Students in the upper school history elective “Political and Social Changes” held a Skype discussion with four Israeli students and their teacher on February 11. The Israeli group is from the Ironi Hey High School in Haifa, a public high school enrolling 1600 students from grades 7 to 12.
Organized by Beaver’s Kader Adjout (Global History Department Chair), the video chat gave students a chance to share their perspectives on the Arab-Israeli conflict which Mr. Adjout’s class has been studying this term.
Our students said that the conflict with the Palestinians is very difficult to understand solely from reading media reports where Israel is alternately portrayed as the aggressor or the victim. For their part, the Israeli students said that it was hard to see their country pilloried in the world press when living with the conflict they know that it is far more complicated than many outsiders, including President Obama, seem to realize. The Israeli students also mentioned they are learning Arabic in preparation for working with Israeli intelligence forces as part of their military service.
One Beaver student, Emily Belowich ’11, told the group that she had enjoyed the five weeks she spent last summer in Israel, and that she hopes one day to return to the country to live. One of the Israeli students, a young man of Lebanese Christian heritage whose family sought refuge in Israel following the conflict with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, said he hopes to live in the U.S. one day.