A month ago I visited Israel and Palestine for the first time to learn about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Instead, I learned about the United States. That place, seven hours ahead of my home time, made me feel like I was living in an America past.
When I rode past the barrier separating Israel from the land outside, I wondered about the origins of Wall Street in New York City. When I saw Palestinians get off the bus at a checkpoint to have their documents reviewed while the border guard hopped on the bus to glance at my U.S. passport, I couldnâ€™t help thinking of Rosa Parks. When I heard stories of how Palestinians lost their homes to demolitions, evictions, arson and unemployment, I thought about the Lenape who used to live where I live in central Pennsylvaniaâ€”but over the course of decades were pushed to reservations in Oklahoma.
The guns are different, the land is different, but the ideologies are the same. People with powerâ€”people like meâ€”use any means to take what we want. We talk a good line about laws and rights, but deep down weâ€™re selfish, and fearful. Weâ€™re afraid of strangers, afraid of scarcity, afraid of death, and we do everything in our power to keep those fears at bay.