Roots in the West Bank - 07/25/2017
This post first appeared on Israel Campus Roundtable.
The past two weeks in Israel have been an unpredictable whirlwind, which I am slowly getting accustomed to. My internship at the Jerusalem Post is going well – I got to shadow the Knesset reporter one day, and we even got to hear the Prime Minister speak at the weekly Likud party meeting. I also covered the closing ceremony of the Maccabiah Games, which was a fun experience full of music, fireworks and general good spirit. Also, Bar Refaeli was the host! I am still a little bit in disbelief about all the cool events I have gotten to attend through this internship, and I can’t wait to see what opportunity presents itself next.
Our group took a day trip to Gush Etzion last week, which was very interesting because I had never been to the West Bank before. We heard from several different speakers and toured a few different locations, but the highlight was at the end of the day when we visited Shorashim. Shorashim (“Roots” in English) is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing Jewish settlers and Palestinians of the West Bank together in conversation. First, a rabbi spoke – I actually had already heard him present before, because he visited my school last semester – and then a young Palestinian tour guide spoke after. While it is impossible to even begin to understand the conflict in the West Bank from a one-day visit, I appreciated that we got to hear representatives of opposing narratives speak peacefully with open minds, especially in a time of rising turmoil in the area.
Isabel Feinstein, UMass-Amherst ’19, traveled to Israel with her school’s Birthright Israel trip, and is interning this summer with The Jerusalem Post as a Boston Onward Israel 2017 participant.