I am new to the blog world so I am not exactly sure how the whole thing works. What I do know is that mepeace speaks to issues I am extremely passionate about. I am a 20 years-old female, a Californian, and a Jew. I was raised in a secular Jewish home that is rich in Jewish culture and Ethics. My Jewish pride, the one that told me being a Jew meant being a humanitarian, a liberal, and having hutzpa, was recently devastated by the three weeks I spent studying the conflict in Israel/ Palestine. After talking to refugees, NGOs, IDF soldiers, Politicians, Settlers, Bedouins, Samaritans, and many others, the conflicting narratives of the people broke me down. Each reality was so far from the next that my idealism began to erode and co-existence seemed like a child’s dream.
One of the crucial moments of hope I had on my eye opening trip was a stop we made between East Jerusalem and Tel Aviv at Neve Shalom/ Wahat Al-Salam. In English it means Oasis of Peace. It is an intentional village where 60 families, half Jewish and half Palestinian, live together in peaceful coexistence. With over 300 families who are on the waiting list, the village provides a model for what Israel/ Palestine could be. It was a truly inspiring experience to walk its grounds and meet its members. They only revered the opportunities the village allowed them, including raising their kids in classrooms with both a Palestinian and a Jewish teacher, and moreover, being raised to speak Arabic and Hebrew.
I would love nothing more than to be able to spread the word about this amazing place, what it is doing for Social Justice, and hopefully, how it can dim the cynicism that the conflict instills. If you could check out their website, and better yet blog about it any where you can and tell your friends, it would mean the world to me. Thank you so much.