- Pathfinder

Reply To: Have you ever been told that supporting Israel prevents you from supporting Palestinians? After taking this course, how would you go about responding to false accusations like this?

yasmin mata

Although no one has ever told me to my face that supporting Israel prevents me from supporting Palestinians, I have definitely felt this when talking to my peers at the university. I was talking with an international student from the UAE on campus and I asked her if she plans on going to TLV now that there is a direct flight. She was hesitant to answer because this is new and though she is curious and all for the travel she explained that there is still tension in the newly formed relationship with Israel. In her hesitation, she mentions the Palestinian people and the displacement of land. The other day I meet up with another student on campus, he was telling me about his experience living in Jordan two summers ago. We started discussing the Palestinian people- I am listening to his perspective on the Palestinian refugees and their status in Jordan, a lot of the things that he shared, I didn’t know about. He was very passionate and sympathizes with the people and I understand his position because I know what it’s like to go and see for yourself and draw conclusions from your own experiences and create space in your heart for new people and cultures. In both of these interactions I responded differently and I believe that it is important to acknowledge different perspectives and experiences as well as recognize who you are talking to. I shared my own experience and living in Jerusalem and the Hebrew University with my new friend from the UAE. I shared with her a conversation that I had with some Arab students at HUJI and they talked about how oftentimes it isn’t until they start the UNI that they become friends and or interact and collaborate with others that are different than them both ethnically and religiously and I said it’s like us- she’s a Muslim and I am a Christian and here we are having meaningful conversations and learning from each other. With the other student, who was also a Christian, I was able to share my faith story. I shared how God enhanced my faith and share about Christian Jewish roots. I strongly believe that the Lord opens doors of opportunity for us to share and he is faithful to give us the right words when we need them if we let him move freely through us. There is so much more I want to say but I leave you with always respond in love because we never know what God is doing in the background apart from this moment, especially in the uncomfortable and hard conversations.