In the past few years the Arik Institute has been focusing on answering the question why, after so many years, there is still no peace. the Arik Institute set out to understand why the Israeli public is in denial of the consequences of the Occupation – the danger it poses to the identity of the state as a Jewish one, the price it pays for the continuation of the status quo; moral corruption, mutual violence and economic instability. After numerous meetings conducted with professionals from various fields such as social psychology and education, they realized together that the Israeli identity is built around the conflict. That means that the Israeli ethos preserves the notion that the Palestinians only wish to kill and destroy, that Israelis are the victims and that peace evades us only because of the Palestinians.
Following this realization, The Arik Institute and built a strategy that utilizes reverse psychology methods – the conflict is being presented as a good thing, something the Israeli public has benefited from. By doing so, the strategy shows the public that they are in fact addicted to the conflict and thus unable to think outside the box for viable solutions for peace. The strategy successfully dismantles prejudices and contributes to a less emotional, more matter of fact discourse.
This strategy was tested during a scientific study that was conducted by the IDC. You can learn more about the study by clicking this link. Alongside the study, the Arik Institute has launched a FaceBook page in order to test the strategy’s effects on the Israeli public. The page, called the Hasichsuch (conflict in Hebrew), is not affiliated with the Institute and does not identify itself with any existing political faction- both left wing or right wing – since the right and the left wing both define themselves via the conflict ,thus they are both to be thanked for their contribution. The page gained much success and after only a few months has more than 17,000 likes, and most importantly- the page has become a platform for discussions about the place the conflict has in the lives of the young people, both Jewish and Arab, who frequent the page.
The Arik Institute is currently researching the development of a similar strategy tailored to work with the Palestinian public. We are also currently working on creating a large scale project based on this successful strategy. We hope to launch a Peace Mega Project that will combine Social Media, Education and the buildup of a grassroots movement. A combined effort to change public opinion that is unprecedented in the Israeli history and possibly any countries’ history will present a chance for renewing the hope for peace and rejuvenate the Peace Process.
About Yitzhak Frankenthal, Arik Institute manager:
After the loss of his son, Arik, in 1994 Yitzhak Frankenthal set out on the mission of countering the Israeli public's denial of the horrifying events caused by the Israeli occupation. He established the Arik Institute to fulfill that purpose.
For the past 19 years, Yitzhak Frankenthal has successfully managed many projects. In 2001 he created a display of 900 coffins placed in the Plaza that faces the Tel Aviv Museum. Each coffin represented a casualty on the Israeli or the Palestinian side. In 2002 the display was placed in the UN Plaza of NYC.
Yitzhak Frankenthal is a close confidant to many political leaders and opinion makers on both the Israeli and the Palestinian side. He accompanied Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to the Oslo Accords peace negotiations in Camp David, where he first met President Yassir Arafat. Following this meeting the two established a close relationship and Yitzhak Frankenthal has interviewed President Arafat in Ramallah.
Yitzhak spoke to Israeli and Palestinian audiences on the issue of peace, the lack of it and how it can be achieved.
Mr. Frankenthal promoted gatherings between Jews and Arabs and organized protests all over Israel.
Mr. Frankenthal has appeared numerous times over the Israeli and the international media in order to express his opinions about peace – why despite the fear and mistrust that lies between the Israelis and Palestinians, peace must be achieved.