Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Words have great influence on the way people perceive the message you are trying to convey, leading to a gap between what is meant and what is perceived to be said. The struggle I face on my campus, and one that I feel is shared on most campuses, is the fact that anti-Israel organizations claim Israel is evil. The struggle, though, is that Israel has history that leads to such events and claims, and as a Pro-Israel activist I need to teach people the entire history for them to understand the true reasoning behind.
My whole life I have been integrated with the conflict happening here in Israel, yet today was a changing perspective. We were introduced to Yinon Tagner, Israeli activist, who talked about ways to properly speak when addressing an issue. His methods can easily be applied to every day conversation, as Tagner emphasized the use of terminology while speaking. I realized now how much terminology can influence the audience, for instance the “Apartheid wall” separating Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. This is the problem: calling this fence of separation as an Apartheid wall. Most of the fence with the West Bank is 93 percent fence and the rest a wall.
Anti-Israelis can just say there is a fence and people find it horrible, having the conversation stop there. What people are quick to forget though is that the Second Intifada happened in the early 2000’s. A time when Palestinians used deadly force aimed at civilians and not at Israel’s military. Ariel Sharon, Israel’s Prime Minister at the time, made the decision to put up this fence. With his actions, almost immediately innocent Israeli casualties were avoided, and the number of terrorist suicide attacks dramatically decreased. The fence has remained since then keeping Israelis’ safe and making life a bit more worry free.
What I truly hope is for those who take a side or have an opinion about the conflict do their research about the issues. Read from multiple sources and become educated on your own, and not fall victim to misleading terminology or bold statements without context.