#JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies Proves Love Knows No Borders

The hashtag might not fix things but it could sway perceptions of different cultures as the death toll of the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict hits 560…


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Depressingly, three weeks after three teenage Israelis were kidnapped and killed on their way home from school, the fighting between Israel and Palestine is escalating; the death toll in the Gaza conflict has hit 560. It shows no signs of letting up as both sides continue their assault on each other and Israel invades Palestinian land. Israeli army chiefs claim that members of terrorist group Hamas are ‘hiding’ amongst civilians in Palestine, while Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the Israeli missile attacks on his people ‘a crime against humanity’, reports Sky News.

However, in amongst the rubble, terror and dead bodies, there is some hope for change in the form of Jewish-Arab unions.


#JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies is going strong as a hashtag on Twitter, featuring photos of couples where one person is Jewish and the other is Arabic. Hugging and kissing and holding up signs with the slogan written on in big lettering for photos, which are then uploaded to be shared with the world via Twitter, the aim is to show that love knows no borders and that there is no real reason why people are using this conflict to hate on either Jews or Arabs as a result of what armies might be doing.


One couple who posed for such a photo are Sulome Anderson and her boyfriend, who could not be named as his Jewish parents are ‘uncool’ with his relationship: ‘When we started dating we would argue a lot about politics and slowly but surely, we started coming to some consensus. We still argue sometimes, but we're coming closer to understanding each other's perspectives,’ she told ABC News.


The same can be said of people on all sides when it comes to appreciation of the hashtag she’s involved in. ‘What really excites me is that there are people whose perspectives I don't share, from the pro-Israeli side, who have retweeted our picture and others, and that's what's really important to me. Not so much that people agree with us, but that people who don't agree with us are sharing this message.’


As for the couple who started the hashtag two weeks ago with their interfaith couplie?

'We are trying to send the message that hate should not be part of the dialogue. We should watch our language, we should watch what we say to others,' say Abraham Gutman (Jewish) and Dania Darwish (Iranian), both at Hunter College in New York. 'There's a lot of pain, a lot of tension in the Palestine-Israel conflict, but we're trying to create an online community where people with different opinions can talk in a respectful and productive way.’

Sidestepping the grisly reality of the politics, the meme aims to show that if there can be love across these cultures then it’s hard to understand why the language of hate is still being used to refer to people of both cultures.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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