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Competent and sensitive mediation and arbitration

Cultural sensitivity in mediation


Below are a number of aspects and focuses on cultural sensitivity in the mediation sessions:

Not only discovering needs and interests:

It is important that the discussion and negotiation in mediation be seen and perceived as a journey and a process of discovery, and not just as a cold process focused only on individual needs and interests, but rather a reference to overt and hidden identities and cultural nuances, conscious and unconscious in the lives of the mediation partners. A mediator is required to be well aware of cultural changes, and to use the mediation techniques known in a cultural context and with the aim of raising awareness and cognitive recognition of the cultural difference, and to highlight the interests and goals of the parties in light of and in the context of the cultural difference.

The perception and collective vision in mediation:

The mediator is required to be aware and alert to the importance of the collective and patriarchal class view in mediation, he actually does not only carry out a limited mediation with and between the two individuals participating in the mediation, but much more beyond the people present and participating in the mediation room. From this, they came to encourage and enable both the mediation parties’ consultation with their relatives outside the mediation room, and the provision of the possibility for the relatives to participate in the procedure. Especially when the relatives are elderly and respected people in their community.

Perception of crises, confrontation and conflict:

In contrast to societies and individuals who come from Western societies, who may sometimes understand and perceive tension and conflict as a source of development, empowerment, growth and progress, individuals in conservative traditional societies such as the Arab Muslim society in Israel, will often perceive conflict and tension as a component, not a good thing, not a promoter and as a source of distress, stress and discomfort.

Making decisions based on emotion and not necessarily objective:

The ways and motivations for decision-making among people coming from conservative traditional societies may be mainly based on emotion, and not based on dry and cold objective facts that guide individuals from Western societies. Sometimes the objective facts and evidence are less important than emotional, subjective perceptions based in part on respect, relationships and mutual appreciation.

A bridge from the Jewish population

The relationship between Jews and Arabs in the State of Israel is characterized by socio-political tension. In the mediation meeting between a Jewish mediator or a mediator from the majority group, in front of a mediator and a mediator from the Arab minority in the State of Israel. This may lead to and arouse a variety of feelings of inferiority, suspicion, mistrust, tension, anger, such a meeting can be characterized by going to a confrontation and a battlefield – an act of war

Asking the questions in the procedure and in the mediation sessions

It is important that the tool of asking clarifying questions – interrogatives – is used proportionately and correctly. The flooding of the bridgehead from the Arab Muslim background with excessive questions such as: what, why, when, how and who, may be received and experienced with discomfort, and this discomfort does not necessarily stem from a desire not to discover or reveal an objective fact. But with the feeling that not every question should be asked, and it is better not to open up and talk about every aspect or issue in the conflict.

On the other hand, it is recommended to ask clarifying questions in connection with the needs and differences in cultural understandings between the bridged parties, the importance of such questions in that they are intended to cause the bridged speaker from a different cultural background to discover as many details as possible, small and large, which will ultimately contribute to the integration of the full picture, which will be the basis for obtaining agreements The mediation procedure.

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