When my good friend came to me and asked how I could have served in a military that oppresses and abuses the Palestinians on a daily basis, I was stunned and quite offended.
When I spent most of my three-year service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the West Bank, my mission was to protect the lives of Israeli civilians, Arab and Jewish alike.
An English professor at the University of Miami decided to impose his extremist views on his students. He decided to dedicate an entire class to screen an anti-Israeli (perhaps anti-Semitic) movie which claims to present the suffering of the Palestinians living in the West Bank.
Sharing our ideas and thoughts about conflict can help society advance toward peace between the nations. But, presenting students a distorted, one-sided movie is not educational. This is unacceptable, immoral behavior on the side of the professor. He used his influence to convey his offensive views about the majority of Israelis who are obligated to serve in the military.
I attended an event by the Jews and Muslims (JAM) student organization called “A Scholarly Discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” which was an example of how this issue should be discussed in a fair way.
When addressing the topic, the goal should be to raise awareness and promote peace, and not to spread lies, which perpetuate conflict.
On Wednesday, Asaf Romirowsky, a Middle Eastern studies scholar, will visit UM. Romirowsky served in the IDF as the Foreign Affairs officer in the West Bank and Jordan. He now works for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Middle East Forum. The main topic of the session on campus will be about human rights. Anyone who is in favor of a fair and open conversation should attend the event and share their views with the rest of us.
Abir Gitlin is a freshman majoring in international studies.