Andrea Karshan

How to Have a More Constructive Conversation on Israel Palestine

Photo credit: Canva
Photo credit: Canva

I have been doing Israel Palestine TikTok Lives for many months now, and I found that conversations between Palestinians and Jews often took an ugly turn and became very unproductive when certain rhetoric is used by Israelis and Palestinians. I want to talk about how we can avoid falling into that pattern and have more constructive conversations on Israel Palestine between Jews and Palestinians.

The first thing that really makes a conversation about Israel and Palestine go down a bad road is when Jews or Palestinians start questioning each other’s indigeneity. Or when either side starts playing “who was there the longest” games. These conversations go nowhere. And often leads to both sides trying to outdo each other’s claims to the land. I think if we start from the point that both Jews and Palestinians are indigenous to the land, belong to the land and have rights to the land it would avoid a lot of conflict. And it also establishes mutual respect for one and other. 

Another issue is playing “oppression olympics” and not recognizing that each other’s pain is valid. Both Jews and Palestinians have suffered great losses in the Israel Palestine conflict. And once both sides of the conversation can recognize that and have empathy for each other and not be in competition with one another over who suffered more I think it will lead to a more productive conversation.

A third issue is not recognizing any fault on your own side. Both Jews and Palestinians when having these conversations rather than pointing fingers at each other have to be able to look at their own people and governments and see that they have some fault in this conflict too. An important part of building a bridge with the opposite side is to be able to admit when your own people have done something wrong.

Lastly focusing on the future and not arguing on the past. I have been in Lives where people spent hours arguing about 75 years ago. We can’t change the past. We can only move forward. In 2022, how do two nations who belong to the land share the land is what we need to be focused on.

About the Author
Andrea Karshan is a Jew currently living in Chabad Crown Heights. She was born a Patrilineal Jew to a secular Jewish family with a Jewish father and Jewish stepmother. She then became Christian, and then was a Muslim for 13 years. She then did an Orthodox conversion to Judaism. She is passionate about Judaism and loves being a Lubavitcher. She has three Muslim kids from her previous marriage to a Pakistani. And she fights hard to combat Islamophobia and Antisemitism. And she is pro-Israel pro-Palestine pro-peace pro-truth activist.
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