Shalom, my name is Ami’el Natar and I am a third year student of Middle Eastern Studies and Economics at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
I chose to study Middle Eastern Studies because I wanted to understand the part of the world in which I live. Israel is located in a neighbourhood called “the Middle East,” and if we, as Israelis, plan on being here in the long-run, it is high time we understand the language, heritage and culture of the people around us.
In my experience history - and reality for that matter - is a lot more subjective than we would care to admit. The more I study and learn, the more I come to understand that studying for an objective history is irrelevant. One must understand how different people experienced, understood and thought of events. It is the only way to understand what is going on, and this is especially true of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Oslo Accords that were signed in 1993 are seen by Israelis as the time in which we were closest to peace. The hopes and dreams of millions culminated in this process and made many feel like peace was within their grasp. The bloody failure of the process, in the Second Intifada, made many lose hope as they saw it as “the last chance,” or a “rude awakening.”
The factual contents of the Accords are well documented and therefore I plan to focus on developing better understand how each community perceived and 'felt' the process both at its inception and later as it turned sour.