Conflict, Peace, and Power - 07/18/2017
Yet again, another amazing two weeks! I can’t believe we only have a few weeks left of living and working in this amazing country. I feel like I have just finished settling in to my new apartment with this amazing group of new friends that I am making. I knew that I wanted to live in Tel Aviv in order to get a feel for the Israeli city culture, but I never thought that I could fall in love with this place as quickly as I have. From laying on the beach, to exploring the streets of the city, to eating at one of the countless restaurants, there is always something to do! At this point, we have all settled in to some sort of routine. Whether it be going to work, grocery shopping, or going out at night, we are able to complete each day looking less and less like lost tourists. Not only that, but also, we have gotten to a point as a group where we no longer need to worry about not knowing the other members on the trip. We have all gone from strangers to friends, and we can rely on each other like family.
Last week, we went on a trip to Gush Etzion in the West Bank to explore the topics of conflict, peace, and power between Israelis and Palestinians. We started the day with a hike through the “Way of the Fathers” tour to see the historical and archeological significant sights of Gush Etzion. We then continued to a local winery for a tour and lunch, and moved on to a conversation about the conflict with an organization called “Shorashim.” Finally, we went to the Neve Daniel lookout, which is the highest point in all of Israel, and participated in another conversation and activity, discussing the complexity of the conflict. Overall, it was a very frustrating topic to discuss, whether peace is possible with the West Bank, but we all learned so much about the current situation that affects the lives of all Israelis.
Edden Nativ, UMass-Amherst ’20, traveled to Israel with her school’s Birthright Israel trip, and is interning this summer with Targo Consulting as a Boston Onward Israel Tel Aviv 2017 participant.