I was delighted as part of We Believe in Israel to support the Shalom Festival, which highlighted how Israel’s vibrant culture builds bridges and peaceful coexistence.
Sadly that was too much for those protesting against Israeli culture being shown. This seems a bizarre position to take when you consider that a survey in 2011 which I link to here, 85% of Palestinians are interested in cooperation with Israel. That cooperation which is key to peace and Palestinian economic prosperity is not going to be helped by boycotting Israeli culture. It’s like protesters took it upon themselves to be more Palestinians than the Palestinians.
From my experience of entering into dialogue with some of the protesters, they appeared to be motivated by hatred of Israel. The featured image of the person I took a photo of reminded me of this hatred.
The man’s t-shirt in question says resistance is not terrorism. Whether he realised it or not this an incredibly sinister thing to have on your t-shirt, when Hamas describes itself laughably as a resistance group.
When I asked if he supported Hamas he said yes as he supports resistance against Israel. When I explained how Hamas locks up Palestinian journalists, is antisemitic and kills Israeli civilians he was unmoved. His attitude seemed to be any group who hates Israel must be worth supporting.