Etiquette for Text Dialogue on the ES Website

Etiquette for Discussing the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

Adapted from Educational Solutions
International University Dialogue Project 2007
The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict: Understanding Both Sides
Judith Jensen and Susan Luxton

Quotation from Edward Said

“Much of the despair and pessimism that one feels at the whole Palestinian-Zionist conflict is each side’s failure in a sense to reckon with the existential power and presence of ‘another’ people with its land, its unfortunate history of suffering, its emotional and political investment in that land, and worse, to pretend that the Other is a temporary nuisance that, given time and effort (and punitive violence from time to time), will finally go away” (Edward Said, 1992, The Question of Palestine, Page 49).

Rules of Etiquette for Text Dialogue on the ES Website

During the first week, students will ask each other questions and get to know each other. Since misunderstandings can easily occur both over the Internet and between cultures, you are required to follow the ten rules of Internet Etiquette. The reason is that we want to create a safe place for people to express their views honestly but respectfully. Remember: we find comfort in those who agree with us, but we learn from those who disagree with us.

1. You are free to agree or disagree, but keep the discussion respectful.

2. Remember you are responsible for what you write. In the U.S., slander, defamation and hate speech are illegal. If you speak this way, the moderator will help you rephrase your words so that another can hear and understand your point. The second illegal posting will result in expulsion from the dialogue.

3. When writing your messages, avoid “me too” and “I agree.” Instead, explain why you agree or disagree.

4. Be sure to read the comments of other students before posting. Not reading fellow students’ messages is considered the same as ignoring your classmates.
Listening and trying to understand the other side is the most difficult skill required by online etiquette and conflict resolution.

5. Stick to the topic of current discussion.

6. When posting your messages, be sure to proofread your comments.

7. Keep comments clear and concise, so people will read your ideas.

8. Try to avoid sarcasm and too much humor as they are easily misunderstood both online and across cultures.

9. Be forgiving of others and remember that they may be new to intercultural online discussions.

10. Do not attach spam or junk mail to your messages.

Keys to Conflict Resolution

  • Avoid blame and hate language.
  • Listen to and understand others’ perspectives.
  • Ask questions and find out their needs.
  • Express your perspectives and needs.
  • Seek common ground.
  • Be prepared to make hard compromises.
  • Prepare your constituents for the compromises.