Muslims and Jews breaking the fast together- 17th of Tamuz and Ramadan

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Until Sunday, I thought Muslims could drink water throughout Ramadan. The idea that Muslims throughout the Middle East weren’t drinking water seemed crazy to me! I’ve fasted for Yom Kippur, but let’s be honest, that’s one day and I lived in New York, so it doesn’t count. I thought of people in Saudi Arabia, how do they not drink water in July?! But then my friend informed me that they can’t have food, or water.

I attended an event where Muslims and Jews broke their fasts together. I feel like someone up above made it so that the 17th of Tamuz would fall sometime during Ramadan, so that we could feel the hunger together, and once we eat, feel the happiness together. I walked in and felt at home. Everyone was smiling, so happy to meet one another. Most of the Jews were like me, new immigrants, barely any true Israelis present, and everyone was super nice for people who didn’t eat all day! I made new Muslim friends, we spoke of casual things…

A woman got up and shared her story. She told us what Ramadan meant to her. She spoke in Arabic and even before someone translated what she had said, I felt her. Her passion, her love, her beautiful soul. She told us about how she feels Ramadan is a time for women to stand out. Ramadan is a time when people and families come together to eat. How important the women figure is in the kitchen and in Ramadan (truthfully, she makes an excellent point. My dad always made it clear- The way to a mans heart is through his stomach). She told us how she wishes we could all come to her home in Hebron and promised us an incredible dinner.

Next, everyone began to explain what their Jihad was. Jihad, means struggle, and kind of like a New Years Resolution (in my language), it’s something you decide you need to overcome and fight through this Ramadan. A man stood and told us that his Jihad this Ramadan, was to lose 10 kilos. He was proud when he mentioned he isn’t even half way through the time span, and he already lost the 10 kilos! One woman stood and told us that she receives second hand donations, sells them, and uses the money to feed and help the poor in the West Bank, that was her Jihad. One Jewish girl told us about the importance of the 17th of Tamuz, about how the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem, which led to the destruction of the second temple. It was incredible to see Muslims listening to stories about a Jewish fast, and Jews listening to stories about a Muslim fast.

I spent the evening sitting with the Muslims I never spoke to, and for that matter never thought I would have the chance to speak to, and listened to their stories. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to video tape the entire evening, post it on Channel 2 news in Israel, and show the world, especially Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims, how beautiful the room looked. How beautiful it was that we were sitting together, laughing, eating, explaining about our religions, and most importantly, getting along. How we joked about the fact that the tablecloth was red and napkins were blue cause it reminded us of 4th of July, how we each got our plates set up and poured ourselves water as we waited half an hour for the fast to end, as I didn’t even mention I wanted anything and the Palestinian sitting next to me told the waiter what I wanted so I wouldn’t wait another second for my meal, and as we wished our Palestinian friends could receive another permit so they could come and visit us in Tel Aviv next week. I wish I could have showed them the woman who invited us to her home in Hebron for dinner, how she was excited to speak to Jews, and couldn’t stop smiling when she mentioned her stuffed grape leaves. I wished I could have brought more Jews to see her face light up even more when she spoke to us. I wish I could have showed them what I saw, I wish I could convince them of what I already know…

I’m not sure if it’s someone up above that managed to put these two fasts together on the same day, but I thank whoever it was. For bringing us together when we were hungry, and reminding us that just as we can get through the hunger, we can get through anything. Muslims and Jews, the entire human race, together.

If the #YulinDogMeatFestival pisses you off… you should read this.

