Deborah Coopersmith, TSI 2016-17 Graduate

The Sabra Institute helped give me a more comprehensive viewpoint of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In all of our discussion classes, I always left knowing more and feeling more confident in myself to talk to others about the topic. It was mind-boggling to see how although we all believe in Israel's right to exist, we had very different opinions on how they should conduct themselves in the international arena, local policies and a solution to end the conflict. [On the end of the year trip, we met with people from all different walks of life and were able to discuss with them what would be the most practical and realistic solution. I gained an understanding that any true peace between the Israelis and Palestinians would need to have multiple fronts dealing with economic, enviromental, geological and social problems. What impacted me the most was when we talked with a man who works at EcoPeace, an organization that works towards finding peace through preserving the environment. We met with him right next to the Security Border Fence where we saw highly polluted water exit the West Bank, go through a filtration system that no longer works properly because of the extreme abundance of pollution, and then reenter the river. This was eye opening to see one of the environmental problems Palestinians are facing and how by perhaps finding a solution that can teach them how to protect their water supply and a cheap way to clean their water we can be one step closer to peace.]