A few days ago, a friend traveling through Colombia told me that several people from different countries were sitting in an evening gathering at a hostel when they started talking about the situation in Israel. Suddenly, European tourists started raising their hands and shouting, “Free Palestine! Free Palestine!” as he rallied others to join him.
Immediately a group chant began, and the Israelis sitting together feared for their safety. Naturally, she didn’t want to stay with them any longer.
By the time Israeli tourists manage to overcome the guilt of being cut off from what’s going on in the country, they find themselves surrounded by tourists from other countries, their own citizens accused of killing Palestinians. This is a reminder that it is not possible to travel peacefully under such circumstances.
Many Israeli travelers are afraid of having conversations about the conflict or trying to explain what is really going on to friends from other countries with whom they have been traveling for a while. Some of them feel they lack the tools and knowledge needed to meet this challenge.
With this in mind, we have created a focused guide with recommended actions and general guidance to aid the debate about war against Hamas.
know your enemy: First of all, try to understand whether the person in front of you is someone you can seriously talk to. How do I know? You can also rely on your intuition. When you look at someone, it’s relatively easy to tell whether they want to hear what you have to say or whether they’re just repeating the accusations, labels, and headlines they’ve seen on various news sites and Telegram groups. I understand.
listen: The best way to explain something to someone is to first of all ask them to express everything they think about the topic. In this way, we also ask what they know, or more precisely, what they think they know, where they get their information, and smear Israel. We will be able to better understand what their core claims are and what beliefs and data led them to think they know Israel. The so-called truth of the situation.
find common topics: Every person in the world belongs to some group, community, or identity that defines them. Whether it’s liberalism, feminism, or a particular religion. If he can find one characteristic in the person in front of him that is somehow relevant to the situation, he will steer the conversation toward concepts they are familiar with and speak a language that is consistent with his values. It becomes easier. .
share your personal story: Most of us were born, raised, educated, and served in the military in this country. So whether we like it or not, the story of Israel is our personal story. Talking about the reality you experienced in Israel allows you to create a personal version of the situation that adds another dimension to the one-dimensional and general narrative that your conversation partner has gleaned from news sites around the world.
criticism is allowed: No one is perfect. Not even us. It’s important to reveal it rather than hide it. We don’t have to agree with every action of the military or government, and we can include disclaimers in conversations about long-standing Israeli policies. In fact, this strengthens authenticity and shows the other person that we don’t think they’re completely right, and that the situation is actually more complicated than the way it’s commonly portrayed.
break the slogan: Usually when we talk to people who do not experience the reality in which we live and only know them from a distance, we can easily find all kinds of slogans and catchphrases that are popular on social media platforms. If you really look into it, you’ll see that it lacks depth. For example, the slogan “Liberate Palestine!” – Well, who should you free me from? From Israel? In 2005, Israel gave full control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority, then Hamas took over, assassinated political opponents, and has ruled Gaza using military force ever since.
be confident:This may be the most important point. Participate in the conversation with confidence, not because you are an Israeli ambassador, but because you are an Israeli who lives in Israel and knows the reality up close. If you read CNN, or the BBC, they know more about the conflict than we do, or if they define themselves as liberal and enlightened, then justice is essentially on the Palestinian side. It tells you that it must be there.