I have no intention in turning the world vegan. I don’t expect you to become a vegan after this blog… but I realize that many people find the Yulin Meat Festival in China ‘inhumane,’ ‘gross,’ ‘unbelievable.’ If you agree with this sentence… keep reading. If you think that the slaughtering of dogs in China is totally cool and rational, this isn’t the blog for you 🙂

People who seem to find it so ‘inhumane’ that there is a culture in the world that boils, skins, burns, and beats dogs alive for dinner and have a huge festival around it, forget that we humans  do the same to our dinner. More than 8.8 billion of the 9 billion animals slaughtered in the US are chicken, and they are boiled alive. Sounds inhumane right? How about the huge blenders male chickens are put in to simply because they are males? (I won’t share with you the pictures cause I’m kind of nice.. If your stomach can take it watch here.) Have you ever seen when the workers at the slaughterhouse electrically shock cows, sheep, pigs…? What about the fact that we rape a cow to impregnate her, turn her into a mother but take her baby away from her as soon as they are born and turn them into steak, while the mother continues to get hormones shot up her butt and she produces for ‘us’ milk that was intended for her baby. Does that sound humane to someone? So why do we continue to do it? Why do we think that killing dogs and eating them is any different than cows or chickens or pigs? Why has everyone who takes part in the meat and dairy industry by eating their products think they should suddenly be signing petitions and fighting against this ‘inhumane’ act in China? It’s kind of simple… We were taught from a young age that dogs and cats or rabbits and hamsters are pets- but cows, fish, chickens, pigs, ducks, lobsters and so many other animals are food. Just as the people who conduct the Yulin Meat Festival think that the slaughtering of dogs is considered normal because to them- that’s food. And who are we to judge someone else’s culture? If you allow yourself to eat cows and chickens, you should feel no pain when hearing that in China dogs are being boiled alive… they are all the same.

And now I’ll have a bunch of people saying “Dogs and Cows aren’t the same!! Dogs are smarter!!” – If you feel this way, time to do your research. Comparing dogs and cows is like comparing Caucasians and African Americans, or Jews and Nazis. In Nazi Germany, their ideology was similar to ours. Jews deserve to die because they are disgusting creatures (not even considered human beings), and Germans were brilliant human beings who needed to continue living happily ever after. The Germans were considered superior just like the dogs are. The dogs are Germans, and cows are Jews. We need to slaughter all the cows and keep alive all the dogs, because they are smart and beautiful and keep us safe. Just as Nazi Germany wasn’t humane, and just as slavery wasn’t humane, neither is the exclusivity we have built with animals. Saying this one deserves to live and the other does not makes absolutely no sense. At this point, if you think Jews deserve to die and African Americans need to be slaves, stop reading, this isn’t the blog for you.

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On the top left hand corner, you can see dogs at the festival being boiled alive, and on the right to it a picture of chicks being shredded alive.

On the bottom left hand corner, you can see the cats at the festival hanging waiting for people to come purchase them for lunch, and on the right to it a picture of cows hanging waiting to be purchased for lunch.

Fact is, if you find the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, disgusting, inhumane, ridiculous, gross, all of the above, one of the above – you shouldn’t be eating any animal. They all feel pain, they all feel love. Just as we humans feel the same emotions and live the same life regardless if we are black, white, hispanic, gay, trans, bi, Jews, Christian, Muslim- dogs, cows, fish, cats, chickens, pigs and the rest of the animals want to live the same life, breathe the same air, love, smile, and enjoy this earth with us, together.

If you have more questions about veganism -please feel free to contact me:)

We have no choice. This is the only way.

Today I took part in another meeting between Arab and Jewish teenagers in Israel. For those who don’t know this, I volunteer in an organization called “אפשר אחרת” or in English “A New Way.” It literally means- “A different way is possible.” During the meetings, I speak privately with the students and try to understand how they feel, and why. Today, I had the privilege in joining them at the circus!

67 students walked into a circus with hula-hoops, ropes, mattress’s, and were ready to start! This specific group today met for the 3rd time. I parked my car, got out and saw two men standing in the parking lot. I approached them asking if they knew where the students were and could tell me where to go. They smiled and told me “The Arabs and Jews?” I nodded. They told me they were inside. Before walking in they stopped me and said- “Wait, what is this for?” I began to explain what A New Way was, and their purpose. They were the bus drivers that brought the students, and ironically, one was an Arab bus driver and one was a Jewish bus driver. They began to laugh. The Arab told me- “I brought the Jewish students! And he brought the Arab students!” After a minute of laughing they stopped, looked at one another and then at me and said – “So is a different way possible?” I smiled and told them there is. One said Amen, the other Inshallah.

