The sixth full day of the Israel trip started with the students packing the bus and preparing to go to the north of Israel. Before going to the north, the students spent their day exploring Jerusalem’s Ir David (City of David), walking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, touring HaOphel—the Eastern wall of the Temple Mount—and visiting the Bedouin village of Khawaled, home of Ishmael Khaldi.
In Ir David (the City of David), the students learned about the ancient history of Jerusalem and specifically the area that was the City of David. The tour began with a short film about the area, which lead to a series of light shows and films within the city, all leading to their wading down the water tunnel also known as Hezekiah’s Tunnel. This tunnel is a dark underground waterway which reveals how water was transported into the City of David.
After coming out of the tunnels, the students toured HaOphel, the remaining Eastern wall of the Second Temple. This ancient site had key evidence pointing to an ancient Jewish presence in the land of Israel. The students saw the ruins and artifacts that are on the side of the temple that most people do not know about. One of the artifacts had an ancient Hebrew inscription from the time of the Second Temple.
The students then went on to visit the Bedouin village of Khawaled, home of Ishmael Khaldi. Khaldi, who is usually working in London as an Israeli diplomat, is Israeli’s first Bedouin diplomat. Prior to his being chosen to be a diplomat in 2004, Khaldi served in Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Defense Ministry, and the Israeli Police. Additionally, Khaldi has acted as the spokesperson to the Arabic news media during the disengagement from Gaza. Khaldi began his talk by talking about Bedouins and their culture. He then spoke to the students about the battle outside of Israel for Israel’s legitimization on college campuses and within foreign governments. He encouraged the students to stand up for Israel on campus.
Above: Ishmael Khaldi telling his story.