DELEGATE SPOTLIGHTS:

Jonah Naghi, Boston

IPF Atid’s Summer Delegation will forever be one of the most memorable experiences of my life! By having the privilege to speak with a wide range of people, activists, and officials on the ground and reflecting on our conversations with a friendly and diverse cohort of young professionals, I not only feel more informed about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also able to engage about the issue with anyone. I think the lack of willingness to engage in conversations about the topic has always been a challenge because of the immense polarization of the conflict, whether between Right and Left, Israeli, Palestinian, and American, or Zionist and anti-Zionist. But thanks to the many people I met and the conversations I had during the delegation, I now I feel much more enthusiastic and open to talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with anyone whether in America, Israel, or Palestine, and anyone across the political spectrum.

Jason Holtzman, Philadelphia

The IPF Atid delegation to Israel and the West Bank provided me with the opportunity to openly engage with Israeli and Palestinian thought leaders and to better understand the conflict and what’s happening on the ground. The trip showed the true complexity of the conflict and left me feeling better educated about political issues such as refugees and illegal settlement activity. The group was also very diverse in makeup and everyone was open to discussing issues and sharing their opinions. I really benefited from the experience of attending the trip and would highly recommend it to anyone who’s passionate about a shared future between Israel and the Palestinians.

Ben-Ari Boukai, Washington, D.C.

I joined the IPF Atid delegation because I believe this is a particularly consequential period in the evolution of Israeli-Palestinian relations: marked by an uncertain political future for both leaderships, a possibility of regional shifts driven by the Abraham Accords transforming dynamics of the conflict, and an inflection point in relations between the Jewish and non-Jewish communities within Israel. Throughout our meetings, I was pleased to explore each of these alongside insightful policy practitioners and a knowledgeable cohort. A memorable moment occurred in a dinner with Palestinian young professionals, when we had the chance to collectively explore some of the challenges inherent to the conflict and the potential paths forward. While we may not have agreed on every detail, the dialogue enabled a sharing of perspectives and a deeper understanding of each. It was similarly encouraging to visit the Gaza border region and hear how future (and current) models of worker / business coordination enable greater stability and economic opportunity for those in the region. The trip bolstered my belief in the utility of creative policy levers to positively impact the region and its peoples, and raised ideas for how IPF could support economic diplomacy initiatives via its policy analysis and advocacy. Thank you IPF Atid for providing a meaningful experience!

Simon Handler, Washington, D.C.

The delegation to Israel and the West Bank was a completely eye-opening experience. Seeing the geography of settlement construction in person and meeting with Israelis and Palestinians from across the ideological spectrum were both essential for my understanding of the conflict’s nuances and the policy considerations that must be made in any agreement. I have been committed to a Jewish, democratic, and secure Israel since prior to heading on the trip, but the experience drilled home how urgently change must happen to keep these three pillars a reality.

Rachael F. Goldberg, Washington, D.C.

The IPF Atid Summer Delegation trip was an amazing experience. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity, not just to see more of the region and to interact with such an impressive range of perspectives, but also to get to travel with and get to know such an incredible group of people. IPF has always impressed me with its ability to foster deep, nuanced conversations about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israeli security, but there was something particularly meaningful about having those conversations in these spaces with a cohort of intelligent and kind people who are all deeply invested in the region on personal and professional levels. The perspective provided by traveling with this group to see the places we discuss and to speak with people – politicians, activists, and ordinary citizens – who live with these conversations every day, ingrained in their daily life, added a level of humanity that makes this experience invaluable.

The IPF 2022 Summer delegation was truly an eye-opening experience for me, one that I will take with me not only in the short-term when engaging in discussions and advocating for a two-state solution, but for the rest of my life. This was truly an experience to remember and appreciate, especially given the seriousness of this conflict, the historical aspect surrounding it all, and as well as the global ripple effects created every time a minor or major event takes place in the region. This was an awesome deep dive into Israeli/Palestinian affairs, which I will hold dear to me, moving forward.

Meet the Delegates!