Sunday, November 07, 2010

Ha'hakpa'a

We are continuing with our Education Technology Experiment at the Hebrew Academy in Huntington Beach, California.
Upon the return of one of my students from a recent visit to Israel, the topic of the Green Line (HaKav HaYarok) and the freeze on settlements (hakpa'a) was raised. The class discussed the issue in detail, and decided to call one of our contacts, a graduate of our high school, who resides on a Yishuv in Israel to hear her viewpoint on this controversial issue.
It was exciting to see her on the SmartBoard via the webcam. During our conference, each student had a chance to ask her a question through the microphone, which was passed around the classroom. The students listened carefully to every word she uttered in Hebrew. As she was speaking, I wrote on the SmartBoard the new words, verbs, and idioms she used. It was a real learning experience, but most of all the students enjoyed listening to her personal encounters with her Arab neighbors.
She emphasized that it is hard for us, in America, to understand the Arab mentality, which is all based on lies and dishonesty. She continued to tell us a personal story.
A neighboring Arab child blamed her for hitting him, and even showed his parents a wound he had on his body, which he claimed she caused. Eventually, the truth came out. That wound was caused by his own parents, who hit their children constantly.
"Stopping the building in the Yishuvim will not make them happy. The only thing that will satisfy them is getting back Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, and eventually all of Israel," she said.
We all know the facts, but when they come from our own peers who struggle with the Arabs daily, it sounds much more powerful and alarming. She really brought the point home.

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