On September 4th, I decided to attend a global cultural event with a friend of mine. The purpose of this cultural event was to present the social injustices taking place in the city of Hebron through a documentary film and an open panel discussion. Prior to attending this cultural event, I honestly had little to no idea what was actually taking place in that region. So often, especially in the US, we are not given proper insight on the different social issues that are taking place across the world.
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Instead, our opinions on the rest of society are generally shaped by the media and the way in which they portray it to us. But by viewing this documentary, and by hearing a personal account of the actions taking place in Hebron, I was able to determine that there are unfortunate social injustices occurring in other parts world. From what I derived, the main issue taking place in Hebron is the improper treatment of Palestinian citizens who live in the city, by Israelis who occupy the same area. This is not an issue that has just risen; it has been a long-standing problem dating back many centuries. If I understood correctly, the Israelis believe that the area surrounding Hebron is rightfully theirs, as do the Palestinians. Therefore, they have established a military stronghold in the city in order to protect what they believe to be their land. As a result, many Palestinians have been forced out of their homes and shops, and are subject to random searches and seizures. The Israeli military doesn’t view them as being equal, leading to other Jewish citizens in the area treating them as second-class citizens, which often predicates multiple instances of discrimination.
They’ve even reached extremes like placing individuals who protest against the Israeli military in prison and have gone as far as committing war crimes, executing innocent Palestinians who have done nothing and face little to no consequence for their actions. Prior to viewing this documentary, I did not know that Palestinians were being subject to racial discrimination and social injustices. I was unaware that Jewish citizens were actually treating people like that. I have actually been told in the past that because Israel is such a small country, they were the ones who were at risk for harm from other countries in the region. But in this case, they seem to be the aggressor. I think that it is important to expose yourself to different cultures so you can see the world for what it really is, not just how you perceive it to be. By doing this, you will see that everything is not always what it seems, nor is it always like what you hear in the media or from other sources. Instead, you will realize that you have to understand an individual’s background, culture and where they come from in order to truly have an appreciation for who they are. We should not simply “judge a book by its cover;” rather you should get to know a person before forming an unfair opinion about them.
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