Sunday, August 24, 2014

Questions to ask your pro-Israeli friends

Palestine questions
… Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said that you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. However, one of the reason that genuine dialogue and finding a solution to the Gaza conflict are so elusive is because the two sides can agree on very few facts thanks to the perfection of propaganda campaigns featuring selective recall, rewriting of history, and the constant repeating of lies…
Thus, attempting to have a discussion of “facts” does not solve anything because there is little agreement on a common set of facts. Without a common basis of facts, any discussion will be unproductive and usually devolves into a shouting match as often seen on TV, thus polarizing the sides even more…
I’ve found that asking questions can be a more productive approach to discussion because answering well-crafted questions requires examination of beliefs instead of responding with prepared sound bites.
So if you find yourself in a discussion with a pro-Israel person who seems willing to have a rational conversation (as opposed to just shouting slogans), I’ve come up with a list of questions you might consider asking. Be careful of a lot of responses you might get – often they’re just hand-waving and exaggerations of minor exceptions to avoid directly confronting the question. Continue to bring the focus back to the cognitive dissonance between the pro-Israeli position and these questions. You can also get lot of good information from Richard Forer’s book Breakthrough, Transforming Fear Into Compassion.
Here are some questions to ask.

Question 1

What should have been done (and what should be done now) with the many thousands of Palestinians who had lived on their land for centuries when the state of Israel was founded?

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