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To the Editor: I am an undergraduate student at Penn and am taking a leave of absence for the year in Israel. Since arriving earlier this month, I have felt the ripple effect of the current situation here in many ways. Along with most of the other people in the country, I have been checking the news on an hourly basis, and my mood shifts with each new story. Having spent the last few years in the comfort of America, I had forgotten how intense life can be here. I also noticed a large shift in my own views on the peace process from a stubborn right wing supporter, to a relative leftist over the past few years. I have not arrived in an easy situation, and because of that, my feelings are in a constant flux. However, the message I wish to send to the Penn community is one of peace. It pains me to see any violence, regardless of who is the victim. There is no solution in violence. I applaud the work of the Penn students who have come together to discuss the situation, as I feel the first step must be one of mutual understanding and respect. I hope these efforts are continued, and that these students can try to break down the barriers that seem to separate us. We are all humans, and until a level of mutual respect is achieved, no progress can be made. So as I walk the streets of Jerusalem, with a T-shirt reading Shalom (Peace), I hope my brothers and sisters throughout the world can do their best in this pursuit. Shalom Aleichem. Asalam Alechem. May peace be with you.

Nati Passow College '02

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