Israel, day 1

I am in Jerusalem. I have traveled to Israel and the Palestinian territories with a group of Americans. We will be meeting with about 20 people here, including Members of the Knesset and a Vice Prime Minister, military and intelligence officers, journalists and academics, diplomats, peace activists and human rights lawyers, both Jews and Arabs. The tour is organized by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston, but the visiting group is diverse with respect to religion and ethnicity. If one thinks in terms of the Arab/Israeli conflict, this visit is not neutral; it has a Jewish/Israeli perspective. I deliberated for rather a long time before deciding to participate and checked some aspects of the itinerary with Arab friends, who pointed out biases. I ultimately decided that neutrality may be impossible, and in any case, this is my only opportunity to visit the Middle East as the guest of a very well organized and well connected organization. The tour is pluralist and unscripted; we are encouraged to ask critical questions. I am hoping that it will mostly be on the record, and I plan to blog.

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About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.