Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Easing Tensions

There has been so much heart wrenching news about the disengagement all over the internet that I have been reticent to post more negative stuff here. I was pleased to have found something positive on YNet. To me this article is typical of life in Israel - despite our many differences we are all Yidden and want to live normal and fulfilled lives.

The original article is here.

Police, settler kids attend summer camp

Far away from the 'festival' surrounding disengagement, Netanya police invite settler kids to participate in summer camp for children of police officers; camp director Moshe Ohayon: We want to give parents the opportunity to function with a clear head. By Raanan Ben-Zur

Staying connected from a young age: Apart from the occasional kid with a kipa on his head, it's hard to find any distinguishing characteristics regarding the campers enjoying the last few weeks of summer vacation at the "Tapuz" elementary school in Pardesiya.

Everyone wears the camp t-shirt, eats in the same mess hall, plays the same games, and enjoys a traditional summer camp experience.

But the activities at Tapuz (the word means "orange", meaning the fruit, but has no connection to the color orange adopted by the anti-disengagement movement) have a special flavor this year: 17 children are bussed in each morning in bullet-proof buses from their homes in West Bank settlements slated for evacuation, while rest come from homes in which one of their parents are police officers charged with carrying out the pullout.

Instilling values
The idea to include settler children in a summer camp with the kids of police officers who will evacuate their parents originated from second-in-command of the Netanya police station, Moshe Ohayon "We want to show we are all part of one people," said Ohayhon. "The Northern Samaria Regional Council was very receptive to the idea.
Ohayon also said the decision to include settler children in the camp was intended to instill values in both groups of young people.
"It is very important to us that settler children see that police officers also have kids, just like themselves. This is also the reason we didn't set conditions for acceptance and didn't check whether the kids came from pro-disengagement or anti-disengagement families," he said.