Anat from Holon:
I want to talk about a topic that I find very painful lately. Every time a student in my school expresses a less popular opinion about a social or political topic, an argument with shouts and curses is developing immediately. Usually the less popular opinions are leftists. It seems to me that there are not many leftist students in my school. On the other hand, there are maybe students who are afraid to express their opinions and who are maybe even expressing opinions they don’t believe in in order to not get attacked. This atmosphere creates an argument that normally boys are getting engaged in. Girls just try to stay away because it makes them feel uncomfortable.
It happens both – in recess and during classes. When such an argument begins, no one really listens to the other and no one really knows what the other really thinks. Instead, they are getting angry and start shouting immediately. I understand that these topics are important to all of us, of course they are also important to me. Especially because these topics are important it is worthwhile that we talk about them seriously. But there is another problem: the teachers in school prefer not to talk about these topics. Some teachers want us to invest only in preparation for the matriculation exams, as if this is the most important thing in the world. And there are teachers, who would like to talk about politics, but are afraid that if they will express an opinion they will get into trouble with.
On the other hand, I understand the anger towards the leftist students. I think that many times they lack sensitivity. They do not understand how annoying it is when we are sad and feel pain about Israelis that were killed by terrorists. There were many deaths in the past year, the leftists begin to blame the government for those attacks, the army or the settlers. They will not listen to our side, they don’t care that we are in danger, they don’t care that we suffer. They only see the Palestinians and how hard it is for them. They will not listen to any serious claim – for example that if the Palestinians would have not attacked us, there would have been no need for all those checkpoints or problems that the army gives them. Or that Israel has been offering for many years to make peace with the Palestinians, but they are not ready to compromise or recognize Israel.
On the “third hand”, these are our friends. I know some of them from elementary school or even from the kindergarten and besides their political views they are cool people. And that is why it is so painful, because when such arguments develop, I feel that I am losing my friends. Sometimes I think that you can’t really be friends with those that are not faithful to the state and care more about its enemies than about us.
So on the “forth hand” I think that maybe it’s a matter of time and when they will grow up. They might understand better what is happening here and they might change their opinions.