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Achievement Curriculum: Module 1: Student Handout
 

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GLOBAL CONFLICT

The Hon. James Earl (Jimmy) Carter, Jr.
39th President of the United States


The Israeli people want peace. The Palestinian people want peace. The Jordanians do, God knows. The Lebanese people want peace. It's the political leaders who are the obstacles, because they are too inflexible, and they are looking at their own sometimes very narrow political constituency to give them restraints which they can't break. Someday though, there will be leaders there, like Sadat and Begin then, who will truly represent the desire of their people for peace, and then we'll have success.

[ Interview ] Jimmy Carter


The Hon. Benazir Bhutto
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan


Benazir Bhutto: I think the most profound influence in my formative years was the years I spent at Harvard. I went there at a time of great social ferment, at a time when the Vietnam war was being fought. I -- as a nation -- was against the Vietnam war, but I found that my American fellow students were against that war too. So -- and they didn't want to fight the war. They were protesting it and I found that if you didn't like something you could do something about it. It was also a time when Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King and idealism -- Cesar Chavez and the grape boycott from California, labor rights. So I was very much into saving the world. My generation grew up in saving the world. We thought education wasn't important. Exams weren't important, although I still did it because I was scared my father would get cross, but I discovered that life was more than my homework and my tuitions and my tutorial. Life was about the larger issues where we could all play a role.

[ Interview ] Benazir Bhutto



Benazir Bhutto: For me idealism has been the motivation. I think power for itself is useless. If it was just power, how could one -- politics is an obsession. You cannot just be in politics -- or if you really want something -- it is not an eight to five job. It's an around the clock job. So if it was just power I think it would be very empty. I think idealism is very important. The need to change, to bring about change. I feel that life is like -- or society is like -- a canvas, and that if we get office you are given an opportunity to paint it. And it is up to you whether you make a good picture or whether you make a bad picture. I think it is very, very important to have ideals, because when one has ideals one thinks the suffering is worth it. And for me the suffering has been worth it because I think I could change things, and I am still idealistic and I am still optimistic. And people tell me, "Why are you still idealistic and optimistic?" And I say, "Because there could be ten people who are bad, but there are 90 people who are good."

[ Interview ] Benazir Bhutto


The Hon. Ehud Barak
Former Prime Minister of Israel


I was eight years-and-a-half when the State of Israel was established and I still remember the evening, the counting of votes at Lake Success, and the eruption of kind of emotions immediately afterwards from all around the kibbutz. All the kibbutz practically went around a campfire and danced to the morning, and by the morning we were at war. And at a certain point we could hear the motors of the Iraqi unit that came and almost cut Israel into two. We were three or four miles from the seashore at the very narrowest part of Israel. And we at one morning could hear the mortars but I didn't recall a sense of fear all along these years. We became aware of the price where one member of the kibbutz was fallen during the war and later on when I was a youngster and elderly youngsters in the kibbutz joined the army and one of them was killed, but basically I don't remember fear. Maybe the close climate around us kind of isolated us and maybe my parents or our parents deliberately isolated us from the fears of life at this early stage.



In the Six Day War, I commanded a small reconnaissance unit, and it took us just four days to reach the Canal and immediately I asked myself, okay, nothing is going to happen here anymore so we jumped a few hundred miles to the other side. Maybe something will happen in the Golan Heights, and it happened that we came at the last hours of preparation for climbing on the Golan Heights, so we joined the Golan Heights battle as well, beginning at the northern edge and ending at Quneitra . But, you know, I'm smiling kind of recalling it now, but I should admit the first battles were quite a devastating -- kind of revealing -- experience.

[ Interview ] Ehud Barak



Tito said that a good military unit is a social cell where shame -- the fear of being kind of shamed by the rest of the group -- is stronger than the fear of death. And there is something true about it, that works among youngsters well-trained and somehow understanding that they are serving a cause which is somehow more important than their own. No one really bothers you in battle with this kind of overstructure of ideology and devotion and so on. And we know, unfortunately, from world experience, that you can lead people to highly devoted and professional military activities under terrible kind of regimes with terrible ideologies. But somehow, with youngsters, it works. If they have got young leaders and they are trained together, they create this kind of self-reliance of the unit, so that they are not dependent on what happens in other parts of the battlefield, but they rely upon each other. It works, and they can reach kind of activities that are against, may I say, the individual instincts of anyone in the group.

[ Interview ] Ehud Barak



I still remember an operation where we had some of our pilots taken by the Egyptians during the war of attrition. They intercepted some of those with SAM missiles and we decided that the only way to convince the Egyptians to release them is by taking some Egyptian pilots and bring them to Israel and then suggest that we will kind of exchange them. And the only way that we found was to stop at a road leading to an Egyptian Air Force (base), back deep in the Nile Valley, by appearing as an Egyptian military police to move them from the road and to take over some pilots. I initiated such a raid and I was one of the two policemen with the motorcycles, fully dressed as an Egyptian MP with someone who talked Baladic -- kind of a street Egyptian -- much better than I could, in a much more convincing way, and we really made it. And we established a kind of check post on the road to an Egyptian Air Force base and we began to take vehicles at midnight. There was not a lot of transportation. We ended up with 40 people in some six or eight trucks and vehicles, and not a single man in uniform.

