to its meaning for Jews.
Jerusalem the “eternal and undivided capital” of the Jewish people,
Jerusalem is — and must remain — the uncontested, undivided capital of Israel.
Jerusalem is the only city that can prove the validity of Israeli-Jewish existence. No one should question Jewish historic claim and affinity to Jerusalem which dates back the Canaanite period (3000-1200 BCE). The re-capture of the old city in 1967 was widely seen by the Israelis as nothing less than the renewal of God’s covenant with the Jews. Jerusalem represents their past and present, a source of religious and cultural continuity without which Israel’s very existence could unravel. The hope of returning to Jerusalem has sustained the Jews throughout their dispersion, and centuries of exile have been unable to extinguish it.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacobs resided in the land of Israel and Jerusalem from the year 1948 from Creation (circa 1800 BCE).
King David made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom, as well as the religious center of the Jewish people, in 1003 BCE. Some forty years later, his son Solomon built the Temple (the religious and national center of the people of Israel) and transformed the city into the prosperous capital of an empire extending from the Euphrates to Egypt.
The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem in 586 BCE, destroyed the Temple, and exiled the people. Fifty years later, when Babylon was conquered by the Persians, King Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to their homeland and granted them autonomy. They built a Second Temple on the site of the First, and rebuilt the city and its walls.
Alexander the Great conquered Jerusalem in 332 BCE. After his death the city was ruled by the Ptolemies of Egypt and then by the Seleucids of Syria. The Hellenization of the city reached its peak under the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV; the desecration of the Temple and attempts to suppress Jewish religious identity resulted in a revolt.
Led by Judah Maccabee, the Jews defeated the Seleucids, rededicated the Temple (164 BCE), and re-established Jewish independence under the Hasmonean dynasty, which lasted for more than a hundred years, until Pompey imposed Roman rule on Jerusalem. King Herod the Idumean, who was installed as ruler of Judah by the Romans (37 – 4 BCE), established cultural institutions in Jerusalem, erected magnificent public buildings and refashioned the Temple into an edifice of splendor.
Jewish revolt against Rome broke out in 66 CE, as Roman rule after Herod’s death became increasingly oppressive. For a few years Jerusalem was free of foreign rule, until, in 70 CE, Roman legions under Titus conquered the city and destroyed the Temple. Jewish independence was briefly restored during the Bar Kochba revolt (132-135), but again the Romans prevailed. Jews were forbidden to enter the city, which was renamed Aelia Capitolina and rebuilt along the lines of a Roman city.
For the next century and a half, Jerusalem was a small provincial town. This changed radically when the Byzantine Emperor Constantine transformed Jerusalem into a Christian center. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher (335) was the first of numerous grandiose structures built in the City.
Muslim armies invaded the country in 634, and four years later Caliph Omar captured Jerusalem. Only during the reign of Abdul Malik, who built the Dome of the Rock (691), did Jerusalem briefly become the seat of a caliph. The century-long rule of the Umayvad Dynasty from Damascus was succeeded in 750 by the Abbasids from Baghdad, and with them Jerusalem began to decline.
The Crusaders conquered Jerusalem in 1099, massacred its Jewish and Muslim inhabitants, and established the city as the capital of the Crusader Kingdom. Under the Crusaders, synagogues were destroyed, old churches were rebuilt and many mosques were turned into Christian shrines. Crusader rule over Jerusalem ended in 1187, when the city fell to Saladin the Kurd.
The Mamluks, a military feudal aristocracy from Egypt, ruled Jerusalem from 1250. They constructed numerous graceful buildings, but treated the city solely as a Muslim theological center and ruined its economy through neglect and crippling taxes.
The Ottoman Turks, whose rule lasted for four centuries, conquered Jerusalem in 1517. Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilt the city walls (1537), constructed the Sultan’s Pool, and placed public fountains throughout the city. After his death. The central authorities in Constantinople took little interest in Jerusalem. During the 17th and 18th centuries Jerusalem sunk to one of its lowest ebbs.
Jerusalem began to thrive once more in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Growing numbers of Jews returning to their land, waning Ottoman power and revitalized European interest in the Holy Land led to renewed development of Jerusalem.
The British army led by General Allenby conquered Jerusalem in 1917. From 1922 to 1948 Jerusalem was the administrative seat of the British authorities in the Land of Israel (Palestine), which had been entrusted to Great Britain by the League of Nations following the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. The city developed rapidly, growing westward into what became known as the “New City.”
Upon termination of the British Mandate on May 14, 1948, and in accordance with the UN resolution of November 29, 1947, Israel proclaimed its independence, with Jerusalem as its capital. Opposing its establishment, the Arab countries launched an all-out assault on the new re-established state, resulting in the 1948-49 War of Independence. The armistice lines drawn at the end of the war divided Jerusalem into two, with Jordan occupying the Old City and areas to the north and south, and Israel retaining the western and southern parts of the city.
Jerusalem was reunited in June 1967, as a result of a war in which the Jordanians attempted to seize the western section of the city. The Jewish Quarter of the Old City, destroyed under Jordanian rule, has been restored, and Israeli citizens are again able to visit their holy places, which had been denied them during the years 1948-1967.
