Today, we attended class at Hadassah Academic College. Professor Arye Naor came to class as a special guest to talk about the legitimacy of the State of Israel. In order to understand better the legitimacy of Israel, Professor Naor crafted a timeline that sets an important background since the time of the Balfour declaration up to all the events that preceded the creation of the state of Israel. Professor Naor mentioned that the Balfour declaration was the result of endless petitions from the Zionist movement who was seeking for the establishment of a Jewish state
Besides the contextual background given by Professor Naor, Professor Shinar Dov complemented the lecture with some talk about the Zionist movement and its importance for the establishment of the State of Israel. Also, we discussed the nature of the conflict by studying the drawing of the borders between 1937 and 1947. I found interesting how Professor Shinar defines the current conflict situation by saying that the Western thinking of Problem/Solution is not applicable to the Israeli-Arab conflict as a result of the intricacies resultant from religious and political issues surrounding the land of Zion. Instead of solving an unsolvable problem, Professor Shinar suggests to transform the problem to adapt it better to the circumstances.
In the afternoon, we went to the Israeli Museum, and visited a myriad of galleries where it was possible to find different art pieces that are defined as art from Israel but not necessarily Israeli Art. We were told that Jewish/Israeli art is complex to define since it could be attached to tradition, religion, or simple secular art expressions. It is important to highlight the idea of Palestinian artist: Sharif Waked, and his work “Chic Point” which serves as a combination of fashion and security procedures about Israeli checkpoints where Palestinians have to take their shirt. There were many other works that shows both ornamental objects, and purely aesthetic sculptures and paintings.
There is another important feature of the Museum’s complex which is ta central alley that displays sculptures combined with green areas, fountains, and a beautiful panoramic of Jerusalem.
In a different section of the Museum, some of us visited a professional numismatic who works for an official Israeli agency that is on charge of digging, and collecting coins all around the state. So far, he has collected around 500,000 coins from different periods. For example, he has coins from the Roman Empire period, the Muslim occupation, the crusades, and so forth.
In the Evening we visited David Citadel for an amazing light show. We were having such a great time when suddenly we faced a unique episode: The Jerusalem-missiles alarm went off, and we ran to a bunker under David Citadel. It happened to be not such an intricate situation since the Israel’s Iron Dome which is a missiles interceptor captured most of the rockets launched from Gaza, and just one hit some miles outside Jerusalem.
Afterwards, and leaving the bunker, everybody started singing Happy Birthday to me. It was a memorable birthday. I also got a Bar Mitzvah card signed by the group.
When the “all clear call” was given, we went back to the apartments, to eat cake and watch the Soccer World Cup.
Carlos Elias Campos
Morning Class with Professor Dov Shinar
King David’s Citadel at Night
Coins Collection at Israel Museum. (Gold coins from the early-Muslim presence in the West of Israel)