When entering the circus I noticed the problematic students, the easy going ones, and the girls who didn’t want to ruin their hair and sat on the side. I quickly made eye contact with one student. He seemed like the leader of his pack, and I needed him. After speaking to multiple students I asked him to come with me to the side. He stood, and I began to ask questions. His friends said “Can we come too?” And I said “of course, as long as you’re willing to answer questions!” I began to ask the leader of the pack, Salim, how he felt, if the meetings gave him hope, or changed his opinion… He was optimistic and told me there was a lot of racism between the two sides in the first meeting and he’s seen a huge difference. Suddenly, his friend cut him off and yelled “There is no peace with them! Are you crazy? This is all bull shit!” The other 5 students simply looked at him and were shocked he had the courage to speak this way to Salim. Salim was angry, you could tell by looking at his eyes but he gave his friend a friendly slap on the back and told him “Stop! If we don’t do it, no one will. We have no choice. This is the only way.” His friend was aggravated but said – “I guess you are right.” Salim continued to explain to his friends how important it was that I was recording them and sharing their message he said “If more people hear us talking like this on the radio, they will know the truth, that we are peaceful and want to live together.” He was right. And it wasn’t only I who saw it. His friends saw it too. The 48 year old bus driver asked me if it was possible, if a different way was even attainable. And the 16 year old Arab high school student could have given him the answer.

Not A Single Thing Could Make Me Leave…

Not a single thing could make me leave the country I love!

Not a single thing could make me leave the place I am most connected with!

Not a single thing could make me leave – no war, no government, no dictator!!!

Not a single thing could make me leave but…

Sounds crazy right? Well it’s not (well maybe I am a bit, but I hear it’s normal). I’m used to people who speak nicely, politely, kindly. I’m used to service representatives that are there because they want to help, and the moment you complain to their managers YOU KNOW they will be hearing about it. I’m used to people who don’t speak to you like you owe them something, but speak to you as a customer, as a human being.

In Israel there is this terrible disrespect among society. Yesterday, I called my health care company for an appointment. I told them it was urgent and I needed it ASAP. The customer service representative told me she couldn’t give me such an appointment and it doesn’t matter that it was urgent, I needed to wait 2 weeks like everyone else to see my doctor. We spoke in Hebrew, and it was obvious I was Israeli- 37 minutes of arguing in Hebrew. And then after 4 times of her saying the same thing (thinking I wasn’t hearing her… my problem wasn’t in my ears BTW), I told her OK I am going to need a better option… I can’t stay like this. And she answers “You aren’t going to get your appointment! Not now, not ever!” So I hung up. Because she yelled at me. And that’s not nice.

I called back, and told them I didn’t speak Hebrew and needed to speak to a representative that knew English. They told me they would find someone and call me back. They called back and I put on my nice accent as if I didn’t know a word of Hebrew. Guess what I got within 4 minutes? An appointment for right now.

Not a single thing could make me leave the country I love. Not Bibi, not the traffic, not the wars- only the customer service representatives.

How can an IDF soldier wear a Palestinian flag?

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There were a few hours left before I had to be at our meeting spot in Tel Aviv. So I started packing. Maybe this color isn’t nice? Maybe this color isn’t friendly enough? Maybe this color will scare them away from me? I took out something I could wear to sleep – only to then realize that every t-shirt I sleep in is from my service in the IDF. Great. What do I wear to sleep?

