As a Jewish, Zionist student applying to colleges in the U.S, the one worry that is always at the top of my mind is ignorant Palestinian activism throughout college campuses. The one question that crosses my mind is what do I do about it? Do I ignore them, or do I speak up and challenge them?

After a day of touring the security wall, the checkpoint to Bethlehem, and speaking to the people who live in the actual area, it all became very clear. We drove to Beit Safafa, a Palestinian village in Jerusalem and spoke to a woman. My friend asked her what she thought of Palestinian activist groups in the U.S. and she said “They should shut their mouths, these people have chosen the easy life abroad and they don’t know what we are going through, they should come and see how life is here”

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The reality is that most people both Israelis and Palestinians want peace. We spoke to Rabbi Riskin, one of the founders of Efrat, a settlement in the Gush block, and he said that he was “Prepared to leave the settlement, and even give up half of Jerusalem for peace”. The people of Efrat and the people of the Palestinian villages around it help each other. Efrat’s hospital is open to Palestinians for free, anytime, but when the people of the village try to open their own clinic with Israeli funding, they are arrested by the PA for collaborating with Israel.

We are all people, and we would love to live in peace, but the holocaust denying terrorist friending Palestinian government won’t allow it.

So SJP, shut your mouths. Don’t be cowards. Come visit here, and see the reality from both perspectives with an open mind. How can you know what’s best for the Palestinians when you don’t even know them, when your boycotts cause Palestinian families to suffer as well. There is no “Genocide” here, there is no “Apartheid” here. See before you speak.