As American Jewish students, we feel that our unique perspective has been ignored. It has been lost somewhere in the ambiguity that is neither the radical right nor the radical left. It is not just the story of two students, but is becoming common among the feelings of progressive Jewish young people. It seems most confusing for youth, because it is we who are forced to choose between all of the wrong answers before us that will decide our future.
As progressive Jewish youth, we are left in an abyss of wrong answers without a comfortable space to discuss their alternatives. While we condemn the violent attacks on Israeli civilians, we stand firmly in support of the basic human rights for the Palestinian people. We are two of the thousands of American Jewish youth that cannot stand comfortable neither at Pro-Israel or Pro-Palestinian rallies. For many of us, the issue is not black or white. Sound bytes and rhetoric on both ends of the spectrum often silence the gray area we identify with. With an aversion to apathy, we open a plea to a dialogue of ambiguity. Young Jewish people are looking for a solution, but how can we ever attain that without an open dialogue about our concerns?
While our faith connects us to Israel, our conscience is critical of the means by which we maintain it. It is because of that deep connection to Israel that we realize its safety lies in the Palestinian pursuit of justice. As the trend to create dialogue between Muslims and Jewish students arises, the sad reality that Jews are not talking within their own community becomes more apparent. Rather than relying on pundits and officials, it is time that the dialogue moves from the television to civic discussion. Lasting peace can only exist when we can find tolerance and acceptance within our own community.
-Eleiza Braun and Bernard Pollack, Undergraduates