By: a guest on Jul 15th, 2012
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Hey mate, thanks for getting back to me so quickly. About worrying whether or not I am offended by what you wrote, well, not at all. The only times I am ever annoyed or frustrated is when people blatantly spit insults and hate towards Israel or Israelis on Reddit (or anywhere else, for that matter) for the sake of messing with people or simply having a blind, none-based opinion which comes directly from what the media feeds them. Yours is the complete opposite; you calmly replied what you feel is the truth from your personal experience, just as I asked, with no insults or anything of the sort included. That makes you more mature than 95% of the people that usually end up in those debates. As for your English, well, it is great; don't worry about whether or not you are understandable. As for the answers you provided: they were quite detailed (to my satisfaction, I have attempted to ask Palestinians questions before but most were not as detailed or lengthy as I like - and you definitely delivered) and portrayed a picture that was not exactly what I know and was raised to know, but not that far from it. My parents and family stand in the middle between the right and the left political views, so I don't think I was ever really all that biased towards one side, My life are also what you can call average, I guess, so in that part we might be somewhat similar (although I don't think the average for an Israeli is necessarily the average for a Palestinian). I wonder, and I hope I am not to intrusive here, what is your current age? You seem like a smart lad in his twenties, but I have been often mistaken to be 27 and 30 before and I am only 17, so I know judging purely by speech can be deceiving.
As for my personal belief from the gathering I made from you and others from both sides, I feel that the ultimate most of the Palestinians are victims of circumstances because of the events that occurred in this land at the last century. From what I understand and feel (and sadly what I want to believe; feelings are never good when you want to deal with things objectively) I understand that more often than not the IDF isn't necessarily working against Palestinians in the West Bank, at least not directly, except for in special cases. The cases you described with the teenagers messing with the soldiers are kind of poking the sleeping dragon in the eye there, but personally I don't think we should have been in the West Bank in the first place; objectively Israel doesn't gain from the occupation as much in comparison to all the hassle and the damage caused maintaining control there, specially considering there are a people there that neither have independence nor will be accepted into Israel as citizens for various reasons. As for the denial of supplies the IDF made in the Intifadas, well, I can understand they did it to attempt to starve the leaders of the Palestinians into denouncing the Intifadas and making the actions related to them cease, but I don't think the means used were justified. The civilians should not suffer because of extremists, or leaders, or extremist leaders, and that goes both ways (our government has the Israelis all fussed up as you probably know, the internal affairs are pretty shitty because of all sorts of reasons, one of the main ones is paying for the extremist Haredim's pathetic existence while they do not bother to lift a finger to help themselves, and would see both secular Jews and Palestinians rot. They are also the main people who become settlers in the West Bank, the others mainly can't afford housing in Israel). By the way, I didn't know your definition of Shaheed was a person who was killed by Israel - I thought it is strictly referred to people who killed themselves to fight off Israelis (or anyone else who opposes Islam, or Islam is against), or at least died during the effort, E.G a purely religious definition.
Regarding your will to stay here and never leave, well, this is quite honestly admirable. This is also the view point of many Israelis, which is a thing we share in common. What a lot of people don't necessarily understand is that we CAN coexist here; either as different states or integrating the West Bank into Israel and granting full citizenship and rights to all the inhibitors of the area. Personally, I believe granting the Palestinians a country they can call their own in the West Bank and possibly Gaza (I am unsure whether or not most Palestinians want it to be included in their country, never received a really decisive answer on that part) and granting it support in its first steps would be optimal. Israel definitely doesn't need any more enemies, and I always thought the Palestinians could be our greatest allies if we would treat you properly.
Regarding the education thing I mentioned, this is quite sad to hear, yet I kind of anticipated this. I imagine that after having the harsh life Palestinians had in recent times, receiving favors from what seems to be the source of it all is far from accepted.
TL;DR: Great answers and honest perspective, people like you make me wonder why is there a conflict in the first place.