Friday, October 25, 2013

Blog 7: Education Boycott in Israel and Palestine

Due to increasing difficulties for Palestinians to enter Jerusalem from Israeli authorities and other issues coming from other places, a boycott has started. The problem rises with Palestinians, where they want Israeli Palestinian universities that work with Palestinians and Israelis to condemn the occupation of the Holy Land Jerusalem, and those who do not condemn the occupation are being boycotted against. This is a counter-productive move because a space to discuss the issues has been stripped away and is now being boycotted against. The people have nowhere else to go, nowhere else to talk about the issues, which results in growing tensions. Due to this issue, tents have been pitched in the desert, where both sides can come meet, talk, and try to negotiate. This is not to change anyone's minds, but to encourage communication because there is no solution for the conflict and everyone wants to be heard, particularly involving the status quo and those who are opposed to it.

In this scenario, education is not being used as the great equalizer. Rather, education is being ignored and pushed to the side because two fighting parties are unable to get along. In boycotting universities and other education programs, students and teachers alike are missing out on opportunities to learn and discuss the situation at hand. There was also the loss of a safe space. Schools are generally safe places to discuss problems, depending on where the school is located, but this space has been taken away. In turn, the community is also taking a hit as well because people are not learning at these institutions, which could mean students may not graduate on time and will be unable to participate in society for an extended amount of time until they are able to graduate. This is also breeding intolerance, by suggesting that two people from opposing sides cannot go to school together, and if they do, then they accept the status quo, rather than having their own opinions and just being able to tolerate the other side.

Tara Cook
October 25, 2013
4:22 p.m.

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