Bus Tour to Key Lookouts in Jerusalem

Monday, July 14th

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Unfortunately today I was not feeling well.  Rumor has it I was sick due to having a couple beers the night before, but this is not accurate.  I did have two Israeli commercial beers – a Goldstar and a Maccabee- with my dinner, which was delicious (highly recommended).  However, during Professor Shinar’s politics and media class I developed a stomach bug, (probably from the food)  which continued throughout the day so I decided to head back to the apartment and rest it off!

According to my classmates today’s lecture with Professor Shinar topic was the role of media in the peace process of cultural conflicts.  According to Jaclyn, Professor Shinar discussed the pattern of violence that have followed after past peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine.  There are many reasons for the continued Israeli-Palestinian conflict and some explanations for this, as Professor Shinar explained, are the Israeli/Jewish vs. Arab/Islamic conflicting ideologies, nationalism, colonialism/anti-colonialism, and of course struggles over scarce resources- land, water, and oil.  It is important to note that this conflict is a cultural conflict where both sides refuse to accept the other for many reasons.  Shinar mentioned that cultural conflicts such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are deep-rooted, long lasting, global and asymmetric.  It is interesting to think about how conflict in the 21st century is no longer really between states, but is asymmetric involving many parties, especially in the form of terrorism.

Another piece of information that Jaclyn shared with me from today’s lecture is that Shinar explained that the media prefers war and violence to peace as it makes for better television, which is a very sad reality.  I would like to thank Jaclyn for her insight and for sharing her notes from today’s lecture, they were extremely helpful.  Thanks Jac!!!

Regarding today’s class on the topic of media I had the opportunity to speak with my roommate and good friend Carlos.  He told me that Professor Shinar stated, “Media in Israel never evolved, but transformed itself.  Where in most countries you have evolution of media from the private to public hands, in Israel it was the opposite, it went form public to private, which has created a bias in the media.”

After classes my colleagues took a bus tour to key lookouts in Jerusalem.  They went to see different parts of societies that live in Jerusalem.  They visited some projects where people who arrived in Israel for the first time could better integrate into society rather then living in tents.  They visited Arab and Jewish neighborhoods separated by streets.  They then went up to higher ground where they could see Bethlehem and Arab settlements.  They also saw Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which Carlos mentioned was very interesting to see in person.  Some of the main sites my classmates saw were the Knesset, the Jewish settlement of Gilo, Bethlehem, and the barrier wall between Jerusalem and the West Bank (from a distance).

The following pictures are from today’s bus tour.  Photo and caption credit to my classmate and friend Jaclyn Roache:

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The Knesset

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Bethlehem

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Israeli settlement in Gilo

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View of Jerusalem from Gilo

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Israeli-West Bank barrier

 

– Jonathan

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