I finally figured out what clothes I should take. Closed my suitcase, headed to the bus. I was excited, I was anxious, I was scared, I didn’t know what to think. Even the one person I did tell said – ARE YOU CRAZY?! So I stopped telling people. Just went with my heart, I went with my fiends. I arrived at hotel after 4 hours on the road, entered the lobby, for the first time, I met the Palestinians. I met the human beings I’ve been speaking to for 6 months online. The people who a year ago I would have been scared to speak to even online cause I was taught they would show up at my house and hurt me. We started talking- Small talk. How was your ride? Great! Was the border check annoying? Eh not really. Let’s go get lunch! Ok! But I knew it was coming…

A small group of us decided to walk to the Dead Sea- An Israeli, A Palestinian, and A Tunisian, walking to the Dead Sea. I wear a bracelet of the Palestinian flag, I think it’s important to show coexistence, that I, an Israeli, can accept Palestine.  On our walk there I knew K wanted to ask. He looked at me and said “Do you wear this bracelet because we are here or because you love us? How can an IDF soldier wear a Palestinian flag?” It took him a few seconds to put the words together. He didn’t know how to word it- I believe he was just as scared as I was. I told him the truth- I want to defend Israel for my people, and for your people. He didn’t understand fully yet. But I knew he would at some point. “But you know how they treat us Palestinians? How could you?” I tried to explain my feelings towards Hamas. That building tunnels wasn’t the way to peace, and that we couldn’t allow them to hurt us and sit back and watch. He began to slowly understand. Over the next few days we spoke a lot. Every break we had we got deeper and deeper into the conversation. S was very quiet. He sat there just listening a lot, and I always wanted to hear him. On the last evening, I was alone. Just me, and 4 Palestinians, and oh- they had questions. We talked about the IDF, the US, wars in Gaza, what it’s like to serve in the IDF, weapons we use, with no anger. The conversation was calm. We spoke about the US, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan – We spoke politics, Abba, Bibi, how sad I was from the results and they were just as sad. We stayed up until 2 am talking about everything. I spoke about how terrible the occupation was, how inhumane I feel it is, how Abbas is a partner for peace and I pray he will succeed. An Israeli and 4 Palestinians – trying to figure out what is actually holding us back from reaching peace. I felt like I left the conversation feeling good. Like I made my point clear, but I was skeptical. When I got back to my room, S texted me, he said “I liked the way you think very much,” and sent me his phone number saying “if you’re ever in the West Bank and need help, here is my number.” It was beyond heart warming, I knew I gained a friend.

On the last day we sat down to keep working on our writing. After my discussion with K I was worried. But I hoped he would think fondly of me when he went back home. The day was starting to come to an end. He came up to me and said “Angy I would like to interview you. About how an IDF soldier can be pro-Palestine and wear this bracelet. Can I please?” I was excited beyond words. I managed to explain to them that you can be pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. You can love Israel and want good for the Palestinian people at the same time. You can fight for Israel because you aren’t only fighting for Israel, you are fighting for Palestinians. We are all fighting terror. Because we want peace, and terror is keeping us away from it. He asked me questions for 30 minutes straight. And I did my best to answer. To show him how important it was for Israel to fight terror, how traumatized we are, how important it for us to live in peace. I showed him a text message I got from a friend from Israel saying “Don’t forget to tell them we want peace.” He was surprised, but he smiled.

My message managed to reach 5 new Palestinians. People who would have never known that there are IDF soldiers who want peace. Who love the Palestinian people and believe they deserve rights just like anyone else. That there is someone who wears a uniform during wars, but is against the occupation. K told me he would share our interview and tell his friends. I promised that if they ever have questions, they are always welcome to contact me. This may seem like a small step for some, but it is a huge step for me. King Abdullah II said a few weeks ago, “Young people, especially, must be inspired by values that reject violence, create peace and build inclusive society.” And that is exactly what we did.

Why I, A Zionist, and a Lover of Israel, Vote Meretz

Many people in the past few weeks have told me – “you’re not a Zionist!” “you’re a Jew hater!” “go to Palestine!” I’ve heard it all, seriously. And I’ve laughed about it. Why have I laughed? These are the people that know nothing about Zionism, nothing about Israeli Politics, and definitely nothing about Meretz.

