"Israel, Friendships, and the Conflicts that Ensue" By Jeremy Ginsberg
by: Jeremy Ginsberg 11/21/12 The Times Of Zion publication
Recently due to the escalation in the middle east I have found myself in a giant conundrum that I have never had to deal with, fighting with one of my best friends. If you ask both of us what is going on, we wouldn’t consider it “fighting” but if you are an outsider looking into our posts to each other, it shows the hallmark signs of a giant disagreement.
Let me give you some background, this is one of my best friends whom I have known since the sophomore year of high school (’09), I consider him to be one of the smartest people I know, he has always been political, we have always talked politics, and he currently goes to a small liberal arts school in LA.
Now my friend is not anti-Israel, we just disagree on how the state of Israel conducts itself when it pertains to the current situation or the treatment of Palestinians, and recently I have found that out. Every time I post on Facebook an article that say the IDF posts we will have a giant conversation, going back and forth spouting facts that counter each others arguments. This go-between has actually disturbed a couple of people that read my posts. They ask me questions such as, “are you guys still friends?”, and of course we are but we just disagree on one simple thing. Writing this blog entry reminds me that people tend to associate with people that hold the same or similar beliefs in certain topics they consider important, for me I tend to associate myself with those that believe in LGBT rights, and my friends tend to be liberal democrats. But the conversation that I had with him the other night opened my eyes to a simple fact, the fact that we disagree on a fundamental idea, that we both actively believe in does not mean we cannot be friends. And that opened my eyes, it leads me to ask you, how many of your friends do you have that you might not agree with on key issues? How many pro-palestinian friends do you have? How many Republicans do you have as friends if you are a Democrat, or vice-versa?
I take this situation as a reminder that we dont have to agree with every issue with a friend as long as you can have friendly discourse, that is all that matter. Don’t just go shouting at someone in person or on Facebook but have a conversation, because conversations with someone who don’t agree with you bring new ideas, evidence, and gives another perspective to different issues. And when you have these conversations with say someone who is your best friend, you might actually listen to the opposing view and analyze why they might have that opinion and re-evaluate certain perspectives that you hold and never thought would change.