Israel VS The Arab World? Nope, This Is A War Inside Your Head

Living in liberal and anti-war Tel Aviv, it’s no secret: as much as I believe in the country I call my home, I also believe in personal and global peace. Therefore I always keep my mind, my heart and my soul open, and since the last war I managed to make some very special friends…

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I have a good pal from Beirut, who I’m chatting with day by day, and we are sending photos to each other from exhibitions, gatherings and dinner parties. I have danced and partied with Palestinians from the territories, and I had eye-opening conversations with Israeli Arabs – Christians and Muslims as well. I saw and feared extremist nationalists from Israel and Palestine, and through my journey I’ve met some extreme leftists justifying terror, even though I never thought such concept as “radical liberal” exists.

Israel seems to be on the edge of another war just now, and therefore I’d like to declare a few simple steps on how to represent YOURSELF, LOVE, and PEACE in this sensitive situation, instead of getting in fights, arguments, and instead of being dragged into something later you’d regret. Whichever side you are on, this one goes out for you…

My 10 Point Manual on How To Avoid Having Double Standards

1. If you want peace, you can’t justify violence.

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2. If you condemn brain washing in the society of your “enemy”, be open minded to hear what the simple people of the “other side” has to say, otherwise you are being brainwashed by your own society.

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3. If you dislike extremists, don’t use radical phrases while trying to make a point.

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4. If you don’t wish to be labeled by your race, language, and religion, don’t label others by their race, language, or religion.

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5. If you don’t believe that there are good people on the “other side” as well, don’t be surprised if they don’t believe that there are good souls over here.

6. If you say “never again” for mass massacre while protecting your country, say “never again” in protection of any large group of people who’s life is put in danger.

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7. If you like to say “not in my name” when extremists of your country beat up innocent people, remember that you are not in war with every single person of a country, race, or religion – many of them say “not in my name”, just like you.

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9. If you don’t fully identify with your country’s political leadership, and you admit that they do make mistakes, don’t expect your “enemies” to choose a leader who can bring peace – your country’s people didn’t menage to pick the one, how could any other country do it?

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10. If you want the world to hear about your country’s suffering, if you find it important that your story will make it to the news word wide, don’t try to shut down those from the other side, who also want their story to be told.

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+1: “Real Zionism means dividing the budget equally among all the citizens of the country. Real Zionism is taking care of the weak. Real Zionism is solidarity, not only in battle but in everyday life.” Stav Shaffir, the youngest female member of the Israeli Parlament

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I’m dedicating this post to Tommy Hassoun, a brave and talented Druze young man I visited this week in his home, after he was beaten up by a group of extremists, simply for speaking Arabic in Jerusalem. After spending some time among friends who came to wish him fast recovery, Tommy played a song on his piano – it goes without saying that I was struggling with my tears.

God bless everyone who’s adding colors and flavors to our society – the same way as I don’t wish to live in a uniformed world by radical Muslims, I refuse to live in an Israel uniformed by radical Jews. We are one, we are in this together, and if this ship goes down, we will all go down with it. I choose to believe that we stand a chance. Love, peace, acceptance to all. May we all wake up before it’s too late.

All photos are taken from my personal Instagram page @WhiteCityBoy – last pic by Eran Evan. Follow me on my Facebook for daily updates from Tel Aviv, the White City.  

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