So here is a little bit about Meretz- Meretz is a party that seeks peace. Meretz offers a new approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Meretz, like most of Israeli citizens (as can be seen from last weeks protest in Rabin Square where over 80,000 people came to show how anti-the current regime they actually are), are tired of the right wing controlling Israel for the past 15 years and not helping Israel reach a peace agreement or a better future. Meretz calls for an agreement based on the Arab Peace Initiative, meaning a Palestinian state would be created within the 1967-lines and mutally agreed land swaps. They also support Jerusalem as a two capitals for two states. Most importantly, Meretz plans to stop settlement construction including in the blocs and East Jerusalem as they violate international law. Meretz also promote gay marriage, they want a “Jewish and democratic state,” buses on Shabbat, and overall they promote democratic values that we all can value from!

Now you’re asking yourself- why don’t you just vote Herzog? Isn’t the most important thing to you to kick Bibi out? So yes. The most important goal in these elections is to kick Bibi out. I have this terrible nightmare I’d like to share with you. I dream that I’ll wake up on March 18th and find Bibi my Prime Minister again. The sad truth, is that with Herzog, that’s a possibility. I’m afraid. Herzog has not come out and said – ‘I will not sit with Bibi.’ Actually on that note, no party other than Meretz has come out and said they will not sit with Bibi. So when I’ll wake up from my nightmare, and it will be real- Herzog and Bibi will sit together, at least my vote didn’t go to a party who couldn’t have enough courage to say they will not sit with Bibi. At least my vote went to a party who told me the truth, was never afraid of saying it loud and clear, and who refused by any means necessary to sit with the man who has made my life beyond difficult in Israel, and ruined our foreign relations. Additionally, my biggest fear is that Herzog won’t have someone to sit with and this will force him to sit with the Likud. Strengthening Meretz, means strengthening a new coalition. Strengthening Meretz, helps Herzog build a new coalition.

Not as radical as you thought right? Meretz agenda matches mine. Meretz want peace. As I believe most of society want. We all want to live quietly, raise our children without sending them to war at the age of 18, and hopefully make it to an old enough age so we can go play bingo with our friends and take Zumba at the country club. Meretz does not plan on giving up on Israel! Israel is my home just like its yours. This is our home and we have no where to go! I love Israel and no one will take her away from me. As Ilan Gilon says “I love the land of Israel more than you! You know why? I’m willing to settle for only a part of her and you’re not.” 

I plan on voting Meretz because this is my home. I want to live here, raise my family here, continue to serve in reserve forces, wake up every morning and remember why I love this country. I don’t plan on going anywhere. But you Mr. Bibi, you need to go. And the only way for that to happen- is with Meretz.

“I’m offended by the cartoon of my Prophet!”

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I sit in class as my professor talks about – Why American news channels didn’t share the actual picture of Mohammed the Prophet on TV and only showed it rolled up.

Someone yells “The Americans are scared they’ll be next!”
“They’re saving themselves!” The guy behind me adds.
The girl in front of me says “Everyone knows the Americans are cowards!”
“They aren’t actually respecting anyone!” Someone else shouts.
“Big bad America is now scared? Hahaha”

I put my head down and started to think. I say to myself – you own The New York Time, do you allow your workers to share the cartoon of Mohammed the Prophet. I didn’t have to think for much longer. It was obvious.
Why would I share this picture? Why would I want to offend someone? I heard the Muslims in France saying they won’t buy the newspaper because they feel offended. Someone said “I’m offended by the cartoon of my Prophet!” That’s enough for me to decide. I will not share the picture.
Freedom of speech is also being able to freely decide what you will say and share. I choose not to share hate, not to share something that could offend a friend of mine. If I owned The New York Times, I wouldn’t share the cartoon. I wouldn’t offend my fellow being.

