Stop Treating Israel Like A Black-And-White Issue

It’s jarring, frustrating and fruitless the way people determine that all things are either black or white, good or bad, right or wrong.

Nearly everyone, it seems, has a side, a cause, an oppressor and a victim. And if you don’t agree — completely — not only are you wrong, but you are also one of “them.”

Few things show the fallacy of this thinking more than the rhetoric around Israel.

Over the past few weeks, Jewish kids have walked off Birthright trips, encouraged by left-wing organizations. And everyone takes a side.

They are entitled brats, stealing a free trip, then begging for funds to get back home —

or they are brave warriors, and we should finance their travels.

Idiots on social media, in continents far, far away, try to justify sending balloons with explosives to parks and school grounds.

Yet, as rockets rain down on terrified citizens:

As the police have to make videos to tell kids not to touch explosive-laden balloons that are landing in their parks:

As birds are strung up with incendiary devices, and acres upon acres of crops, fields and forests are burnt to the ground:

As two teens tragically die in Gaza in a strike against Hamas infrastructure:

And as people tear apart the words of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democratic candidate for Congress:

Do you know what else is happening?

Jewish teens — mine included — are digging up Byzantine ruins side by side with Arabs and Bedouins.

Arabs and Jews save lives together in an organization run by religious Jews.

Arab Israelis, Druze and Ethiopians all serve together in the army and police force.

Israeli kids collect supplies for Syrian kids.

Palestinians donate to build a synagogue in honor of a Jewish victim of terror.

Please understand.

Nothing is black and white.

Nothing is as simple as the social justice warriors want you to believe.

But they try. Because thinking is hard. Nuance is tough and it means you might need to consider, to analyze and to see that everyone has a story — and that everyone’s story needs to be heard.

Yes, Jews. And Yes, Arabs.

So go, learn, ask! But also listen. And if anyone tells you that the story is simple — that there is a black-and-white way to see it — move on. You will learn nothing there but hate, and you will help no one but the haters.

There are people here who are actually making a difference. There are people who live here and love here who want you to know that life here isn’t all war and pain.

There are people who approach the conflict with the belief that both people deserve rights and dignity, and work toward that goal.

If you’re interested, let me know. It would be my honor to add you to that list.

Community | Stop Treating Israel Like A Black-And-White Issue

Community | Stop Treating Israel Like A Black-And-White Issue

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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