Day 1 - Study trip in Palestine
“Zionism is an ideal” is the first messages that people get to read when they arrive at Tel Aviv airport. The claim was stated on a huge banner hanging on the wall of the airport. Israeli presence becomes largely visible by observing a lot of Jewish culture, symbolism and Zionist elements.
During our visit at Aida Refugee Camp in the north of Bethlehem, we had the chance to meet an activist that currently is living as a refugee in the camp. He explained through personal experience the meaning and implications of living under constant control and occupation. It becomes shocking to witness the reality of hardship and difficulties that the Palestinian people go through. The presence of the walls that divide and encage them, the constant patrolling and surveillance of the Israeli army, the absolute lack of any freedom of movement and a reminder of an unbalanced and unjust power division are the part of their daily life.
Later on we attended a presentation from Nassar Ibrahim, an activist from the Alternative Information Centre, who gave us an insight to the Palestinian conflict from a global and historical perspective. He put emphasis on European colonialism as a major factor that provoked and increased the conflict. London Conference in 1905, as he explained, became a key element for the main colonial forces – France and England – to decide the strategy that they would implement on the Arab world. The outcome of the conference was to divide the Arab world, prevent their unity, increase control and separate them from each other.
Afterwards we went to Badil Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugees Rights, a Palestinian Human Rights organization. One of the members of the organization, Murad, presented a lecture that concluded by stating that Israel is committing crime by occupation, colonization, apartheid and ethnic cleansing by definition of the UN and International Law. Therefore Palestinians have a right to resist and to defend themselves.
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