The bishops of the Holy Land Co-ordination visited a Jewish school in Jerusalem on Tuesday 16 January 2018. Bishop William Nolan of Galloway, Scotland, reflects on his meeting with some of the students who are nearing the end of High School and what would be happening next - a three-year stint in the military.
Hello and greetings from Jerusalem.
I’m Bishop Bill Nolan, Bishop of Galloway in Scotland and I’m here in Jerusalem with the Holy Land Co-ordination and we’re visiting the Christian community here.
This year we’re concentrating on the young people and on education and so today in contrast to yesterday, when we went to a Palestinian school, today we went to a Jewish school and had a wonderful experience talking to the children – the young people who are just two years away from finishing their their high school. Very articulate and impressive.
In contrast to a school back home in the United Kingdom, they are looking forward to what happens next and, for them, that is military service. In two years they will be in the army and will be doing a three-year spell.
Already they are starting to prepare for that and think about that and discuss what kind of units in the army that they’ll be going to. The school releases them as you go along for interviews with the army – even at this stage.
Very articulate young people, very enthusiastic and looking forward to the period of military service – looking forward, as they see it, to doing something for their country and they see that as as part of their social responsibility.
These young people were very socially responsible. This high school was everything you would expect of a high school. Many of the young people that I met were involved in the Scout Movement. Some of them were helping with handicapped children and others with autistic children. It’s great to see that involvement of young people – socially responsible young people who are enthusiastic for the future.
Unfortunately what was sad was that they had little contact with the other communities – with the Palestinian communities, the Christian communities and indeed with the Muslim communities.
Of course we’re looking forward to the future – to peace in this land – but when the young people are not meeting together, not talking to each other, not mixing with each other, then these communities become more and more separated and segregated.