March 29, 2017

Operation Protective Edge occurred in July and August of 2014, and left over 2,000 Palestinians dead, 18,000 homes destroyed and 470,000 Palestinians displaced. Israeli leaders have a history of framing military objective in broad, self-defense terms. Israel’s military action tends to see a location or a ethnicity as an just identification of an enemy. Israel justified the need for this operation because of terrorist rocket fire in early July and the discovery of alleged underground tunnels leading out of Gaza. The reported goal of the mission was to restore security to Israeli citizens and stop Hamas’s militants from using the tunnels to infiltrate Israel. Throughout history, Israeli leaders have used the idea of counter-terrorism to justify mass-killing and demolition that really serves as a demonstration to Arabs to quench any revolt and serve the oppression.

Shortly after the Israeli operation, “Protective Edge,” began in Gaza, a social media campaign was launched by Abraham Gutman and Dania Darwish, a Jewish and Arab student at Hunter College. The campaign had people from all over the world sharing pictures of Jews and Arabs together in peace while using the hashtag #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies. The pictures became viral and were shared on different forms of social media.

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Social media became a kind of third space, where both Jews and Arabs could come together in the idea that humanity is universal and that a hateful state conflict can be worked through if the people on both sides resist giving into fear and continue to see each other as, first and foremost, people. They stand together to demand an end to the racist excuses for violence. The Facebook group allows for a place where people from all sides of the conflict can come together to share and react to news from their own perspectives in a forum with the sole direction of finding lasting peace.

From the “about” section of Facebook
“It is time to take a clear stance on the stereotypes, generalizations and the incitement of hatred! While we may not agree on the political developments of the Arab-Israeli conflict, we must demonstrate that we refuse to be enemies. We stand in solidarity with the Arab and Jewish populations who went to the streets of Israel/Palestine to demonstrate that they refuse to succumb to the hatred sentiments of the minority.We don’t believe that if we will all be friends the core issues will disappear and we don’t have to agree on everything, but we do need to show that we won’t be enemies. If you also refuse to be the enemy of someone you have never met just because of their ethnicity or religion, come join us!






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