LISTENING CLOSELY

By NATAN ODENHEIMER
August 10, 2017 19:13

Sam Bahour is eager to open up the discussion concerning the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. But is there anyone to engage in the conversation?




Sam Bahour

Sam Bahour. (photo credit: TOMER ZMORA)

And why do some members of the younger Palestinian generation prefer talking of civil rights rather than statehood? ‘Why do you think Israelis want to hear you speak?” I ask American-born Palestinian businessman Sam Bahour in a Ramallah cafe.

“I’m a public figure, so when people come to hear me, they know what’s on the menu,” he replies. “There are all kinds of audiences. Some want to hear me firsthand, others to challenge me, which many do, or to reinforce how they argue against me outside, so they could say ‘I tried. I heard the other side but I cannot change my opinion.’” MANY SEE Bahour as a controversial figure. Perhaps this is because alongside his business commitments he spends much time and energy in “narrating,” as he puts it, to Israelis and American Jews the Palestinian angle of the history and present of the conflict.

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