Was Charlie Hebdo trying to promote hate? Of course not. They were making jokes about everyone and their intentions were not to start a fire.
Does this mean I don’t believe in the freedom of speech? Of course not. Everyone is granted the right to the freedom of speech and to share whatever they feel. But we are also granted the right to decide what we share.
Even if the American news channels did not share the picture because they are scared, I am glad. I’m glad they didn’t offend anyone by sharing it. I’m glad they didn’t offend anyone by blurring out the cartoon. I’m glad they didn’t offend anyone and still managed to report the news.
Because being a journalist means reporting the news. Not offending others on the way.

They are allowed to love, we are not.

Yesterday I attended a students activity day for A New Way. A New Way is an organization that brings Arab and Jewish Israeli students together for multiple activity meetings and then for a final meeting among their parents.
I walked into the classroom and I felt confused. Arabs sitting on one side, Jews sitting on the other. The Jewish girls made cookies and cakes, came up to every Arab student and offered them a piece with a smile. But the Arab students were lost, had no idea what they were doing there and were unable to smile. The first activity began. I sat with the girls. I noticed a girl with a head covering who didn’t say a word. She refused to even try and speak Hebrew. I heard her say her name one time, Aamira. I kept my eye on her…
I realized that everything that is said by a councilor or student is translated into Hebrew and Arabic so that everyone understands. A majority of the Arab students don’t speak Hebrew and none of the Jewish students had fluent Arabic. You see buddies, they don’t leave their buddies. It’s like they’re scared to move without someone from their side… They begin to laugh together, the ice is melting.
A conversation starts among the girls. The Jewish girls start to tell the Arab girls that they can have boyfriends, their parents know about them, and they come over often. Aamira looks angrier than when she walked in.
The Arab girls say there is no way they can have a boyfriend and tell their parents! They hide it away from them. The Jewish girls are shocked! They begin to talk and laugh about it, a young Arab girl talks about how a girl in their school is pregnant and her parents don’t know – she’s broken the ice.
Aamira yells in Arabic “They are allowed to love, we are not.” The ice they broke just shattered.

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Later I sat with the boys who just came back from playing soccer. The councilor was telling them about how this coming Wednesday the teachers and students are going on strike because schools in Israel have cancelled school trips. The councilor tells them “Look at how much power you as students have! No student in Israel is coming to school on Wednesday!” An Arab boy yells, “Us too??” confused on if he’s a part of these Israeli students the councilor is talking about…
The boys were asked if they were to build a soccer team together, how would it work?
Ben yells “Let’s agree that the team’s coach is a Christian! That way its fair!” The boys laugh and agree.
“What days will we train?” Ahmed yells
Gil says “Sunday’s and Thursday’s!”
“Our coach can’t train on Sunday’s!” Ben says
He’s right… So they agreed to Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“And what color shirt will we wear?” Adam says
“White! It’s the color of peace and clarity” Ahmed answers.
They all smile and nod. Leaving with the feeling of peace and clarity… Not looking back at the past but forward towards a clean and new future, together.

We all want peace

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Stop acting like I’m not on your side, because I’m on everyones side. That’s because- we are all on the same side. We all want peace. We all want our children to grow up in a country where they feel safe. Where we know they will go to school in the morning and come back in the afternoon. We all want perfect leaders. We all want justice. We all want peace…

I’m a Zionist- I believe in Israel just like everyone else. But when something happens, any form of terror occurs in this country, all my friends don’t see me as one of them. I suddenly become the person to attack, the person to ridicule, the ‘naive’ human who believes in peace. “This is peace?” “This is a peaceful way to end the conflict?” “Did they enter the synagogue to speak about the conflict peacefully?”
As if I am not one of them. As if I did not serve the IDF. As if I am not a Jew…

I recognize another side. I recognize someone else’s pain, no matter who it is. Because there is no other side- we are all one side. We all want peace.

Because I want peace, I’m treated differently? Because I want my children to grow up peacefully one day in this country, I’m treated differently? Why? Because I voted for a different political party than you? Because I don’t believe violence is the answer? Because I believe the only way to peace is through communication? Because I want peace?
When did wanting peace become such a terrible thing? When did wanting peace become a reason for me not to be considered ‘patriotic’ or ‘Zionist.’

