Kavanaugh and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

PM Netanyahu was probably upset that very few Americans were watching his speech at the UN general assembly yesterday. As an Israeli-American, I had my screen split between Israeli news that had a live broadcast of Netanyahu’s speech and American news that were screening Dr. Ford’s and Judge Kavanaugh hearing at the Senate. Although Netanyahu speech raised concerning issues and was well delivered, the historic hearing was no doubtfully the more important headline. No matter who you support, the general feeling was that we are witnessing a historic moment that will impact the future of the United States. Millions of Americans were watching the live broadcast, meetings were canceled, and deals were put on hold. After hours of watching the live hearing, I realized the hearing can teach us much about the way Americans view the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.

Similar to the hearing, the long going conflict in the Middle East is all about the narratives. Sadly, facts are not relevant anymore.

As the conflict between two credible individuals has turned into a major nationwide debate, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is way more than a conflict between two nations, it now involves many countries and has affected millions of people around the world. Another interesting point of comparison is the fact that both conflicts started years ago, both sides have personal narratives that have developed in the years and that’s what seems to matters now.

However, the most important point of comparison is that although both sides claim to be the victim, Liberals clearly consider Dr. Ford and the Palestinians to be the victim. This fact will not change, no matter what the other side says or does.

As a result, we witness the impact of intersectionality on modern society and the deepening division between the people of the United States. Important moral and educational questions, such as the level of the integrity we should expect of our leaders or whether a second chance should be given for mistakes done at a young age, are pushed aside as the debate turns into a war between opposing sets of values. Similar to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, those who consider themselves liberal or progressive find it difficult to even listen to the narrative of the side considered to be the villain.

Hopefully, this painful public hearing and emotional personal statements, will crack the automatic partisan support on any public discussions and encourage independent thinking on both sides. This will allow meaningful and open discussions in the future and is critical for the future of America as well as the connection of the Jews in America to the State of Israel. Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic.

About the Author
Elkana has been active in the field of experiential education and social entrepreneurship for over 10 years, focusing on community building, social awareness, humanities and Jewish identity. Leading educational programs and tours from over 20 countries, Elkana encourages independent thinking. He is well experienced in leading thought provoking discussions on many topics. After spending a year volunteering with children at risk in the development town of Ofakim and serving for three years in an elite reconnaissance unit in the IDF including serious combat in Lebanon, Elkana's passion for education comes from a deep understanding of the need for positive change. A change that can only come when individuals challenge today's reality and come together in order to offer an alternative on both a personal and global level.
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