[ Interview ] Ehud Barak


The Hon. Lech Walesa
Nobel Prize for Peace


As you know, my home country is located between two powerful nations, between Russia and Germany, who are very sociable peoples and they enjoy visiting one another, so they need to cross Poland on the way. That's why our geographical position was always tough, and we could only survive under certain circumstances. We could only survive as a nation thanks to our deep belief in God because we lived through some absolutely hopeless situations in history and on several occasions, we were erased as a country from the map of the world. But, thanks to our religious belief, we survived and in fact, we continue persisting. That's why this belief was always really deep, and it was tangible. It was not an old-fashioned religious belief -- because we continue to be a religious people -- but this is not really an outdated, old-fashioned religion, and beyond progress. Today the Polish people, myself included, find God in the newest-generation computer, because He is there. It's a question of people being able to find him there. He's very modern. He's a very modern God, and He's really very good to live with.

[ Interview ] Lech Walesa



We had the Soviet troops stationed in Poland for 50 years, over 200,000 soldiers based permanently on the territory of Poland. So, people would end up in prisons for some time, very often, they would be beaten up by the police. There were not so many people who would claim to be very courageous. Then again, you have people of different characters. Some are really put off by the hardships, by the difficulties, whereas the others actually strengthen. I was among the latter, who became stronger due to the hardships, and I got involved in my struggle with much more determination.

[ Interview ] Lech Walesa


Grades 7-9


Conflicts of Interest
In the video segments, Nobel Prize for Peace winner Lech Walesa explains why conflict has existed in his country: "...My home country is located between two powerful nations," he says, "between Russia and Germany, who are very sociable people, and they enjoy visiting one another, as they need to cross Poland on the way." What does the word "conflict" mean to you? Write the word "conflict" on a piece of paper, clustering other words around "conflict" that you feel relate to it. Based on your cluster, create a definition of "conflict" and compare it to a dictionary's definition. Then, using the Resource Links, investigate the background of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What are some of the main causes of this conflict? How do underlying cultural differences create tensions between these two groups? What past efforts have been made to try to bring peace to modern-day Israel? What international peace accords have been developed, and how have they been effective? How have tensions erupted in violence in the past year? How are other nations, such as the United States, affected by this conflict? What steps are being taken to resolve this conflict? Research another historical conflict in which the notion of "racial identity" has played a part, comparing it with the present state of affairs in Israel. Create an online magazine article that answers the question: Is possible for one historically oppressed or marginalized people to oppress another? Explain why or why not, using examples from your research.

The Art of War
Ever since humans began scratching images on cave walls, artists have been depicting wartime historical events. Using the Resource Links, explore famous works of art that portray war. Some works to consider are Picasso's "Guernica," Jacques-Luis David's "The Tennis Court Oath," Goya's "The Third of May, 1808," Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's "Washington Crossing the Delaware" and Leon Golub's "Mercenaries IV." Chose one painting and research the event that it depicts. How accurately does the painting represent the facts? Based on the painting, what seems to be the artist's opinion about the event? How does the artist use color, shading, setting, symbols, and other artistic techniques to communicate his or her feelings about the event? As a class, create an online installation, which includes the wartime paintings and students' descriptions of the events they depict, plus an explanation of how the artist's opinion about the event is expressed. Next, choose a recent historical event that you have lived through and create a work of visual art (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.) that depicts this event. Use color, shading, setting, symbols, and any other artistic techniques to convey your feelings. Add your work to an online gallery.

Grades 9-12


Projects and Investigations:


Peace Process Board Game
In the video segments, former president Jimmy Carter describes the thirteen days he spent at Camp David with Mid-East leaders, trying to hammer out the Camp David Accord. "Every time they got in the same room, we went backwards instead of forward," he recalls. "So Begin and Sadat stayed separate. And I would go to one and then go to the other one, back and forth. And eventually we came out with the Camp David Accord, which people forget is called 'a framework for peace.'" The road to Israel-Palestinian peace has been a long and twisted one. Using the Resource Links, research the cultural history of the Palestinians and Israelis. Take note of the fundamental differences and similarities that exist between these two cultures. How do underlying cultural differences create tensions between these two groups? What past efforts have been made to try to bring peace to modern-day Israel? Have these efforts been effective? What world leaders have played a role in attempting to bring about peace in the Middle East, and in what ways have they been successful? What international peace accords have been developed, and how have they been effective? Design and build a "Peace Process" board game. The game should begin with the Oslo Peace Agreement and end with a final peace deal. The events along the way should include real events up to the present and imagined ones in the future. Events that help the peace process should have positive outcomes for players, whereas events that obstruct the peace process should have negative ones. The game can be of any sort, ranging from a trivia game to a "Chutes and Ladders" type game. Take the game home and play it with your family. Then, write a short paper describing the way your family reacted to the game and the conversation the game provoked.

The Object of Objectivity
How do you know that your news sources are reliable? Most journalists strive to be objective, but objectivity is not always easy to maintain, especially during wartime. Following the initial United States strike on Afghanistan, U.S. news sources varied drastically in tone and content from non-U.S. news sources. Using the Resource Links, find out how different English-language news sources in various nations covered the United State's retaliation in Afghanistan. Select sample reports from TV, radio or print news sources in America, Europe, the Middle East (both Arab and Israeli accounts), and Latin America. What can you tell about the articles from their headlines? Which articles contain photographs and what do they depict? What emotions do you think they are supposed to evoke? How are the articles similar and different in their accounts of the event? What information do some articles provide that others do not? How do you think journalists' perspectives can impede an objective perspective in times of war? At home, watch at least one international news report on television. Take notes about how these news reports cover the topics in the articles you read in class. Compare and contrast print and television news reporting. Do you feel it is important to consult more than one news source? Consult sources from more than one country or region? Write an evaluation of your findings. Finally, create an online news article about a current event that you have a strong opinion about, trying to be fair and objective in your reporting.



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