Sandor Farkas is a student at Dartmouth College. Read his story via the College Fix below.

As a college student, I recently returned from a trip to Israel, a month-long experience that changed my life. As the skies above that small piece of land begin to fill with the clouds of war, it is my hope that the short piece history I witnessed will help people realize that the current conflict there is not a footnote, but the frontline: the first stepping stone in a path that leads to another World War.

My time in Israel began with an organized trip for Jewish college students. It was designed to provide a balanced view of the Israeli-Arab conflict. We traveled all over the country, learning the history of the land and its peoples. At the outset of the trip, three Jewish teenagers were kidnapped when they stopped to help an Arab man fix his car, setting us all on edge.

Throughout the trip we heard from many people, including Arab and Jewish reporters, Israeli aid workers, Israeli soldiers, religious minorities, so called “settlers,” and Arabs living in the “West Bank.” We saw first-hand the Jewish and Arab towns in the “West Bank,” observing the different cultures and living conditions. We witnessed freedom of speech in action, as protestors in Jerusalem itself carried signs denying Israel’s right to exist.

On the last day of the group trip, we visited the Western Wall (Kotel), just as the murder of the three Jewish boys was announced. We witnessed masses of people join together, not angry mobs, but in solemn mourning over the tragedy. Jews and Arabs alike mourned their deaths, as one young Arab woman said to me in the city of Jaffa: “Here we live together, they killed three Israelis, and I am an Israeli.”

But it was toward the end of my journey that I saw a new side of the Israeli-Arab conflict.