So I’ve decided that I can’t encompass all that I am learning everyday here in one blog post. It’s all so interweaved and “complicated” that it is literally impossible for me to communicate to you my experiences. From now on I’m going to try and communicate to you the themes that I encounter. The theme that I’ve brought from today was that everything is grey. People come to this area knowing the black and white. The agreements, disagreements, political documents, etc. What is impossible to understand or recognize until you get here is the human element. The emotions of the land are truly remarkable. So much love, so much pain, so much hate, and so much happiness. Today we talked to a woman named Lydia who lives on a Kibbutz and is heavily involved in the peace process. We were talking about the conflict and she told us that her conclusion was that one side needed to make the first move. I then asked her, “Who do you think is in a better position to make that move?” She paused, looked me right in the eyes, and smiled. She said,” twenty years ago I would have that answer for you, but today I don’t.” Lydia then went on to tell me about how one day, 20 years ago, when she was driving to work she witnessed a Palestinian car pull out and smash into a public Israeli bus. That day she saw six Israelis burn to death in front of her eyes. She then said a few years later her son, who was in the army, was in a coma at a hospital because of a gun wound that he received during the war. She said a few days after her son entered the hospital a Palestinian man who was also fighting in the war, but on the other side, entered the same hospital. She said the shot Palestinian man lay next to her son for days and received the same service and care that he did. But she wouldn’t have it any other way. When we study the conflict it is impossible to account for the emotions of the people who live here until you come here. Not everything is black and white, in fact most of it is grey.

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