Sunday, October 14

Applied Research Insitute Jerusalem (ARIJ)

We visited ARIJ this past week. It's based in Bethlehem even though 'Jerusalem' is in the name. It's an organization that researches the actions of the Israeli government and then reports on them; a simple mission statement with a complicated mission.

The presentation at ARIJ was powerful. The head of ARIJ, Dr. Jad Isaac, has a powerpoint presentation that goes through a timeline and visually shows the affects of Israeli settler expansion on the West Bank. (Anyone that's planning to come visit Israel and wants to try to get a balanced approach needs to set up a visit. You'll hear a lot of things from them that you won't hear other places. And, by the way, because of how complex things are here, and how often things happen that we lack the social context to explain coming from the States, a visit really helps puts things in perspective.)

There need to be more organizations like this on both sides; ones that are willing to deal with facts without exaggerating and without inflammatory language. As bad as things are, no one needs to inflate what's happening; you and I just need to be made aware of the situation so that we're willing to promote change in the region.

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