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Los Angeles Jewish Federation

Israel Diary: A Tale of Two Visits

Arianna Huffington | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Arianna Huffington

JERUSALEM -- Early Friday morning I visited the Bialik Rogozin School, an extraordinary example of what is possible with real leadership. The school has 750 students from 48 countries, most of them very poor. When director Karen Tal took over three years ago, the school was plagued by outbreaks of violence and dilapidated surroundings. But the school I toured was immaculate, with new computers throughout, and bright, smiling children everywhere. I left Bialik Rogozin energized and inspired. So it was particularly jarring to drive straight to the West Bank to see the Jewish settlements that have become a flashpoint of the stalled peace process. The security wall. The roadblocks and barbed wire. The checkpoints and "buffer zones." The large, sprawling, and very permanent-looking Israeli settlements carved out on Palestinian land. No wonder Palestinians feel like strangers in their own land. READ MORE Israel Diary: Shimon Peres on Peace, Obama's Tough Love, and Working in the Shadows Israel Diary: Hyper-Alert Security Guards and Hyper-Creative Tech Geeks