Monday, June 13, 2011

Knesset and Mount Herzl

Last Thursday (yes, I'm two weeks behind!) we had a late class schedule so that we could visit the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.  We weren't allowed to bring cameras in so I don't have much to show from our visit, but when we were all sitting around a large table after watching a video our guide pointed to me and said she hoped that I was comfortable because I was sitting in Prime Minister Netanyahu's chair...I thought that was pretty cool!  Many of the nation's most powerful moments have occurred at the Knesset, notably Anwar Sadat's 1977 speech to call for peace with Egypt, and President Clinton's speech in 1994 after the signing of the peace treaty with Jordan.

After our tour of the Knesset, we stopped on Mount Herzl, a Jewish national cemetery where Israeli Defense Force soldiers are buried.  It was named for the founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, whose tomb is on the top of the hill. Mount Herzl is beautiful, even if I'm a weirdo who loves cemeteries.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's grave is also located here (right).  He did a lot towards achieving peace in the region, even winning the Nobel Prize, but was assassinated by a right wing law student in 1995.  It was such a sad story. 

There were many soldiers walking around to learn the stories of the people buried, so that they can tell others.  All Israelis, men and women, are mandated to serve in the IDF when they turn 18.  After weeks I still find it strange to see so many young people walking around everywhere with huge machine guns!


Vicki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicki said...

So happy you are sharing your experiences, Carlie. Be safe
and be well