BYU announces Israeli-Palestinian conflict program

Together with the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies, the Utah-based law school will launch its Jerusalem Initiative for students to engage with some of the “most vexing” international and domestic law issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“BYU Law is committed to preparing influential professionals,” said D. Gordon Smith, dean of BYU Law.

“This program will provide students with both a theoretical understanding of a longstanding international conflict and with practical skills for dealing with complex problems. We hope to prepare and inspire our students to make the world a better place.”

As part of the initiative, 12 second and third year students will learn from local government and academic experts and visit local sites.

They will also engage in negotiations pertaining to: property ownership and rights in contested territories; balancing security and human rights, including the freedom of movement; and political representation and equality.

Following a semester-long preparatory course, students will join a three-week trip to Jerusalem and the Holy Land in 2022.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the longest, most entrenched conflicts in the world,” said BYU Law professor Ben Cook.

“The layered and complex issues will challenge our students to gain a deep understanding of the peoples of the region”

“This initiative will afford our students an unmatched opportunity to gain instruction from both global and local experts on different sides of the issues, to see places where conflict is happening, and to acquire valuable conflict resolution skills.”

More than 80% of BYU Law students speak more than one language, and 70% have lived abroad.

“While international conflict is not unique to this region, the layered and complex issues will challenge our students to gain a deep understanding of the peoples of the region and their histories,” said BYU Law professor Eric Talbot Jensen.

“BYU Law is uniquely positioned to offer this opportunity thanks to its strong international network and focus.”


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