Comments Off on Youth call education key in solving Israel-Palestine conflict
Washington D.C., Sep 12, 2013 / 05:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Education and interpersonal interaction offer the best hope for change in the situation between Israel and Palestine despite challenges facing those in the region, young students said at a recent panel.
“When you live under occupation, you come to accept things you shouldn’t accept,” Lubna Alzaroo, a Muslim graduate of Bethlehem University and Fulbright scholar studying at the University of Washington, said Sept. 9 at the D.C. event.
“Education is our best way for liberation,” Alzaroo added, echoing her father’s parting words to her when she left to go to the United States.
She noted, however, that even this hope is threatened by the current political situation.
Peace talks between Palestine and Israel were put on hold in 2010 over the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law. Dialogue resumed in late July of this year in D.C., but with signs of tension beginning to emerge over discussions involving decades-old border lines.
Also speaking on the recent student panel were Nagib Kasbary, a Christian and 2013 graduate of Bethlehem University, and Naor Bitton, a Jewish Israeli graduate of Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Minnesota.
Bethlehem University is the first university founded in Palestine’s West Bank. The college is run by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, serving both Christian and Muslim Students.
The panelists spoke at a conference titled “Religious Freedom & Human Rights: Path to Peace in the Holy Land – That All May Be Free,” hosted by the Catholic University of America. The event was co-sponsored by the university as well as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services.
Alzaroo explained that her education in Palestine was “uncertain,” because it was at the mercy of violence and political situations: she had to pass through checkpoints to make it to and from class.
Passing through these checkpoints was a process dictated by security threats, and included anything from simply walking through to full-body searches. She explained that she nearly missed entrance exams at the university because of a closed checkpoint.
“We don’t have the freedom to move about as we want,” she explained, adding that “a lot of people had to let go of their dreams” because of the difficulty of pursuing an education.
In addition, “teachers go on strike every year because they aren’t paid enough – or, in …read more