On March 19th, 2017, I went with Visions Of Peace, a group of twenty-four Tufts University students, to Israel to study about the on-going conflict between the Arabs and Jews in the Israeli-Palestinian territories. Personally, I did not have a complete understanding of the conflict prior the trip, and I am now even more eager to learn more after the trip. I had done some research before we left, but it did not help as much as hearing from the people living a life of fear due to everyday killings on both sides, Palestine and Israel.
We visited different organizations such as Arab Jewish Community Center, Hand in Hand (one of the only bilingual, bicultural schools in Israel), Jerusalem Youth Chorus at the YMCA (consists of both Israeli and Arab teenagers) and many others which are trying to build peace between the Arabs and Israelis. It is hard to teach adults about reconciliation because they have had the ideology of discrimination all their life. That is why different organizations are targeting the youth to change their views about the conflict so that there may be a brighter future for both Palestinians and Israelis.
Different solutions have been proposed for the conflict such as one-state solution (having a single nation, Israel, with equal rights of Israelis and Palestinians) or two-state solution (having two independent states, Palestine and Israel). The government of Israel has not come to a consensus of what solution should be implemented because the conflict is really complicated.
After spending a week in Israel, I still do not have an idea which solution I would vote for if I had to. All I want is to see the human kind leave the stereotypes, the differences, and focus on the similarities and what brings them together, hence allowing peace to have its way in the world.
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