My Palestinian friend, Zeynep, wrote to me this morning the moment she heard the terrible news… Apologizing…
“I’m a Palestinian and I don’t stand against zionism. I know that Jewish people deserve a land to feel safe after the bloody history they had for hundreds of years. I’m a Palestinian who feels deeply sad about the people who had to flee from their homes or got stuck in Gaza side. I’m so sad to see the sides ignoring each other’s pain and causing extra pains!”
And then she said “Imagine that I announce this in public!”

That’s exactly how I feel… I can’t make a single Facebook post that says ‘peace’ because it’ll come with 50 new Facebook messages and 100 new comments which i’ll have to answer one by one.
If I can recognize her pain, and she can recognize mine, why can’t we all recognize each others pain? After all, we all want the same thing, we all want peace.

Let’s Stop Promoting Hate!

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Here is an idea.

Let’s stop promoting hate.
Let’s tell someone we care about them, we think they deserve to be here just like we do.
Let’s stop posting anti-WHATEVER or pro-WHATEVER posts on FaceBook.

Promoting hate, is promoting war. Promoting war, only promotes more hate.
Israel’s entry into the Gaza strip, promotes hate. Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, promotes hate. The death of human beings, promotes hate.
Hate, promotes citizens to vote for political parties that want revenge. Revenge, promotes hate.

One reason I was against Israel’s entry into Gaza is because it’ll only lead to more deaths. On both ends, Gazan citizens, and Israeli soldiers.
Another reason I was against Israel’s entry into Gaza, is because like all of Israel’s attempts to “reach peace” by entering, the IDF stays in Gaza for much longer then planned. Occupation isn’t good for either side.
As mentioned previously, occupation and war, promote hate.
Israel’s war in Gaza right now, is only promoting hate. For every mother that is loosing her son, and for every father that is loosing his daughter, one more Gazan that didn’t promote revenge, didn’t promote hate, may begin to now.

Another Israeli mother who lost her soldier, another Israeli father who lost his daughter, one more Israeli that didn’t promote revenge, didn’t promote hate, may begin to now.

I have a few tips on how to STOP promoting hate.
1. STAY AWAY FROM FACEBOOK WARS. They don’t work. They are never “real” dialogue. Every time someone who doesn’t agree with my political opinions posts a comment, I remove the comment and message them privately telling them- “Hi. I don’t like FaceBook wars, especially not on my wall because they promote hate. If you would like we can have this conversation privately :)” And 9/10 of the times they tell me – OK. And don’t even bother talking to me about it. The moment you take away from these people the “platform” they love that is called FaceBook or any social media for that matter, they suddenly shut up- because the entire world isn’t seeing them arguing about what they believe in suddenly and it’s obviously just not worth it for them. (HA)

2. Try to post PRO-PEACE articles! Seriously, they barely exist I agree. But posting radical or extremist posts, usually only promote ONE side, and much hate. Stay away from them, and look for articles that promote both sides- equality is key!

3. Never read only one countries news. Israel is the best example. Reading only Israeli news, and watching only Israeli news channels will never give you the full truth. Yes, it may all be factual and blah blah blah, but common guys. Let’s be honest. It’s not enough! Reading different perspectives is very helpful and as long as you’re intelligent enough, you’ll know what to filter out- and I know you’re intelligent enough!

4. This one is my favorite I have to admit. Talk to someone on the other side! Have a conversation with someone from Gaza. Ask them what they think, how they feel and what is going on in their town right now. The best news you could ever get, comes from the human beings living it. Don’t be afraid of what other people will say or think of you and remember that peace activists are always behind you. Give them the hope you have for peace, remind them that you believe in it too. They see the same biased news reports you see!

You’re not naive for believing in peace, you’re not crazy. You’re simply optimistic. And the only way to reach peace, is with optimism and promoting it.
Good luck to all, and as always- here for questions and comments. Keep it peaceful!