Viewpoint: The Beinart view I

Put yourselves in Palestinian shoes.

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September 29, 2013 11:24
4 minute read.

 
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In his Jerusalem speech on March 21, US President Barack Obama included this striking passage: “Put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own, living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements not just of those young people but their parents, their grandparents, every single day. It’s not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. It’s not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands; or restricting a student’s ability to move around the West Bank; or displace Palestinian families from their homes.”

Obama’s call is not an easy one to answer either for Israelis or American Jews. We tend to see the world through an “us versus them” prism – and who can blame us after so many decades of war, terrorism and terrible loss? Yet, Obama’s call is also necessary. There is another point of view, another narrative, and we need to understand it and even to empathize with it. Peter Beinart, in his September New York Review of Books article, has done us all an immense service by drawing attention to this crucial truth.

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