- 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?

Michael Caplan

Yes this occurred most prominently for me during my freshman year of high school while discussing the conflict with a friend from my World History class. He asserted that Israel seeks to harm “brown kids like me” and that even though I am a person with Latino heritage my support for Israel invalidates any sympathy I may have for the Palestinian people. Putting aside the obviously ludicrous allegations made against the Jewish State, I think the incident was starkly revealing because it demonstrates the anti-Israel crowd views the conflict in entirely binary terms. Either you support the Palestinian people and therefore every action promoted by their terrible leadership or you are pro-Israel and therefore opposed not only to the leadership but to the welfare of the Palestinian people. How I responded then to my friend may not have been the most charitable reply, but having encountered these views again in college I would respond now by asking a few questions-including whether they believe it possible to support the common good of a people but oppose their leaders’ actions and whether they may see how any future plan to benefit the Palestinian people requires the support of the State of Israel. I would see how to proceed further after listening to the responses I received.