Conclusion, the land of Israel and Jerusalem as its undivided capital for the Jewish people is a historical fact for thousands of years and shall remain that way for eternity.
Rising in defense of our security, our liberty and our values.
The true basis for a lasting peace
A far-sighted Arab-Jewish agreement was arrived at 85 years ago but was never fully implemented. This still-legal agreement provides the basis for a solution today and should become widely publicized and supported.
In 1919, following the end of World War I, an international Paris Peace Conference was convened by the victorious Allies to settle international questions. Delegations attended from around the world including an official Arab and Zionist delegation. The Arab delegation was led by Emir Feisal I, who agreed that the entire Palestine territory of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 would become the Jewish national home and expressed that position in separate letters to Zionist leaders Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Felix Frankfurter. In return for Arab support the Zionists promised economic and technical assistance to the local Arabs and the Allied powers agreed to grant eventual sovereignty to many of the Arab peoples in the region that were previously under control of the former Turkish Ottoman Empire.
This conference, and a subsequent one at San Remo Italy, amicably settled the issues among the parties with voluntary, legally binding, international agreements. In 1922 the League of Nations assigned Britain as the Mandatory to faithfully carry out these agreements. It was British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill who unilaterally divided Mandatory Palestine into an exclusively Arab sector (Trans Jordan) and a Jewish sector. The Arabs received 76% of the original territory, comprising 35,000 square miles, located east of the Jordan River. That left the Jewish sector with only 10,000 square miles out of their original 45,000 square miles, which was still less than 1% of the combined Arab areas of 5 million square miles. That remaining Jewish sector is today contested with the ‘Palestinians’ claiming the ‘West Bank’ and Gaza to create, in effect, a second Palestinian state. (Jordan is mostly Palestinian.) It was the British, in 1919, who began to undermine their own Mandate and to instigate the Arabs against Jews.
“Under this settlement, the whole of Palestine on both sides of the Jordan was reserved exclusively for the Jewish People as the Jewish National Home, in recognition of their historical connection with that country, dating from the Patriarchal Period. … The Palestine aspect of the global settlement was recorded in three basic documents that led to the founding of the modern State of Israel: … The British Government repudiated the solemn obligation it undertook to develop Palestine gradually into an independent Jewish state. … The US aided and abetted the British betrayal of the Jewish People by its abject failure to act decisively against the 1939 White Paper despite its own legal obligation to do so under the 1924 treaty. The UN Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947 illegally recommended the restriction of Jewish legal rights to a truncated part of Palestine. … Despite all the subversive actions to smother and destroy Jewish legal rights and title of sovereignty to the entire Land of Israel, they still remain in full force by virtue of the Principle of Acquired Rights and the doctrine of Estoppel that apply in all legal systems of the democratic world.”
It has been argued, by scholars of international law, that the agreements of the international Paris Peace Conference of 1919, and their formal assignment to Britain as the Mandatory by the League of Nations, continue to be legally binding on all parties under international law. In addition to Jewish legal claims based on the 1922 law a case can be made that it is also morally binding and that England is guilty of bad faith and for having engaged in deliberate sabotage of that agreement. A most promising beginning for Arab-Jewish relations in the Middle East was deliberately undermined by England and this part of history must be brought to bear upon the present conflict. Israel has a right to make full land claims under that 1922 Mandate by the League of Nations. The Arabs should also be made aware that it was England that instigated them against the Jews in pursuit of British imperial interests and to the disadvantage of both Arabs and Jews.
Significantly, Arab support for a Jewish state was clearly manifested at the Paris Peace conference of 1919. This should also be part of the legally binding Arab obligations to acceptance of a Jewish state with full rights. Emir Feisal I, son of Hussein, Sheriff of Mecca led the Arab delegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Excerpts of two letters from Emir Feisal to Zionist leaders Dr. Chaim Weizmann and to Felix Frankfurter indicate their friendly relations and high hopes for Jewish – Arab cooperation. Also note in the following text the term ‘Palestine’ clearly refers to the Jewish national home and not to any Arab entity or people.
From Emir Feisal to Dr. Weizmann:
“His Royal Highness the Emir Feisal, representing and acting on behalf of the Arab Kingdom of hedjaz, and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing and acting on behalf of the Zionist Organization, mindful of the racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish People, and realising that the surest means of working out the consummation of their national aspirations is through the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab State and Palestine, and being desirous further of confirming the good understanding which exists between them, have agreed upon the following Articles:” … Article IV: “All necessary measures shall be taken to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlements and intensive cultivation of the soil. In taking such measures the Arab peasant and tenant farmers shall be protected in their rights, and shall be assisted in forwarding their economic development.”
