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Summer Camp Brings Together Israeli, Palestinian Youths

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues, one summer camp in Maine has brought together teenagers from both sides.

After leaving the violence and fear at home, nearly 100 Israeli and Palestinian teenagers came together at Seeds of Peace, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

“For most of the campers that are here this is the first time that an Israeli is meeting a Palestinian or a Palestinian is meeting an Israeli,” said camp director Leslie Lewin. “We are confronting difficult, core conflict issues very head-on.”

Summer Camp Brings Together Israeli, Palestinian Youths

WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reports

Lewin said she hopes campers will un-learn the hatred they’ve been taught.

“This is an opportunity for them to learn about the other and make their own decision,” she said.

So how do professional facilitators change minds and soften hearts?

“By stressing the humanity,” Lewin said. “We’ve spent a lot of time training our staff over the past week and how to prepare and respect the very difficult situation that our campers have just arrived from.”

The ultimate goal is for the young leaders to make a difference back home, Haskell reported.

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