Moving Toward a Just Peace

Part of the series Clinical Sociology: Research and Practice pp 131-147


Problem-Solving Mediation in Israel

  • Ariella VraneskiAffiliated withHead of the Conflict Resolution Research Group, The Center for Urban and Regional Studies, Technion IIT Email author 

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This chapter highlights the introduction and practice of modern mediation into Israel’s diverse and dynamic society. In addition to brief historical and comparative overviews, the chapter portrays Israeli alternative dispute resolution (ADR)-related processes and initiatives, particularly practices and debates linked to courts’ refereed mediation. It also analyses some favorable and a few troubling features of the contemporary mediation movement. The Israeli mediation started “top down” due to legislative initiatives. Launching mediation in Israel induced hope and enthusiasm, but frustration soon emerged, and patterns that enabled a fast and massive introduction of mediation turned into potential roots of failure. However, realistic perceptions and expectations with regard to the promises and premises of mediation and with related professional responsibility and ethics penetrate and stabilize the field. The study of conflict resolution influences the lives of tens of thousands of graduates of mediation training programs and those of their relatives, friends and coworkers as well. For instance, ADR skills impacted the Israeli social justice protest that started in the summer of 2011 and its outcomes. The author estimates that the endorsement of research and development programs to integrate ADR studies and practices and peace studies and initiatives have the capacity to promote and sustain a culture of peace in the region.