This year’s FFIPP summer programme included 24 students from more than 15 universities in Europe coming together for this educational programme. The students were living in six different cities depending on their internships.
During this year’s Orientation Week, students met with academics, activists, refugees, and other actors involved in the wider Israeli/Palestinian conflict in order to gain diverse views on the situation and understand its many components and layers.
Being on the ground, our interns had the opportunity to be eye witnesses to the daily realities and violations of International Law present in the Israeli and Palestinian context, they were able to meet people and organisations which comprise the main local actors striving for an end of the occupation and just peace, and were encouraged to reflect critically about their experiences and their own positionality as international students in a conflicting setting.
The students visited different sites – historical and contemporary – which convey the spatial, visual, and material effects and consequences of the protracted conflict in Israel/Palestine.
These sites included for instance the Separation Wall which cuts through Bethlehem, the illegal settlements in the hills of Beit Jala or demolished houses in the village of Al Walajah.
Furthermore, the group also visited Khan Al Ahmar, the Bedouin village that recently saw its residents expelled which has been at the centre of much media attention because if its demolition should succeed, the West Bank will effectively be cut into two and thus further endanger any possibility of a two-state solution.
Finally, guided by local guides and community leaders, our group was able to see the ruins of Lefta – a village in the outskirts of Jerusalem destroyed in 1948 – go into refugee camps in Bethlehem and Jenin, visit the old city of Hebron, and discover the many challenges of Jerusalem.
Throughout the week our students got to meet a wide array of people who told their stories, shared their experiences, and guided them through their cities. On top of that, the group also had the opportunity to meet various people who introduced them to the work of their organizations and gave educational lectures.
Thanks to them our students were able to see Jerusalem, Nablus, Bethlehem, Jenin, Hebron, Nazareth, and Haifa through the eyes of their local people, and learn about the histories and meanings of these cities through the first-hand experiences of their local population.
Furthermore, the interns met with representatives from organisations such as BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugees, Al-Haq for the defence of human rights in Palestine, Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, Project Hope for intercultural exchange and education, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human RightsAssociation, Haifa Feminist Centre, among others.
Finally, our students received lectures from prominent academics such as Nurit Peled (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) on the representation of the Palestinian people in Israeli schoolbooks, and Ilan Pappe (University of Exeter) on researching Palestine as an Israeli academic and his own research on the ethnic cleaning of Palestine.
After Orientation Week, FFIPP’s learning experience continues through internships in local partner organisations. The month-long internship provides students with a more nuanced understanding of the complexities of the conflict by experiencing day-to-day life alongside community leaders and civil society actors, as well as a chance to develop and apply their skills in meaningful ways.
The Summer Programme 2018 offered internships in organisations spread across 7 different cities in Palestine and Israel. FFIPP provided interns with accommodation throughout the four-week period. The type of internship varies depending on the nature of our partner organisation and their expressed needs. They range from journalism, human rights and monitoring, community development, implementing social media campaigns, working in refugee camps, to arts and culture, and research.