Amanda, USA

July 20, 2011

I’m about to attend Tel Aviv U for the next six months, as part of my sophomore year of college. I absolutely love being in Israel and have family near Haifa and some other surrounding areas. (Coincidentally, we had a cousin Avi who was also in the IDF. Sadly he passed away, many years ago, in the Yom Kippur War.) I’m about to be nineteen years old and I’m extremely anxious (and excited) to make the move to Tel Aviv in two weeks. One day I think I’ll make Aliyah. But, being an observant kosher Jew with Israeli family, I have interesting views regarding Israeli foreign policy. First, I plan to join the American Air Force.

How do you feel about the strong presence of illegal settlements in the West Bank? Do you believe these should be legalized?

Do you find/believe that Jewish Israeli schools do a good job with TRUTHFULLY educating their students on security matters and interactions with other Middle Eastern-countries? (Do they try to present both Israel and Israel’s enemies in an honest light?)

Hi Amanda,

I am certain that you are really going to enjoy your time here in Tel Aviv. Who knows, six months could turn into the rest of your life….it happens J

My views on the settlements are simple: the great majority of settlements are illegal according to international law, and they present a major obstacle to establishing a comprehensive peace in the region. I’m not quite sure what you mean by legalized, perhaps you mean annexed by Israel? While possible, such a move would be considered illegitimate by virtually the entire international community.

Comparatively to most countries, especially hostile countries in the region, I do believe that Israeli education provides students with a relatively balanced picture of the security situation here in Israel. Of course, there is always variation depending on the type of schools and the demographics: a high school in Umm al-Fahm obviously doesn’t teach the exact same curriculum as a school in Mea Shaarim. However, on a secular-level, I do believe that Israeli teachers do a fair job of conveying the realities of both sides of the conflict and of other Middle Eastern nations.

Have a safe trip over and stay in touch!

Best,

Avi

Thank you!

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