topics: Green Line, cornflakes (food), Givat Haviva, equality and understanding; jump to dispatch
Rider Notes: January 19, 1998
Food of the Day: cornflakes
Anyone who has read andrEa's biography knows that one of her favorite foods in the world is cornflakes, any and every brand she can find. Imagine her delight at finding them in Israel! Here are photos of some friends helping show the box, on which "cornflakes" is written in Hebrew. She also found them (on occasion) elsewhere during our trip, where the writing was in Arabic!
Word of the Day: Chutzpah — "nerve"The Hebrew word chutzpah means to have "nerve" or to be bold, gutsy, and sometimes somewhat shocking in your behavior.
Tech Fact of the Day: Green Lines
"Green Line" is a term that is always used to describe a frontier along which there is an attempt to keep potentially hostile parties apart using neutral third-party forces like those of the United Nations. (For example, there is a Green Line dividing the opposing Greek and Turkish forces in Cyprus.)
In 1993, in Oslo, Norway, an agreement was signed between Israel and Palestine that transferred the management of certain parts of the Israeli-held West Bank territories and Gaza to the Palestinian National Authority (a Palestinian governing body working to achieve Palestinian autonomy under a recognized Palestinian government). The West Bank is, of course, the area that Israel captured from Jordan following the Six-Day War of 1967. After the war, and to keep further hostilities to a minimum, the United Nations sent troops to keep a watch along the border that had existed between Israel and the West Bank until 1967. This former border became the Green Line.
Unfortunately, the process of drawing borders and Green Lines has never been one that takes into account the lives of individuals and the communities in which they reside. As we saw in Rafah (in the Gaza Strip), sometimes the borders divide families and property. In the case of the border/Green Line between Israel and the West Bank, whole villages were split down the middle. Thus, today there are Palestinians living on the Israeli side of the former Green Line who, after 1948, were granted Israeli citizenship. These people live face to face with people (their own cousins!) who fell on the other side of the line and who carry Palestinian passports. For the Israeli Palestinians, the years of being "Israeli" and not "Palestinian" per se, have generated a unique set of confusions and challenges. These are just some of the many delicate and serious issues that Givat Haviva's programming addresses (see the Place of the Day).
Person of the Day: Sara Boroden Sara Boroden is an intern at Givat Haviva (see the Place of the Day), originally from Toronto, Canada, where she recently graduated with a degree in Middle East Studies.
Sara welcomed us to Givat Haviva and then generously devoted an entire evening of her time to helping us meet facilitators and students living and working on the grounds. She was a knowledgeable source of information about activities at Givat Haviva and life in Israel, and kept our conversations informative and lively. Basically, she was the best!
Sara, who first came to Israel some years ago on a study program, considers herself "left"- (or liberal-) oriented in most things, and has returned as part of her effort to support the "left" (or progressive) population of Israel through her work and with the knowledge and understanding she has gained in her life and in school. (At present  in Israeli politics, the left wing is the minority both in the Knesset [Parliament] and the country itself. Since many people who immigrate to Israel develop conservative orientations, she is considering moving to Israel to help balance the scales.) She also loves the country and its people of all origins! We wish her the best in everything and thank her for all that she did for us!
Place of the Day: Givat Haviva
"Givat Haviva, founded in 1949, is Israel's oldest and largest organization promoting democracy, tolerance, and mutual respect between Israel's diverse communities. Through its various departments, it also works to integrate new immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia into Israeli society, presents Holocaust and Racism seminars, to develop community access to art and the media, and to help troubled adolescents and challenged youth.
"Givat Haviva's work has been acclaimed by the Israeli Government, by the Palestinian Authority (PA), and by many other political bodies including the European Union, and by intellectual and political figures the world over."
Givat Haviva has spent the past 50 years expanding, and has increased the size and number of its programs to include (among others) The Jewish-Arab Center for Peace (which facilitates the Institute for Peace Research) and the Institute for Arabic Studies.
One essential part of the educational work that Givat Haviva does involves a program called Children Teaching Children. We met with an able and interesting co-director of that project, Mr. Shuli Dichter. Children Teaching Children concentrates on creating increased discussion among Arab and Jewish Israeli youngsters who often have little or no social interaction. Children Teaching Children holds moderated sessions that allow young people to recognize their similarities as well as differences in a safe and supportive environment, with guidance from highly trained coordinators also reflecting both "racial" backgrounds. Something as simple as dialogue between these people may sound quite easy, but according to Shuli, it has taken the Israeli government the last 50 years even to acknowledge that some of the problems of the country may be solved through such discussions.
For more information about Children Teaching Children, we encourage you to visit their Web site or reach out to them by any other means at your disposal.
