Friends Abraham Gutman who is Jewish and Dania Darwish who is Arabic are students at Hunter College in New York who have watched the violence escalate in Gaza this month as Israel launched Operation Protective Edge and Hamas responded predictably with even more rocket attacks on Israel. Dismayed by the mounting death toll as both sides attempted to be the one with the higher “enemy” body count, they decided to express their disapproval of what is going on in the Mideast.
To reach that goal, they launched their own operation — a social media campaign that has gone viral with a Facebook page named “Jews & Arabs Refuse To Be Enemies” and a Twitter campaign utilizing #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies.
The Facebook page has garnered over 34,000 followers and Twitter has been flooded with photos of Jews and Arabs together demonstrating their friendship and even love for one another.
Gutman told the Christian Science Monitor:
“For me, it is hard to watch the current escalation between Israel and Gaza from afar. I wanted to find a way to be more than a passenger, to do something about it rather than just watch the news and hope for the best.”
They know, as do all of the others who have posted their photos of friendship on the Facebook page and on Twitter, that while they are showing the world what could be, it is unlikely to have much impact on the Israeli government or Hamas.
They are, however, giving at least some hope to many of the common people caught in the middle of this brutal fight.
Here is a sampling of the inspiring posts from around the world from Twitter:
— Open House Community (@OpenHouseRadio) July 26, 2014
— Stephen ☩ (@RevStephenSorby) July 26, 2014
July ’14 has been a devastating month. #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies offers hope and beauty in all this tragedy. spread the love. <3
— laeriel (@laeriel) July 26, 2014
And more from the Facebook Page:
It might not stop the bombs, but it’s a beautiful sentiment, none the less. Big changes always start small and these people are BEING the change they want to see in the world. Who knows what this small project could lead to?
In fact, the #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies movement brings this quote to mind:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead.