Stereotypes hinder our understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict

October 18, 2011

Ross Singer's recent commentary revealed a truth that so many on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict refuse to acknowledge ("Friend or foes? Oct. 17). When we get to know people as human beings, regardless of the side with which they identify, we learn that simplistic generalizations and platitudes about the "other" don't fit.

The events leading up the establishment of the state of Israel and its aftermath require a much more nuanced reading than political and religious leaders on either side would have us believe.

Certainly, when we consider Rabbi Singer's questions and concerns about the people embroiled in vandalizing and torching a mosque in the Arab town of Tuba Zangaria, we come to realize, as he did, that stereotyping and demonization do nothing to resolve the problem.

Roni Goss Berkowitz, Columbia

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