Last Thursday, for the first time, PeacePlayers entered the Old City.
Our veteran 15-16 mixed team from Esawiah and Beit Shemesh entered historic territory as they passed through the New Gate and into De La Salle Basketball Club in the Christian quarter of the Old City.
Even the court where the game was played was unique, as it not only resides in the Old City, but the court itself is walled on two sides but the Old City Wall itself. It was on that court that PeacePlayers faced off against an impressive team of bigger and older players.
While the final score was not one that PeacePlayers would have liked the story of that day was far from solely based on points. The team walked bravely though the New Gate together and into unknown territory. For the Jewish children from Beit Shemesh it would be the first time they had ever entered an Arab dominated section of the Old City. For the Arab children they would be walking next to their Jewish teammates, not into a obscure gym, but right out in the open and in their own backyard. All this against the backdrop of the turmoil surrounding the excavation near the Temple Mount.
To this moment I am stirred by the passion with which our boys played that day. They walked in together under challenging circumstances and after a difficult defeat they walked out no less together.