November 11, 2014
Palestinian groups on campus organized and received permits for a protest against the death of the 22 year old in Kfar Kana, an event that some likened to Palestine's Ferguson but with no results. The protest was met by a counter protest of a national Zionist group on campus. Plenty of security, plenty of security barriers, and plenty of students walking to and from classes were suddenly overwhelmed by chanting and crowds. I stood to the side with a Palestinian friend of mine; she translated the Arabic for me and I translated the Hebrew for her. The Palestinian side was chanting for freedom and against occupation. The Israeli side was yelling against terrorism and singing nationalistic songs. Signs shared similar tones: "They kill me because I'm Palestinian." Or "Terror has descended by foot." "End the occupation" and "We will overcome terror." The Palestinians held up pictures of the young man killed in Kfar Kana, the Israelis held pictures of the young man who died yesterday in the stabbing attack. I was struck by the fact that not only was each group singing and chanting and yelling in a different language, but they're not even talking about the same things. They both hold up images of their martyrs, but it's a different discussion entirely: Freedom and political rights versus terror and nationhood. The narratives are not on the same page, how do you expect anyone that is on the other "side" of the barrier to listen? No one can even agree on what's wrong.
And on that note, back to class...
For video of the protest click here.