Masa Israel Journey Blog

February 07, 2014
By Ethan Goldman, on Masa Israel's Yahel Social Change program
As far back as I can remember soccer has always been a huge part of my life.  I started playing in elementary school and since then I have rarely gone a day without having a ball at my feet. In addition to providing me with a good source of exercise and a well needed outlet for my surplus of energy, soccer has also been one of, if not the, most important social tool in my personal life. My best friends throughout high school were my teammates and they still represent the majority of people I keep in contact with from my hometown. Soccer was an even bigger part of my life in college. Playing on the varsity team for all four years, soccer related activities undoubtedly took up most of my free time and nearly all my time (excluding academics, of course!).
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January 27, 2014
This past weekend I visited the West Bank (or if you prefer, Judea and Samaria) through my participation in the Israel Government Fellows program run by the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem. For two days the Israel Government Fellows enjoyed informative meetings with Palestinian Arabs and Jewish settlers. We visited Hebron, Efrat, Shilo, and Eli. To add some perspective, few believe that Efrat wouldn’t be annexed to Israel in a two-state solution. Eli, in contrast, is a very controversial settlement. While I learned much, this sojourn reminded me how easy it can be to make assumptions when looking at the Arab-Israeli conflict as an outsider.
One Palestinian we met in the West Bank works as a Field Agent for B'tselem - the Israeli Information...
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