Yarden Ben David (Israel, AC 08-10)
I am looking, observing. It is strange hearing your family and friends being talked about on the news. I can see, from here in Wales, disturbing images of war. I am witnessing war in the country where I was raised—but I’m not there. Faces of people and places I know so well, in the midst of a war which never seems to end. I quietly listen to the news, follow every development and now must make judgements without being surrounded by a community which always agrees with me. Being surrounded with people from all over the world opens my mind to a variety of opinions and ideas. I am glad for that; I’ve zoomed out and I see now a much bigger picture.
Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to grow up in a peaceful country- like Britain or Norway or Japan. What it’s like to walk the streets and not be afraid. Not having to justify your existence to people who will never accept you.
I made the conscious decision to come to AC in order to learn about peace, and what others believe. I wanted the opportunity to listen to Palestinians, shouting, debating, crying and understanding. It is an emotional subject, but it’s about time we open it up.
If a solution is reached for the Gaza conflict, it must be permanent. We cannot stand for another ceasefire that will crumble in less than 24 hours. There must be a real solution to this very real problem. Saying that, we still have obstacles to overcome. People on both sides decided to use their religion as an excuse to murder others. Somehow they thought of it as a legitimate reason for the killing.
Recently the UN has blamed Hamas for causing this humanitarian crisis. I believe that Hamas is the enemy for all peace seekers, and for the Palestinians themselves. But this is not what this article is about. This article is about my hope that we can rebuild a new future, for the residents of Sderot and Gaza, and find a resolution. When we reach that agreement, we can really work for a better future. But an agreement must come first. I can easily act like everyone else and ‘’choose’’ a side, but that is exactly what our parents have done for the past 60 years. We are a younger generation, a new, open-minded generation, who have come to this school to find solutions and to make the changes we think are for the better. And no time is better than now.
– United World College Student Magazine –