Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Robin Kopit Addresses Students On Prospects of Coexistence

Tonight, hosted by the Santa Cruz Israel Action Committee, community member Robin Kopit addressed a number of students regarding his most recent journey to Israel with the Compassionate Listening Project. The following are some photos from his trip, and the rest are available for viewing here.



















Robin opened his slideshow with a quote from Mark Twain's 1867 writings on his trip to Israel The Innocents Abroad. A sample from that text, describing Israel at the time, follows:
“ ...[a] desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds-a silent mournful expanse....A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action....We never saw a human being on the whole route....There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of the worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”
Robin then proceeded to tell of his own journey through pictures and stories. While staying in the Ecce Homo Convent in the Old City of Jerusalem, Robin had an excellent view of the Temple Mount. During his two weeks, Robin met with a number of interesting people, from a man running for office in the Arroub refugee camp to R. Yehoshua Kahan from Yeshivat Bat Ayin.

A few points really stood out to me. Robin mentioned that he had asked a Palestinian man, who had been speaking about how some of his land had been cut off by the Security Wall, how he acquired the land. Robin said the man uncomfortably answered that his father had farmed it, and his father before him. There is no established ownership, as in other places. So Robin posed the question, in such a situation, how can we talk about ownership without established ownership or private land?

Also, he noted that right outside the confines of the refugee camp was plenty of lush and open space, an Arab town in fact. But the 8,000 refugees were not allowed to live there, as the Arab residents of that town expected them to move back to wherever it was their grandparents had lived.

Robin also visited Chevron, and visited a memorial museum to the 1929 massacre of Jews by Palestinian Arabs there. He also visited the Gush Bloc, which was originally a kibbutz established in the 1920's, but was also destroyed by Arabs in the 1947/48 war, and its Jews massacred, but today it is again a thriving area with eight towns.

And, he also commented on the million-dollar Arab mansions he saw in Chevron. He said a journalist friend of his said that Chevron would lose a number of millionaires if the US ever succeeded in cutting off funding to Hamas.

But overall, it seemed to be a very positive journey and made me hopeful for peaceful Jewish-Muslim coexistence.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

B''H
hey whatsup
I don't believe you have any news links, so I want to suggest arutzsheva.com for news in Israel, maybe also jpost.com and haaretz.com for more "centrist" news and also you might want to give links for mainstream American news (like nytimes.com). I think this would be really helpful for your readers who are into politics or may be interested in whats going on in the world.

Kol Tuv,
Zev

Wed Jan 25, 02:40:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B''H
hey whatsup
I don't believe you have any news links, so I want to suggest arutzsheva.com for news in Israel, maybe also jpost.com and haaretz.com for more "centrist" news and also you might want to give links for mainstream American news (like nytimes.com). I think this would be really helpful for your readers who are into politics or may be interested in whats going on in the world.

Kol Tuv,
Zev

Wed Jan 25, 02:41:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B''H
hey whatsup
I don't believe you have any news links, so I want to suggest arutzsheva.com for news in Israel, maybe also jpost.com and haaretz.com for more "centrist" news and also you might want to give links for mainstream American news (like nytimes.com). I think this would be really helpful for your readers who are into politics or may be interested in whats going on in the world.

Kol Tuv,
Zev

Wed Jan 25, 02:42:00 PM 2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home