Over the past years I have learned a lot about the history and circumstances in the Middle East, specially the conflict between Israel and Palestine. I know a lot about the foundation of Israel, and who supported it. I know who Israel’s allies are, and how they are going to defend them. I know about the involvement the United Nations had in the creation of the State of Israel. I know a lot, believe me. I know how people in Palestine live; I know how many casualties they’ve had in the last months. I know how many families have been destroyed and how many children have been murdered. I know how much they’ve struggled over the years, and knowing all of this I know that I’m on Palestine’s side.
What I didn’t know is how this conflict could affect me. I am not Jewish, I am not Muslim, and I don’t even live in the Middle East. The problem is I liked a Jewish boy.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about The Eighth Sin, and what I thought it should be. I said that, for me, the eighth sin would be intolerance, and I still believe it is. I never knew how big of a fight I could get into by being on Palestine’s side, but I wouldn’t be in anyone else’s. I read the newspaper everyday and cry, because this conflict really gets to me. Every single time I see one of the pictures it makes me so angry I want to scream.
So a few weeks ago the inevitable happened, the boy I liked asked me what I thought about the Israel- Palestine conflict, and I couldn’t lie, I said I was on Palestine’s side. This led to a huge fight in which we both expressed our points of view. I’ve got to say that his arguments didn’t convince me at all, and I think my arguments didn’t convince him either. When it comes to these controversial discussions we tend to pick a side and no one can convince us to change our mind. I know no one can change mine.
I will not change my opinion about this matter, even if it costs me a beautiful friendship, but I did everything I could. I told my crush I could tolerate his beliefs as long as he wouldn’t try to change mine, but he said he couldn’t tolerate my point of view. The most important thing I learned about this conflict is that I shouldn’t talk about it with people I know will be against what I think. This is something I will avoid talking about, just like political and religious issues, my position respecting abortion or bullfights, what I think about vegetarians and many other things. These themes are only for secure and tolerant audiences, and should be kept to oneself otherwise.
I’ve learned a lot about the Israel- Palestine conflict, but I have yet to learn a lot about people.