Palestinian: My View of the Conflict Changed After I Met Israelis

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A user on Reddit has posted this hopeful message:

Arab and JewHello everyone,

As the title states, I’m a Palestinian who was raised with a very one-sided view about the conflict between our people. Everything I was taught goes back to the idea that all Israelis are horrible and that Israel should be destroyed with all its inhabitants going back to Europe since they have 0 ties to our land. Being someone raised in an Arab country and having never met any Israelis or Jews until very recently, I, unfortunately, believed this narrative blindly until I moved to Canada for university and met Israelis in person. It was at that moment that I realized most Israelis… are normal people! Who would’ve thought? Turns out we have so much more in common than I once assumed. In fact, if it weren’t for them speaking Hebrew, some of them would’ve passed as a member of my family because of how similar we look! I quickly realized that I was taught so many lies and that Palestinians can also commit horrible acts and that we weren’t all heroes. This probably sounds very obvious to you all but it’s difficult to come to this conclusion when everything you’re taught is one-sided and you never get introduced to the other side. I’m now intrigued by the Israeli narrative and would love to learn more about how others view this conflict, what they think of me and my people, and many other things that I would love to discuss. I would also like to make it clear that my intentions are not to convince you that “Israel needs to be destroyed and all Jews should be murdered” but rather a respectful conversation where I can learn from you and we can share ideas and thoughts and discuss them.

Shalom/Salam!

Edit: I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who offered to chat. I spoke with a bunch of you and learned a lot of new things that truly changed the way I view this conflict. I hope that we can come to a solution soon and after speaking to all of you I’m more optimistic than ever that we can all live in peace and harmony together on this beautiful land. Shalom.

The responses are also interesting, including this one from another palestinian Arab:

I am also an arab palestinian who was raised alike a bit less though since my family doesn’t discuss politics and don’t care about it as much. Wokring in jewish majority cities, and i found that jewish people ( in general) are more open, mannered and polite while arabs are more down to earth, and generous and we are very much the same in almost every other aspect. Israel is the most interesting country in the world, you can go out every day and find a new stranger, an interesting convo, a different perspective. There is problems ? Yes . A lot. There is conflict ? Yes . But we need new tables and new platforms. We can discuss and build peace among us. It’s a childish dream. Ambitious yet great.

These kind of posts and dialogue show how peace just might one day be possible if we speak to each other at the grassroots. We can certainly hope, can’t we?



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A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media