We would like to thank Mr. Sydney Luria for letting us know about Givat Haviva, and applaud his help in aiding this worthy cause.
For more information about Givat Haviva, read below or visit their Web site at www.dialogate.org.il or email them directly through email@example.com.
- Children Teaching Children
- Givat Haviva
- M.P. Menashe 37850
- Tel: +972.6.630.9282
- Fax: +972.6.630.9304
- Email: Israel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Group Dispatch, January 19
Today we had planned to get on the road relatively early, but somehow we instead fell into an endless-morning pace.
One of the biggest time-consuming details we faced was securing a new set of Wheeler wheels for andrEa. You see, unfortunately and to everyone's great dismay, during the holiday break and while Corinne and andrEa were in Gaza, andrEa's Wheeler 6700 bicycle (as well as some other materials belonging to Corinne, andrEa, BikeAbout, and their Gazan hosts) was stolen. Yes, stolen. Despite considerable and sometimes embarrassing efforts made to recover it, andrEa found herself without her trusty two-wheel companion. So, BikeAbout was required to mobilize all available resources and find a replacement. Fortunately, our generous bicycle sponsors, Wheeler Worldwide, led by Wheeler-France and in cooperation with Wheeler-Israel, went above and beyond the call of duty and made a new Wheeler 2700 bike available to andrEa. We cannot express our thanks enough to Wheeler Worldwide, Wheeler-France and Francis Kelsall, and Wheeler-Israel through Mr. Ilan Tzemach and his Gilad Import and Marketing Bicycles company for their generosity in compensating for this unfortunate incident.
But back to our morning.
With bikes for everyone, we still had to stop for a LONG WAIT at the post office to mail off the results of our most recent photo shoot at the Mediterranean Sea, and then sort out the details of preparing Padraic's things for his long-anticipated arrival in Tel Aviv later in the week.
At long last, we were ready to be led northward out of Tel Aviv by our new friend (photographer supreme and cycling enthusiast) Charles Frankenburg. Charles was instrumental in helping us out in Tel Aviv, and we just can't thank him enough either. As a professional guide during the tourist season, and an active member of the Tel Aviv Bikers Association, Charles offered to lead us on a scenic and stress-free route out of bustling city and its fairly unfriendly-to-cyclists traffic. Add to this golden offer of aid some PERFECT cycling weather and we knew we were in for a treat on the ride to Givat Haviva (see the Place of the Day), the kibbutz-like community of teachers and learners where we had arranged to spend the night.
The flat ride on the highway was smooth and the traffic out of town was hardly the nightmare we expected after our jaunts back and forth between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. While we weren't sure of the total distance we had to cover, we did enjoy the trip up the coast, the slow approach into the hills , and tried to beat the setting sun with what was left of the afternoon. All in all, it was a remarkably event-less bike day . . . and a great chance for andrEa to take lots of pics!
The day became much more interesting once andrEa and Corinne met up with Ethan and Anthony at Givat Haviva. Our hostess (see the Person of the Day) was Sarah , an intern who volunteered to show us around the school's campus and introduce us to some of the staff.
Givat Haviva is a 20-hectare (50-acre) facility for workshops, seminars, and education geared toward creating positive interaction and friendship between Arabs and Jews in Israel. It was founded immediately after the (Arab-Israeli War of) 1948 War of Independence. Peaceful Israeli and Palestinian co-existence on the same land was of the utmost importance to Givat Haviva's founders, who anticipated continued struggles over the land and between the people.
After dinner in the loud and lively cafeteria, which was chock full of young South American students visiting for a week-long training seminar, Ethan and Anthony were sent to their rooms with a plateful of dessert, and knew they couldn't leave until their dispatches were done. It's a lot of work explaining the social and political context of our many new experiences in the Middle East, and we all labor over keeping all our descriptions and stories both objective and just.
Meanwhile, Corinne and andrEa spent some time discussing BikeAbout with a roomful of young Israeli men who are at Givat Haviva for a year to study the Arabic language and culture. Most of them hope to assure better placement during their mandatory military service in the Israeli army and go straight to the Intelligence Department. Hence, no photographs were allowed. But they gave us all sorts of Hebrew words to add to our vocabulary, some of which we can't repeat in public, and some of which we already knew in Arabic. Hofesh means "freedom," shivion is the word for "equality," and havaroute means "friendship."
Unfortunately, it began raining at about 8 p.m., which was not a good sign for tomorrow but put no real damper on our evening. Finally, after another few hours spent getting to know Sarah, it was time for everyone to hit the hay. We all tried to dream of completed dispatches and clear skies for the next morning.
Questions? Ask andrEa !
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