Jerusalem, the internationally-unrecognized capital of the State of Israel, is in a very unique though troubling situation. The city is divided East and West, with Palestinian and Israelis living in each side respectively…for the most part. In the news we often see Palestinian demonstrations in Jerusalem against Israeli occupation turning violent. Two nations, the Jews and the Palestinians, claim the city as their own–this understandably leads to a lot of tension between them. However, tours are currently being conducted throughout East Jerusalem, allowing people to leave “their comfort zones.” Many of the tourists are Israeli and these exhibitions into East Jerusalem are allowing them to meet new people with different views and to experience Palestinian neighborhoods they might otherwise be wary to enter. These tours provide the opportunity to bring many different people together and lead to a more healthy discussion between the two groups, which is is needed most of all. The goal is to “dissolve” and “blur boundaries.” However, is this the right thing for Jerusalem? More problems have arisen because boundaries have been blurred by Israeli settlement-building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Will these tours create a sense of full-ownership over Jerusalem for the tourists, or will it simply blur the boundaries of hate that have hindered progress towards peace for so many years?
Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/15/arts/international/in-east-jerusalem-a-trip-into-the-unknown.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FIsrael&action=click&contentCollection=world®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection