Educators and community leaders from Southern California visiting Israel as part of a study mission through the Olive Tree Initiative had the unique opportunity to meet with Ariel residents following a tour throughout the city. The Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) is a university-based organization centered in Orange County that promotes conflict analysis and resolution through experiential education in Israel.
At the Café Café located inside the Lowell Milken Sports and Recreation complex, the dozen visitors met with Roi Most, assistant to Mayor Eliyahu Shaviro; Arik Dushi, city councilmember and business owner; Shauli Zacks, an oleh (immigrant) from Detroit; and Shai Amichai, Ariel’s head of security. The visitors enjoyed the opportunity to get an inside look into life in Ariel through people who experience day-to-day life in the city. The residents reflected the diversity of Ariel in terms of the breadth of the political opinion (or lack thereof), and let them understand Ariel through the eyes of those who live it.
They learned about pockets of co-existence and the potential for Palestinian-Israeli harmony at the Lipsky Factory at the Barkan Industrial Park, just one of the many factories where Israelis and Palestinians work together to improve their lives through productive labor.
The tour was enriched with lively and thoughtful Q & A. We look forward to welcoming OTI missions back to Ariel to give them insight into the capital of Samaria.