In order to avoid interpersonal clashes, there are two topics everyone knows to avoid: politics and religion. No subject mixes those two subjects into a more toxic brew than the world’s continually re-infected, cureless open wound; a conflict so divisive and enduring that the phrase Peace in the Middle East is more often used as a sad punchline about something unattainable than as a hopeful prognostication. The violence and death associated with the conflict is confined to a relatively small area, but the emotional strife stretches across the globe. Nowhere has that been more visible than on American college campuses, where tension is widespread, donors are furious, and universities are struggling to find responses. But let’s focus instead on two Berkeley professors who couldn’t disagree more about the Middle East crisis, but who did find common ground when it comes the tone of campus discourse. The two educators came together to release a joint statement, about which one of them explained: “We’re not asking people to change their minds on the issue. We’re asking people to recognize that you don’t need to hurt or confront the other in an (aggressive) way to make your point of view land.” SF Chronicle: Two UC Berkeley professors have clashed on Israel-Palestine. War led them to a joint message. It’s a small, hint of decency in a world of big, indecent acts. It’s not peace in the Middle East. But at least, for a moment, it’s peace in Berkeley.

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