‘I am an Israeli, and as an Israeli I should, with a heavy heart, suggest you support the Palestinians. Why? Because, unlike Israel, they need your support.
I don’t want to talk about history. Both sides can provide good arguments to why this piece of land is theirs by right. I don’t want to go into who’s responsible for the conflict – both sides will provide countless examples of the atrocities inflicted on them by the other side.
I want to talk about the here and now. The fact is that there are currently 9 million Israeli citizens (6 millions out of them are Jews) who live in a relative comfort: they can go, live and work wherever they want inside Israel. Israel is a democracy, and so we’re free to elect and out-vote our leaders in case we don’t like how they manage our affairs. In addition, because Israel is a recognized member of the UN – an Israeli citizen is free to use his passport to travel and trade with the rest of the world.
The 5 million Palestinians living in Gaza and The West Bank, on the other hand, do not enjoy those freedoms.
They practically live in an occupied territory which is governed by Israel but was never officially annexed. That means they do not enjoy the rights of Israeli citizens (they are not citizens after all) but they are forced to live their lives based on decisions made by Israeli politicians and army generals. They cannot build houses or found new businesses outside their current cities; they have to get permits to work inside Israel, or to travel abroad; their borders are controlled by Israel so they can’t import and export goods and cultivate a healthy economy. They are basically completely reliant on their Israeli occupiers. The Palestinians tried to revolt many times – either by force or in diplomatic manners. But all their attempts have failed miserably by the much stronger Israel.
Ask the average Israeli about it and they’ll tell you that the Palestinians have brought it onto themselves. Considering the horrible violence showed in the past by the Palestinians and the other Arabic countries – Israel would be crazy to give up on its right to defend itself. They may be right. But it doesn’t change the fact that there are 5 million people who are the citizens of no country and who live under occupation. I suspect that even if the Palestinians will promise to never use violence against it – Israel will never trust their word and give up on its control. Things will only change if people like you will support the Palestinians right to live like any other citizen in any other normal country in the world. It doesn’t mean you should support Palestinian violence though, but do support, and demand, their right to be free.
So support Palestine. Otherwise, things will never change.’
Written by Noam Cohen on Quora