On Monday evening, Stav’s and Oz’s students heard from Neil Lazarus, an internationally acclaimed expert in the fields of Middle East politics, public diplomacy, and effective communication training. The students spoke with Neil about the politics of the Middle East and how Israel is invloved in all of it. They discussed the last few elections in Israel and the changes in the political map during the last few years. They also discussed the situation that Israel has been facing recently.
PJ Slatkin wrote about his experience:
“On this week’s Faces of Israel, in light of the recent war, our usual Israeli guest speakers were replaced by Neil Lazarus of Awesome Lecturers. Despite what the wave of Instagram slideshows and some Congresspeople would have you believe, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is anything but simple. During his British-humor joke-filled lecture, Neil explained to us some of the political motivations behind this most recent wave of conflict. Of how, though there is a ceasefire, the conflict is anything but over. Of how, though the IDF destroyed much of Hamas’ infrastructure, the victor of this war was indisputably Hamas. And, how while we know of Hamas as a brutal regime, inside Gaza and now much of the West Bank, Hamas is now known as the Palestinian defenders. Neil further explained the potential repercussions of this war to us. All in all, this was a valuable lesson to all of us on the State of Israel, the Palestinians, and why it is more important than ever for us to stand up for Israel”.
On Tuesday, we stayed in Tel Aviv and enjoyed a day filled with fun and history. The morning began with activites led by the Madrichim. The students spoke about their passions, after which the Madrichim related the activity to the work of the Palmach.
The Palmach was the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Jewish community during the period of the British Mandate. By 1948, during the Arab–Israeli War, it consisted of over 2,000 men and women in three fighting brigades as well as aerial, naval, and intelligence units. With the creation of Israel’s army, the Palmach was disbanded.