- 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?

Angel Fierro

My first encounter with this topic was in 2013, I was in my arabic lessons course taking a test on arab nations on a map. My professor was upset when I listed Israel instead of Palestine. He addressed me in front of the class and asked why would I write the name of a country that does not exist. I asked him to explain, and he ended the exam to later fill the rest of the class time with a lesson on palestinian history. I went to my dorm room confused, I called my pastor that night because I knew she was involved with Israel advocacy and she explained what I just experienced and how to be careful. I went back the next day to class and stayed quiet, then my professor handed me my exam sheet at the end and told us to all erase the name. I denied his request. He asked how did I feel about being rude and denying the existence of my classmates, some who were palestinians. I explained to him that understanding Israel is now a nation did not deny their exsistence nor did it stop the movement for a two state solution. I continued my courses under that professor for another year but only experienced hardship from my classmates and the language course club. My professor later on kept his opions to himself after watching his students harass me. He then addressed his class to stop their actions. And they did thankfully. Through that hardship I learned how to advocate and became involved in groups like CUFI on Campus. If this course existed during that time, maybe it could have helped me learn faster. I read so many books at that time and thankfully made kind friends who are muslim and agree to the notion of a two state solution. When facing accusations, I learned to be calm. You are facing an array of emotions that will not be ceased in one conversation but in multiple. You have to take the initiative to learn and help introduce your thoughts and perspective to people around you who hate israel. Your voice can change peoples thoughts and beliefs.