An educational response to the recent inter-community violence in Israel
May was a very difficult month here in Israel. Not only was there a 10-day military operation in Gaza, with Hamas firing near-constant rockets into Israel, but also inter-community riots took over the streets of many of our cities, with extremists attacking people, cars and buses, and setting fire to homes and businesses. The escalation of violence was disturbing and traumatizing, and shook the entire country.
The youth movement associated with Dror Israel, Hanoar Haoved, made sure to reach out to all youth and children participants during the violence to make sure they were safe, and also to send a message against violence and racism and promoting calm.
“It was a very difficult time,” Eitan Goldstein, a youth counselor in the mixed city of Akko tells us, “One participant was barricaded in her school to stay away from the rioters. Both Arab and Jewish kids were not sleeping well from the noise and the smoke, and rocks being thrown at their homes.”
Now that the riots are over, the youth movement is taking on the task of picking up the pieces and restoring the trust that was broken between Jews and Arabs in Israel, as well as providing an important safe space for the kids to share and process their feelings.