The Day in Israel

Friday we had the opportunity to travel throughout many major cities within Israel. We visited Nazareth, Tiberia, Haifa, Akka, and Tel Aviv all in one day, which went from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm! I saw so many incredible places that have shaped modern society. We visited several churches where Jesus’ miracles took place such as walking on water, changing water to wine, and feeding thousands of people with small amount of bread and fish. We visited the city in which Jesus lived and 5 of his disciples came from. In Nazareth we visited the largest church in the Middle East, needless to say was enormous and beautiful.

Our travels continued to Haifa and Akka, which are cities with a mixed population of Arabs and Israelis. 20% of the population within Israel are Arabs and have similar rights to Israelis although there are numerous reports of unequal treatment. Despite this, I was mesmerized by the fact that Arabs and Israelis were living together in many of the cities we visited. I came to realize the policy of isolation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip only exposes the population to occupational forces and not the general public. Over time, even in the span of 3 weeks as in this particular situation, you get the sense that Israelis are on one side of the separation barrier and Arabs on the other. This is far from the truth, and I’m glad to see this. This gives hope that in the future when Palestine and Israel live side by side in peace and harmony, the populations can live with each other. Case in point Haifa, Akka, and Tel Aviv/Jaffa.

To further elaborate on the concept of isolation noted above, I believe that isolation is not the appropriate path to take. By isolating certain areas, such as the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian population within the West Bank, catalyzes radicalization that is manifested by the minority. Consequently, the majority of the population ends up suffering from the dynamics of the Israeli occupation and its flux in rigidity. I suppose I’m the optimist, naïve, or whatever you want to call me – communication will solve the problem, not isolation and segregation.

At least I know that there is that hope we can live together in peace as is currently in many part of Israel. Once a political solution is found, the societies will eventually learn to co-exist! We can do it!

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