(C. is a 15 year old girl who lives in a neighbourhood of Jerusalem founded in l922 as one of six garden villages developed by the British mandate. The park of the Twenty commemorates the twenty residents who died during Israel's War of Independence, and Denmark Square honours the Danes for rescuing eighty per cent of its Jews during the Holocaust.)
C. I've always lived in this neighbourhood. My mother was born in the United States My grandparents are from Russia, Germany and Italy. My grandmother studied at Berkley University in California. My family lost 56 members in the Holocaust. So the Holocaust museum here is very personal for me. We learn about the Holocaust from age 5, so it is a part of us, that history is a part of us.
I live in a secular Jewish neighbourhood with a very high economic standard of living. There is one Arab student and maybe five Ethiopean students at my school - the rest all look like me. My parents are very politically active. They have lots of Arab friends. I'm into politics as well and I want to know who other people are and what their stories are.
I don't like the direction my country is going in. I am sometimes called a stinking lefty by some of the people at my school. But you don't have to be left-wing to want to talk to Arabs. I know a lot of right-wing people who want to talk to Arabs because they know there is no way forward unless we can talk to each other.
Both sides are so extreme now. And a lot of my friends are afraid of the Arabs, even the Israeli Arabs, who are a part of our nation but not really, if you know what I mean. A lot of people are not sure if the Arabs are really loyal to Israel. Girls are especially afraid of Arab neighbourhoods. The feeling is that Arabs are not modern in their thinking and that they think girls who are not completely covered are like prostitutes and can be abused. That is the thinking of some of the girls I know, so they don't go into Arab neighbourhoods. But how will their thinking ever change unless they challenge it by actually talking to some Arabs?
There is a border between Jewish and Arab neighbourhoods. The border is invisible, but it is there and often we are not at all in contact with each other Before the intifada the Arabs were more friendly to us. They used to know more Hebrew and used to look at us, maybe not as friends but at least not as enemies. They were more like we're in this together. That's all gone now. I sometimes get the feeling that all of them would be happy if all of us would just disappear. But that's not going to happen, so we have to think of something else.
The Barrior wall has made a difference. Since it was built there have been a lot less attacks, and it has been better for the Arabs, too. Many of the barriers that were up inside the West Bank have been taken down since the Wall was built, so it is easier for the Arabs to move around their own territory. But there are problems with the Wall, too. They did not build it on the 67 border lines, but they put it on land where families are now apart from each other. Still, I think it is overall better, not perfect, but better than it was. Before, every time there was a terrorist attack, and there were a lot of them, the IDF would go in a shoot a lot of people. Now, the terror attacks are down, so the IDF does not have to do so much shooting. Really, it is better for Israelis when Palestinians are happy. When they are happy, they are making bombs and are just getting on with their lives instead of attacking us.
I will be going into the army when the time comes. I have lots of rights and privileges in this country - school, good future. All this happened because people came here before me to build the country, so it will be me doing my duty and trying to pay a little back. I am a Zionist and Israel is my country.
After the army, my thinking now is to be a public-defender lawyer and work with kids and families, or a human rights lawyer or a social worker or a teacher. I know I want to dedicate my life to something that has meaning.