- 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?

Justin Roy

Growing up I was one of those people who felt you had to be pro-Israel at the expense of empathy for the challenges faced by the Palestinians. My opinion on the subject changed with time, gaining increased knowledge of the history of the Near East, and having personal interactions with people on both sides. While I don’t know how to solve the situation (In the words of Socrates “I neither know nor think I know”) I can say with certainty that expressing empathy or support for Isreal can not prevent you also from doing the same with the Palestinian side. The challenges and problems faced by the Palestinians are often quite real. The dislocation and social trauma caused by the various conflicts and social policies are real, despite any extenuating circumstances and ongoing debates regarding the exact origins of these challenges. What is important to remember is they are just as human as any Israeli is. Having empathy for suffering people does not equal endorsing extreme policies and terrorist groups. However, empathy is one virtue that must be held in the same hand as reason and logic. Perhaps only then could we see the situation clearly.