Yaara Tal is a 22-year-old Israeli Defense Forces veteran attending Lane as part of the Peace Makers Project.
Tal, who served as an observer in the IDF, was born in a kibbutz
“It’s built in a very community way, and everyone is sharing everything,” Tal said. “If you work in the dining room, and I work in a shop — we’d put it all into the community and then everyone gets the same amount of money. It doesn’t matter if I work one hour or I work 10.”
The daughter of a Korean mother and Israeli father, “I kind of come from a conflict of my own,” Tal joked during her presentation at Temple Beth Israel in Eugene.
Tal is attending Lane on acholarship for the next year while she shares her experiences from the other side of the wall with her Palestinian counterpart, Deema Yusuf.
Tal and her three siblings have all served in the IDF, as military service is compulsory in Israel.
“I do believe we need to handle people that want to hurt us,” Tal said. “I don’t think we should be quiet. I wish we didn’t have to do it through violence.”
Throughout her stay at Lane, Tal will discuss the conflict between Palestine and Israel from her personal perspective with students at Lane and Yusuf.
“I don’t represent my government. I only represent myself,” Tal said.