About this Blog

"Ordinary People" is something of an intentional misnomer. I live and work with Palestinians practicing nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. They are doing things that are hardly "ordinary": committing themselves to active nonviolence and to loving their enemies -- following the commands of One who was anything but ordinary. And yet, the Palestinians with whom I work are also very ordinary -- they are not some kind of spiritual superheroes/superheroines who do things most folks can't do. They are simply ordinary people daily committing themselves to living a higher calling -- a calling of love and active nonviolence.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Israeli Higher Education: sans Palestinians

Came across this article today in Haaretz (an Israeli newspaper.) The Israeli High Court of Justice is reviewing the current policy that "even if a Palestinian's entry is not deemed a security risk, the IDF [Israeli Defense Force] will determine whether he gets to study in Israel, and in which program, while the universities will have to provide a rationale for accepting him." Currently according to this criteria, Palestinians seeking their undergraduate degree are not allowed to study in Israel. Graduate students may be permitted to study in Israel, only if their subject is not available for study in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In the United States, wouldn't this be called segregation?

How freely were people of color allowed to study in "white" universities in the United States during its practice of overt segregation?

When I was here in Palestine on my CPT delegation, a speaker commented, "Israel is the only country without borders." When I see maps of Israel from Israeli sources, oftentimes includes the occupied Palestinian territories as part of its territory. Yet in cases like these, Israel behaves as though the occupied Palestinian territories are a different country.

Israel, what are your borders? When will you realize this isn't in your best interests? When will you realize these games are not sustainable?

Does Israel hope to make peace, endear itself to the Palestinians, by limiting their educational opportunities?

Furthermore, I desperately wish Israelis and Palestinians could study side by side -- part of the problem with the current situation is that Israelis and Palestinians have so few opportunities to interact. If Israelis and Palestinians never get to know each other beyond stories and stereotypes, how will there be peace?


Alicia said...

"Israel is the only country without borders"?! People seriously say that?? Apparently they've never been to the EU...

Mrs. Micah said...

I agree--sharing their stories together, interacting--that brings a hope for peace. They know each other more as people than as concepts.