Saturday, July 6, 2013

West Bank wandering

On Friday, many of my classmates and I joined a trip to Bethlehem that was being offered by Jstreet, an organization working to promote a two state solution. The trip challenged many of my assumptions about the west bank, its residents and Israel's role. The thing that was clear however, is that everyone wants peace.

Our first stop was the Aida camp. The camp is run by the United Nations relief and works agency which provides education and health services to West Bank residents. We visisted one of the camp's two schools.

While the UN and its employees attempt to maintain neutrality, by control of the curriculum and staff politics, they do not have control of politics outside of the school. This powerful graffiti is one of many examples I saw on my trip. 

Our next stop was speaking with this man. When Israel has completed the barrier, his house will be on the Israel side while his village on another. Although Israel has offered him anything he could want, he is choosing instead to make a political statement. 

Our last stop of the day was the Tent of Nations. Daoud, a Christian Palestine resident uses his family's property to promote a mission of peace. They have ecofarming, compost and run summer camps for children in the west bank. 

both of these pictures are artwork done by campers: 


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