Wabash Blogs Immersion 2008: Israel

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Mikesell Leading Group to Study Israel

The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is one of the most contentious and longest tenured conflicts in the entire world. The convoluted division of two groups (Israelis and Palestinians) claiming one land is only exacerbated by the multiplicity of divisions within each of these groups.

That is what Wabash men are to explore over Spring Break. 

Political Science Professor Phil Mikesell ’63 and Economics Professor Frank Howland are leading a dozen Wabash men from Dr. Mikesell’s Politics of the Middle East course to Israel for the week of Spring Break. The Wallys will post pictures and commentary on this blog about what they will see, hear and experience.

 Their trip begins with a seven hour flight to Madrid from Chicago and another four hour flight to Tel Aviv from Madrid. Once in Israel, they will travel to and along the Lebanese border as a tour given by an Israeli Army colonel, down the Jordan River and up into Jerusalem. While in the Old City, they will see the Knesset, Hebrew University and a cadre of other historic and religiously significant sites.

 This is no site seeing tour – this is an essential portion of their coursework. Each Wally was required to read three books on the history and political science behind the Israeli state, the conflict between Israel and Palestine and a history of Jerusalem. Their entire coursework was focused on learning enough on the trip so that everything they saw and did could inform this knowledge they had already garnered. Dr. Mikesell also left plenty of time in the itinerary for students to check out the city of Jerusalem’s cafes and interact with everyday Israeli’s.

Student Participants: Aaron Abell, Alex Avtgis, Luke Bielwaski, Aaron Bonar, Craig Cochran, Spencer Elliott, Tyler Gibson, Stefan Ludlow, Jarryd Morton, Jacob Surface, Anthony Tellez.

Elliott will be coordinating student writing about their daily experiences in the Middle East and posting to this blog.