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Personal musings on the conflict

by on November 22, 2012

I am becoming increasingly irritated each time I log onto Facebook. Scrolling down my newsfeed in the morning with a cup of tea, I am bombarded with statuses about the conflict. Of course people are entitled to their opinions irrespective of what they are, but it doesn’t stop me from getting irritated. I am irritated because all of these statuses I see are either expressing how evil the Israelis are, or how monstrous Hammas is. And at some point I just let out a sigh and think, “can we just stop with the blaming and the hatred. It’s not getting us any closer to a peaceful solution.”

However, it made my day to see the following status: “Who is right and wrong, who did what to whom does not matter- all that matters is Peace and Love. Sending strength, love and prayers to the Middle East. ♥” This is what I want to see posted by my friends, not messages of vitriol about yet another wrong-doing of either side.

I have sometimes been accused of sitting on the proverbial fence. In the discussion of the Middle East opinions are polarized. As a young Jewish woman I am positioned in certain ways; it is often expected that being a Jew I am wholly Zionist and have unwavering support for all of Israel’s actions. When I try to explain that I personally do not condone some of Israel’s choices it is automatically assumed that I am a Palestinian sympathizer and support the actions of Hammas.

But this is far from how I feel about the conflict. This is a conflict that has been going on for more years than I have been alive. I think it is terrible how Israel treats the Palestinians. I think it is equally as horrific as Hammas actively targeting civilians. I don’t want to play a game of “who has sinned the most?”; both sides have acted in less than desirable ways. This is a long-standing conflict and is unfortunately a part of the reality.

I feel that there is no allowance for nuance in our discourses surrounding this issue. Furthermore, it almost appears that there are enforced limitations on how we talk about the conflict. We have a limited lexicon available and this limits our discussions. As a result, it is almost deemed bizarre that I choose not to “take a side” in a discussion that is identified by the diametrically opposed views that are held by both parties.

I am not against any side, I am against conflict. I would not last a day in the army. I would never be able to learn how to use a gun; fully knowing that my explicit reason for doing so would be to harm another human being – even an enemy.

I was brought up to care about and value people regardless of their gender, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or political affiliation. When I see a news report of 20 civilian casualties in the conflict, I am heartbroken. I am equally as heartbroken whether these civilians were Israelis or Palestinians. People are people. Any life lost is a tragedy to me.

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