Go beyond the headlines and delve into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the prospects for peace through a dual-narrative immersive experience, co-led by a Palestinian and an Israeli.
The social justice theme for our program is peace. In order for social justice anywhere to be achieved, a true and lasting peace rooted in a power structure based on equity, security and justice must take shape. For our program, we want to explore the facts on the ground surrounding the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians--a conflict which appears not to be able to be solved in our lifetimes. Additionally, we feel that giving trip participants a chance to confront both the Israeli and Palestinian narratives will allow them to begin to think critically about the necessary steps that must take place for peace to come about. The trip will give students the opportunity to see how the conflict impacts daily life.
Dates of Engagement: March 7 - 15, 2020
Estimated Cost: $3,000 - $3,200
*Final cost is subject to change based on the finalized itinerary and program fundraising efforts
Yazan Hanouneh is a senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in International Relations. Although he was born in Bethlehem, Palestine, he has spent most of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area. He frequently travels back to Palestine, and a significant portion of his family continues to live there. On-campus, Yazan serves as the Director of the Kennedy Political Union, President of AU College Democrats, an AUx peer facilitator, member of Greek life, and more. This is his second Alternative Break after traveling to Cuba to learn about race and ethnicity in Spring 2018. He is excited to lead this alternative break because of his personal connection to the conflict and educational opportunity it provides.
Aylon Berger is a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs, majoring in CLEG. Although he was raised in New Jersey, Aylon spent two years living in Jerusalem and Ra'anana, Israel. Aylon is fluent in Hebrew, and spent his summers growing up visiting family and friends in Israel and travelling extensively throughout the country. On campus, Aylon is the co-founder and editor of TheMove and on the staff of the Kennedy Political Union. Additionally, Aylon is an active member of AU Hillel. Off campus, Aylon has worked on a congressional campaign, and has interned in a Capitol Hill office and at a PR firm.
Day One: Arrive in Tel Aviv.
Day Two: Visit the historic port city of Jaffa to learn about how the developments in Europe and the Middle East led to the strengthening of national identities, the beginning of the kibbutz movement, and the rise of Tel Aviv. Visit Lod, a mixed city of Mizrahi Jews and Arabs, to learn about its painful history and today’s socio-economic challenges.
Day Three: Visit Jerusalem and tour the Old City’s Jewish, Christian, and Muslim holy sites. Visit the Temple Mount / Noble Sanctuary to see the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, and then explore the Muslim Quarter. Later, visit the Western Wall and Jewish Quarter as well as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Christian Quarter, before walking both sides of the Green Line to learn its history and hear the stories of its surrounding Palestinian and Israeli neighborhoods.
Day Four: Visit East Jerusalem for a discussion of Palestinian Jerusalemites and political and economic concerns today. Cross the checkpoint into Bethlehem, walk the Separation Wall and visit a Palestinian refugee camp. Meet with Palestinian refugee advocates for a One-State, Right of Return, and Two-State solutions.
Day Five: Visit Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum then tour more of West Jerusalem to learn about the diversity of its older and newer neighborhoods and cultures. Discuss the impact of episodes of war and violence in recent decades on life for Jewish Jersualemites.
Day Six: Attend a panel of experts on public opinion in Israel and Palestine then visit with a joint peace-seeking NGO.
Day Seven: Have a recreational and cultural day and visit Masada, the Dead Sea, and Jericho.
Day Eight: Travel to DC