This story is from Fabian*, a Party with a Local member who was visiting Israel.
It was 2015 and the time of Jerusalem’s “Knife Intifada” when I visited Israel. Every tourist attraction I had visited so far was patrolled by Israeli police carrying huge rifles.
I met a Israeli local, Taavi*, through Party with a Local and my experience of Israel changed a lot. He brought me to the old city of Jaffa and gave me an in-depth local overview of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian houses whilst we drank pomegranate juice.
The tour of Jaffa ended at a semi-deserted port, with just me and him. We were almost about to split and go home when all of a sudden, Taavi said: “If we climb that fence, we’ll reach one of my favourite spots of the whole country. Shall we?” He added: “Trust me, it’s gonna be absolutely amazing.”
I started shaking, overthinking… climbing a fence that led to the boat repair area, almost at night, with a complete stranger… what shall I do? I took a deep breath, pushed back all the knives and rifles Israel had meant to me so far and went for it, despite the place, the time and the totally new local friend. And then… wow, what a sunset!
*Names have been changed for privacy