Friday, September 5, 2008

East Jerusalem

We met with someone from the Israeli government today which was a unique opportunity. Yonatan Adiri who is a senior advisor to Shimon Peres took us around Jerusalem to explain how the city would be divided in a two state solution. This is a very complicated issue in the two state solution bc so many religions call it the center of their faith. West Jerusalem is mostly Palestinian and is by some definitions, Palestinian land and was split during the Oslo agreements. It was interesting to see a very pragmatic and detailed explanation to how the Israeli government felt this would be plausible.

We also met with Moty Cristal who is the Chief Negotiator for Israeli premier-ministers (Olmert) office. Pretty amazing to meet with him too. He talked about how he could come up here and show us picture of terrorist victims and convince us of his “facts.” But in the Mid-East, there is no reality or facts, only perceived reality and each person’s own facts. I was afraid of that I was beginning to feel increasingly more sympathetic to the Palestinians. This fact helped me to come back a little. To remember that I am not here to find the truth or find out who is wrong or right but to find out why each side feels the way that they do. Moty felt that the clock was ticking against the Jewish/ Democratic State.

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