Israel Reflections 2017–Trust is Optional

Observers of the conflict rightly are concerned with the education systems in Israel and Palestine.  When Israelis do not learn about the Nakba or the Palestinian view of history, they are less likely to understand why Palestinians view themselves as victims. 

Israel Reflections 2017–Race and Diversity

Another new meeting this year was with Oshra Friedman of Tebeka legal services, an organization that provides specialized legal services for the Ethiopian immigrants to Israel.  As we learned on our last trip, Israel has welcomed thousands of immigrants from Ethiopia of Jewish heritage and assimilation into the modern society of Israel can be very challenging. 

Israel Reflections 2017–Treating Terrorists and Other Medical Challenges

One other new visit this year was with Dr. Ofer Merin, a commander of the Israel Defense Force (IDF) Medical Field Unit and emergency room doctor at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.   As student Margo Clark notes, his roles often require both flexibility and understand beyond our immediate biases.

Israel Reflections 2017–The Divided Town of Barta’a

As we did the last trip, we visited with Lydia Aisenberg at Givat Haviva to understand the peacebuilding work that the kibbutz did.  (More about that here.)  And we also walked into the town of Barta’a–divided once by the green line in 1949 and again with the security fence a few years ago.  Student Lauren Koehler explains the history and impact of the town.

Israel Reflections 2017–The Israeli Supreme Court

This year we were able to meet with two different former Israeli Supreme Court Justices–at the beginning and at the end of the trip–which provided great bookends to our week of learning.  Student Celeste Borjas reflects on the visit to the Supreme Court…

Israel Reflections 2017–Old Gesher (the Crossing into Jordan)

We stopped at Old Gesher as twilight fell over the valley of the Jordan River on our way to Tiberius. Standing on the grounds, we could see the fence demarcating the border between Jordan and Israel near the confluence of the Jordan and Yarmuk rivers, as well as the standing remains of three historic bridges (gesher is Hebrew for “bridge,” an obvious metaphor for conflict resolution).

Israel Reflections 2017–The Case of the Curious Citizenship (East Jerusalem)

Our visit with Riman Barakat, a former Marquette Fulbright scholar who has worked in many different Palestinian-Israeli peacebuilding NGO’s is always a highlight of the trip.  Student Adrianna Hromadka reflects on the questions and answers of her talk.

Israel Reflections 2017–Should a Bartender be the next Mediator for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Six hours after landing in Israel, I found myself amid an impromptu conflict resolution at Dublin Bar in Jerusalem. How could this be happening? I was only kidding when I told my friend we couldn’t leave Israel until we came to a two-state solution! Yet, there I sat, with my Jack and Diet half-full in front of me, as I pretended to not hear the commotion going on between him and two attractive Israeli women sitting next to him at the bar.