Today was my favorite day of the trip so far. Being very interested in law, I was really looking forward to going to the Israeli Supreme Court, and I found their court system and the way it works to be very interesting. Our guide in the Supreme Court tried to explain to us how, what she called the security fence, was legal and that Knesset and the Supreme Court colluded and came up with the plan. Also, she told us that said “fence” does not separate people, but is strictly for security. This stance seems a bit oblivious as on our trip we could see the walls and even where they, meaning Israel, are planning to put a new barrier. Keeping with the Supreme Court, in their pamphlet, I found it interesting that when describing the architecture of the building, there were religious passages referenced. “You are righteous…and Your laws are straight” from Psalms 119:137, and “He leads me in the circles or justice” from Psalms 23:3. You could see the symbolism that the lines and the circles had in the architecture and what they mean for the law. Also, it was very aesthetically pleasing.
Meeting with the Bedouins was a fantastic experience. In The Lemon Tree, we read about the barefoot soldiers briefly, but that does not give any information on how this group of people lives. Seeing how these people live their lives and what they have to go through is heart-wrenching. This community gets harassed by the settlers regularly because the settlers want them gone. Also, the Israeli government does not let any expansion happen in the Bedouin community. During the building of the school, which was made out of mud and tires, it was immediately given a destruction order, and currently has a order on it. Toys and playground equipment were donated, but taken away as well. Something that we were told that really struck me was when the Bedouins were trying to install the equipment, they were told they could not install them using cement because they needed a permit for cement. To me, this was a slap in the face and a screw you to the Bedouins by the Israelis. Something so minute as cement was kept from them to try to drive them away. I really grasped onto what the spokesman for the Bedouin village said about how they would not be Bedouins if they were moved somewhere else.
It was really interesting to hear somebody from the right wing community in regard to the conflict. Guy was a nice man, but he spoke hate toward Muslims, even though he said he would love them. He said they are inherently violent and that they are bred to hate the Jews. Come Judgement Day, he would have no issues killing Muslims. He was very glad to have the safety of the military and the occupation and barrier. This, obviously, is a stark contrast to what we have heard from the majority of the people we have talked to thus far.