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Arab-Israeli conflict

News and Information Services

Image of: Conflict logoHigh school students participating in a simulated Arab-Israeli conflict are learning the complexities of national and international politics in an ongoing program at the U-M School of Education’s Interactive Communications and Simulations (ICS) program.

The program, which traces its roots to 1975, sponsors several multi-week character-playing exercises. The Arab-Israeli Conflict/Middle East Simulation (AIC), one of several Web-based simulations, encompasses 16 three-character high school teams.

Participating teams represent high-level, current and contemporary governmental and political figures. States and political organizations involved in the conflict are represented, including the United States and other United Nations Security Council members. Each participating school is assigned a pair of trained University mentors who, under the direction of the project directors, provide updates and team guidance. Students are enrolled in classes on government, current issues, social studies, journalism or the Arab-Israeli conflict.

During the simulations, participants are involved in four activity types: discussing strategies and tactics with their teammates; sending and receiving private diplomatic messages; posting press releases visible to all teams; and submitting action forms, which represent physical events. Mentors moderate press releases and action forms.

Schools involved in the ICS program span the nation from Washington to Massachusetts. International participants include students in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. While most players are high school students, middle school and college students participate in the program as well.

“ICS is about getting people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to talk about the things that matter most,” says Gary Weisserman, School of Education professor and ICS director. “We use Internet technologies to accomplish those goals, but the social technology is where the real power lies.”

More information about ICS simulations is available at, or by contacting program directors Gary Weisserman (,, Jeff Kupperman ( or Edgar Taylor ( at (734) 764-5547.


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