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“Dirty Arabs!”

Every day I am constantly reminded about the fact that Hand-in-Hand really is a safe haven for co-existence. It’s hard, being neither Arab or Jewish, to remember that the conflict really does affect every single area of a person’s life. Even interacting with the kids at camp I am reminded this. Today, when going to the outside park, there was a broken bottle on the court, ruining any chance we had of playing there. Even if we had cleaned it up, it still would have been too dangerous. So we headed over to the other side to go play at the playground. On my way over there, I told Carmel (who is Jewish), “Why would they just drop a bottle like that and not clean it up? It’s so disrespectful.” She told me: “It happens all the time here. It’s because of our school. Look over there.” She pointed to a wall. “There was graffiti there that we whited out. It said “Death to all Arabs.” Now that she pointed it out, I could see the faint outline of some Hebrew letters on the wall. Considering Nai’s comment, “You should hear what they say to us because we’re Arab” (Nai is eleven), it struck me again just how important a school like Hand-in-Hand is. It’s tragic that there’s only one is Jerusalem, and four in the country. Co-existence schools like this are the key to solving the problem, in my opinion. It drives me crazy that even though these kids have a safe place within their school, the minute they leave the school walls they are subjected to prejudice and bigotry.


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