Balanced Perspective

Expecting to hear a balanced perspective based on building an empathetic understanding of multiple narratives, I believe using words like holocaust, ethnic cleansing, we, they, us, and them are not helpful towards the conversation. Our group attended a lecture by a Palestinian in the West Bank where he compared Netanyahu to Hitler and Lieberman to Al Qaeda. Arguing that Netanyahu runs the Obama administration, the lecturer claimed the Jewish people have a monopoly on the Holocaust and are committing war crimes. However, locating common ground, discovering consensual values, and building bridges can only be achieved through meaningful and constructive perspectives. I witnessed the Jewish people constantly being portrayed as monsters, human rights abusers, thieves, oppressors, and war criminals. Was the toll on Israelis and bloodshed by Palestinian terrorists being minimized? Moreover, why did this bother me so much? Am I biased because of my Jewish identity or offended as a student expecting to study a more balanced/moderate approach in search of common ground? These questions weighed heavily on me as I everyday succumbed myself to overwhelming emotions and views with which I vehemently disagree.

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