Today’s blog post comes from Valparaiso University Law Student Joseph B…
Traveling into the West Bank is unlike anything you’ve seen from a television broadcast. You quickly go through Israeli security and a new culture welcomes you. Start by visiting security wall where graffiti spans as far as the eye can see. Some images may startle the eye; but look at them as proof of the populations desire to peacefully persevere. The most powerful graffiti are of women and children holding olive branches and other peaceful gestures. You must remember there is a strong anti-Israeli Defense Forces bias, but the will of the Palestinians to live in peace is clearly evident with each shade of color.
Children suffer in every conflict but don’t understand why. Just within the West Bank, there are children’s and refugee centers providing safe areas to play and learn. Talking with some of the administrators, these centers were developed to establish a sense of community and chance to grow out of the situation life dealt them. As you hear their stories, the love they carry in their hearts is evident and you can’t help but feel connected on a humanitarian level. Every lens of political strife and discord is whisked away. While my group visited two locations operated by different organizations, I challenge visitors to see others. This is an experience will open your eyes to a whole new world. Don’t miss it.