Thursday, July 13, 2006

When Your Biggest Fan is Your Worst Nightmare

The paradoxical nature of people is unescapable; it is scary. As part of a seminar the psychology of Israeli-Palestinian relations, my professor brought in several Israeli settlers who live in the West Bank to give their story. I was shocked and astounded to hear them come in so clueless about how to reach the modern university student. Though they spoke a relatively good English, it was like we were speaking different languages. Their lack of critical thinking was horrifying, especially because there are many people who will identify their views with mainstream Israeli opinion. They attributed all morality to God, discrediting completely opposing ethical systems. They saw the Palestinians as non-entities with no legitamate claim whatsoever, and were generally inflamatory and underinformed. My classmates and I tried to listen, tried to understand her perspective, but though many of us share Zionist leanings and ideas, found ourselves turned off to their viewpoint and offended by their declarations. They have a revisionist history and a lack of tolerance and vision. Magical thinking may also factor in here. Theoretically, these settlers should be the greatest ally of the Zionist dream. Until I met these people, I was supportive of some of their positions. Now, though I haven't changed my poitical opinions because of a few hapless souls, I am inclined to see less sympathetically their plight. It should be reiterated, of course, that the majority sentiment is not like this and that most of the settlers are more rational than this small minority group.

In an unrelated story: Random site of the day:

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