Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Conflict and Hope

Over the last week I and my fellow Otzma participants have been participating in a seminar called Conflict and Hope. Our amazing staff put together an incredible journey that while tough and exhausting, allowed us to really dig into the conflict and see it from many sides while attempting to form our own opinions. 

We heard from historians, tour guides, the Rabbis for Human Rights, soldiers from Breaking the Silence and the Communications Advisor for the PLO. We also spent Shabbat with residents of Jewish Settlements in the West Bank, toured the Southern Hebron Hills and processed it all through drama.

The following statements/thoughts are things that popped into my head while touring Area C in the West Bank, talking with my fellow Otzmaniks about their feelings on what we were seeing/hearing and my questions that I wish I could have raised when we heard the Communications Director of the PLO speak. Please take them at face value but remember that you haven't seen what I've seen and that this is raw emotion. Also, none of this is edited.

The words the middle eastern peace process, the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, have very weighty connotations. I haven't beliefs, but I also feel like who am I to have these beliefs.

Skeptical, conflicted, discombobulated, confused, positive, joyful...I've felt all of these things over the last 48 hours. But now I also feel lucky - to have had this experience, to have met the people I've met, the see the things I've seen.

It makes me want to learn more and do more research, and I feel like that means that all these feelings are worth it.

I believe that if the Palestinians put down their weapons, tomorrow we would have peace. However, if we put down our weapons, we would all be dead. And what does that say about me? What does that say about the people who feel that way? And more over, what does that say about the Palestinians?

The Nahkba??? You (the arab nations) attacked us! You could have accepted the UN partition plan. I have never been able to reconcile this in my head..it has never made sense to me how the PLO could demand that we recognize them and give them rights and land and money and when they chose to start this conflict in 1948-they admit that they are choosing to continue the conflict - peace is in your hands buddy

300%? What are the actual numbers. Percentages don't tell me anything.

How can you promise that if we have a 2-state solution tomorrow, all the rockets and terror will stop?

How can you displace 500,000 people? What do you do with them? Isn't it better to focus on human rights instead if land?

Israel won all this land in wars where they were not the aggressors - so you took a risk and lost and now we should pay the price?

Feeling a little guilty that I hear him speak and this is what I think about - I don't want to be that person who con't see the other side or is totally selfish, but I don't see my opinions changing on this.

You made it up to israel when you refused to accept the partition plan. Don't say that Israel didn't consider your rights - you chose not to accept it.

It's all just semantics....

(The PLO provides Israel with a secure border) Israel insured its own borders!

(He said the rockets into the south were not that bad) It's not that bad???? No own in his right mind would chose to live thy way. You want to live in Rocket range????!

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