July 18, 2019

I Was Taught to Hate Israel. I Don't Anymore.

“Back in 1994, I was still a middle school student in a small Kurdistani town called Amadiya, which had been under the control of Saddam Hussein until 1991. I recall our history teacher stepping out of the curriculum line and saying, “Although the books favor Arabs over Jews, history indicates Jews lived in Jerusalem prior to Muslims.”

The teacher got away with this statement because Kurdistan was then outside the control of Saddam. Otherwise, he could have easily been executed for making such a comment to students.

The comment made by our teacher stuck in my head, so I always questioned whether the Arab media conveyed the truth regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict.

This month, I was fortunate to visit Israel. Understanding and analyzing a nation requires profound knowledge. While Israel is far from perfect, I learned there are many reasons to respect the country, and that the portrait of Israelis as portrayed by the Arab media is misleading.”

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