- 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?

Carrie Coffman

My first real interaction with this issue came with the May 2021 conflict, which occurred just two months before I would travel Israel for the first time and just days after I had fully committed to the trip. With my excitement to learn more and the introduction to resources to do so also came subtle opposition from peers for even considering a trip to Israel in the first place. I did notice the massive wave of Palestinian support (and with that, Israeli opposition) that swept over social media for the majority of the summer. Luckily, between the trip experience I had and courses like these, I’ve been able to work toward replacing some blindly rooted opinions for concrete facts on the conflict. First and foremost, I believe that the immediate response to a proposition that Israeli support means Palestinian opposition should be one of recognizing that extremist perspectives like this are neither inherently true nor helpful. Just as support for a U.S. politician does not mean support for all of his/her policies, neither does support for Israel mean support for all of its actions. I also think it’s important to remember and remind others that the injustices that have happened in the past will not be erased nor made better by injustice performed in the present. Hate cannot be cancelled out with more hate, and anti-Semitic ideas to erase Jewish presence in the land altogether will only serve to worsen the state of the conflict.