From Emir Feisal to Felix Frankfurter:
“… We feel that the Arabs and Jews are cousins in race, having suffered similar oppressions at the hands of the powers stronger than themselves, and by a happy coincidence have been able to take the first step towards the attainment of their national ideals together.” “We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organization to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through: we wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.” …. “People less informed and less responsible than our leaders and yours, ignoring the need for cooperation of the Arabs and the Zionists have been trying to exploit the local difficulties that must necessarily arise in Palestine in the early stages of our movements. Some of them have, I am afraid, misrepresented your aims to the Arab peasantry, and our aims to the Jewish peasantry, with the result that interested parties have been able to make capital our of what they call our differences. …” (To read full text go to http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~samuel/feisal1.html and http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~samuel/feisal2.html
What remains now is for all parties to courageously and boldly cast off the mindless schemes of Oslo and the Road Map and return to the sanity and statesmanship of the 1919 agreement. Those Arabs who have an acquired identity as ‘Palestinian’ should be given a far better alternative option than to be buried alive inside a non-viable illegal micro-state carved out of the Israeli heartland.
The Win-Win solution
Contrary to popular belief, the Arab-Israeli conflict has a reasonable solution. An orderly resettlement elsewhere of the so-called Palestinian Arabs would solve this long-standing ‘intractable’ problem. To propose this solution today elicits automatic rejection by almost everyone and perhaps even anger and hostility at its very mention (although attitudes may finally be changing). This is because the minds of many have been so thoroughly conditioned, with layer upon layer of repeated falsehoods, such that open-minded reconsideration is almost impossible. But resettlement could become the basis of a win-win solution for both sides.
For example Saudi Arabia comprises some 750,000 square miles. It has a very low population density of only 33 per square mile vs. 1,000 for Israel including the territories. A modest 4% of Saudi Arabia, some 30,000 square miles, should be set aside for a new Palestinian state. That state would be 13 times the size of the present Palestinian area proposed under the Road Map and would now have ample space for natural growth. All of the intractable problems facing both Jews and Arabs, arising under the present schemes, would be eliminated. The Palestinians could now construct their own state with full political independence, self-rule and full dignity. The sources of friction between them and Israel would now be removed along with all the immense human and material costs associated with the current conflict.
Palestinians could begin using their legitimate ‘right of return’ to exit the territories, and the refugee camps, and migrate back to their ancestral home in Arabia and thereby also be closer to Mecca and Medina. A fraction of the countless billions spent on weapons by the Arab governments could fund the cost of establishing new settlements for the Palestinians. Israel would be free of Arabs, and the Palestinians would be free of Israel. The deep wounds of both peoples would now have a chance to heal.
In early 2004 a poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion shows 37% willing to emigrate in return for a home, a job and $250,000. And this is before a far better deal has been offered, including true self-rule, peace and security, plus their own ample territory. What if ‘Palestinians’ were offered a homeland territory, drawn from lands donated by one of the more spacious Arab countries, one expressing continuous concern, love for, and outrage at the treatment of these very same folk?
Israeli Arabs could play a constructive role in this because of their higher level of education and their experience living as full citizens in democratic Israel. They would become the managerial and entrepreneurial class and provide valuable assistance and leadership for fellow Palestinians who were stagnating in refugee camps inside other Arab countries. This crime was committed by their own brother Arabs, who refused to allow them to settle.
Once the migration starts toward a far better future the movement could well accelerate voluntarily because the first ones to relocate would receive the best ‘ground floor’ opportunities and the last ones to move would get what remains. Today there are tens of millions of people on the move around the world in search of better living conditions, so relocation is a long established and viable option for everyone.
Another important advantage is that Israeli-Palestinian interaction would be limited to the selling of Arab homes in the territories and an orderly exit. No more frustratingly complex agreements as with Oslo where Israel honors all commitments and Arabs violate all commitments, and even U.S. assurances often prove worthless. The less need for Israel to depend on agreements with Arabs, Europeans and even Americans the better.
Part of the problem are those Arab governments who deliberately keep the Israel-Palestinian conflict alive to divert attention from their own corrupt regimes. Also, western governments still pander to their corrupt Arab clients for purely expedient reasons. But new progressive voices are emerging among Arab intellectuals and even among some Moslem clerics that call for Arab societal reform, and who also recognize Jewish rights in the land of Israel. These voices need to be encouraged and enlisted in this quest for sanity.
What is also needed is Saudi cooperation and active support. The Saudis have long been responsible for promoting anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, and anti-American hatred along with funding terror and the teaching of a hateful form of Islam. With their ‘royal’ family of thousands of princes living lavishly, off of oil income and the labor of foreign workers, they are a cesspool of corruption that even Osama bin Laden finds offensive.
It is time to demand that the Saudis make a major contribution to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. They caused much of the problem and they must now assist with the solution. It is time for the Bush administration to make the Saudis ‘an offer they can’t refuse’ and have them realize they have a direct interest in providing ‘land for peace’.
For too long many people have labored under a collective mindset resembling a bad dream where big lies become entrenched wisdom and truth is constantly strangled. Unless we change direction there will be dire consequences extending well beyond the peoples of the region. Those who still have minds and morals intact now have an obligation to think clearly and with sanity and support this approach to finally resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The mandates for Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine were assigned by the Supreme Court of the League of Nations at its San Remo meeting in April 1920. Negotiations between Great Britain and the United States with regard to the Palestine mandate were successfully concluded in May 1922, and approved by the Council of the League of Nations in July 1922. The mandates for Palestine and Syria came into force simultaneously on September 29, 1922. In this document, the League of Nations recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”