The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

PBPL 85 travels to Moshav Na’ama in the Jordan Valley

Students on a tour of a date processing plant

Students on a tour of a date processing plant.

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We woke up early this morning to travel to Moshav Na’ama, an agricultural settlement in the Jordan Valley. At Moshav Na’ama, we were welcomed into Bar Levy’s home and ate a wonderful breakfast (complete with fresh vegetables and dates from the farms) with his family. After breakfast, Bar Levy, an Israeli soldier, allowed us to ask him questions about his life, his family’s history, and his views on the peace process. Our class came away from the discussion with a greater understanding of the differences that exist amongst types of Israeli settlements and the motivations of those that live there. Then, Bar Levy’s brother took us on a tour of his date processing plant, his date fields, and his father’s herb fields. He explained to us the growing process and let us sample dates. He also introduced us to his Palestinian friend and fellow farmer who allowed us to ask him about his life and his interactions with Israelis in the area. The class left the farms with new insights for our memo and 5 kg of dates for snacks on the bus (we will keep you updated on the amount eaten).

We stopped for lunch briefly and headed back to Jerusalem for a meeting at the Israeli Foreign Ministry. At the Consulate, we had the opportunity to speak with Ophir Kariv who is the Director of the Department for Israeli Consulates in the U.S. for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Kariv answered our questions and added to our knowledge about the conflict. After leaving the Consulate, we headed back to the hotel to work on the memo and get rest for tomorrow!

 

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