They see things very, very differently

The following interview with Corey Gil-Shuster is also mostly unedited – the first part was conducted via email, the second one via Skype.

Versorgerin: You grew up as a Canadian Jew in Ottawa, moved to Israel and became a citizen in the year 1995. This was just a few years after the first Intifada and shortly after the Oslo Accords.
* What was your perception of the conflict back in Canada?
* Did it change fundamentally after moving to Israel and if yes, in what regards?
* When and how did you come up with the Ask-Project?
* What were the motivations and what is it about?

Corey Gil-Shuster: My perception of the conflict before living in Israel and even after living here for years was not understanding what the conflict was all about. I knew that Israelis want peace (or so they tell themselves) and Arabs don’t want peace. But as a Canadian, I could not believe that. How can anyone NOT want peace? It must be racism or oversimplifying that made Jews in Canada and Israel believe that Arabs don’t want peace. If they just knew who we were, they would love us. Then I started living in Israel. I didn’t really learn much about the conflict itself. I had to learn the language and the culture/society/mentality. I read the newspapers in English and a few books on the conflict to try to understand but there were just so many elements that didn’t really add up or make sense to me as a Canadian.
I was married to an Israeli. and I would be with his family a lot. If there was a terror attack, they would talk about the Palestinians. But other than that, Palestinians were barely mentioned. My husband’s family has Palestinian family in Gaza actually and even about them they barely spoke. So sometimes I heard what people think about the conflict with Palestinians but mostly it is not talked about.
Then we adopted a child and at the same time the second intifada broke out. We decided to leave Israel. I was too stressed about the daily violence. We went to Canada. I decided to study an MA in conflict studies to understand what I experienced in Israel and what Palestinians wanted.

We moved back to Israel in 2010. I didn’t find a job for a while. I was on-line talking to outsiders about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through Facebook and other media. People would make claims about Israelis that did not match anything I ever experienced or heard. And they would always have a You-tube video or article to back up their claims. At one point I got really fed up with the crazy claims about Israelis from outsiders and told this person she was 100% delusional. She replied “What? Are you going to go ask Israelis one by one in a vox populi?” I thought about it and said I have a video camera, give me a question to ask and I will go ask some people to respond to it. No one gave me a question. It took another month before someone made a claim and I asked if I could turn that into a question and he agreed. This is the first video:

I think that studying conflict theory changed my view on the conflict. It put what happens into perspective and gave me explanations that I never had mostly about the Israeli side. I then started filming in the Palestinian areas of the West Bank and that helped shed some light on what Palestinians think and believe. Unfortunately, I saw much more hate, paranoia and misinformation on the Palestinian side than on the Israeli side. So this changed my views on Palestinians a lot- hearing them want to kill Jews and smile while they said it as if it is completely understandable was disturbing to me.

My motivations were and still are to find the truth. What do people think, what do they believe, what is the evidence they have for those beliefs, can I challenge them on those beliefs, etc.

Versorgerin: What were the most interesting Experiences, when you asked all of this groups (Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs and Palestinians) the same question?

Corey Gil-Shuster: I know the Israeli narrative a lot better – so there’s not a lot that surprises me, when they speak;
maybe about specific issues I’m a little surprised, but not very, ‘cause I know what people are gonna say. For Palestinians it’s much more surprising what they say ‘cause I don’t know their narrative as well. So a lot of times I will find that they see the conflict very, very differently than I do – not just because I live on the Israeli side, but also as a Canadian with sort of Canadian perceptions on values and western values. They see things very, very differently and they expect everyone sees things – or both sides expect everyone sees – the situation the way they do. Everyone else. So on the Palestinian side there’s a lot of issues of expecting everyone to understand why they react violently for example. To them it’s very understood, why killing Israeli settlers is absolute legitimate for example. They just make the assumption that everyone will agree with them. It’s their right to go against the occupation, it’s their right to kill – they don’t say “it’s my right to kill” – it’s always covered in this layer to make them sound better but really what they’re saying: Any violence that they use against the occupation or anyone involved in the occupation is legitimate and understandable. So for someone who’s Canadian not all forms of violence to me are legitimate and understandable. That’s sometimes something that surprises me.

Versorgerin: You talk to the Jewish Israeli in Hebrew and you have a translator for Arabic.

Corey Gil-Shuster: That is a detriment – I wish it wasn’t that way, but it is.

Versorgerin: Some of the questions are pretty upfront. You present them strictly in the way of an interviewer who is not really involved in it. For example asking Palestinians: „Why do you hate Israelis so much?“ and Israelis: „Why do you hate Palestinians so much.“ As far as I recall it, most Israelis said that they didn’t hate Palestinians, whereas many Palestinians said that they indeed hate Israelis.  Then, when you confronted them further and asked follow-up questions, there came a lot of contradictions.

Corey Gil-Shuster: Yes, that’s typical

Versorgerin: Could you take of the contradictions?
One other question was: „If Palestinians could get territories that are now part of Israel, would you get rid of all Israelis and which ones/which generation?“ They gave answers full of contradictions. What is clear is that they have not thought that thing really through – the main idea is just: „Get rid of them.“

Corey Gil-Shuster: Your’ putting a few of the questions together, I’ll do that too.
Most of the Israelis at least sound much more rational and moderate about the conflict in general. Much more have an understanding of the Palestinian side than the opposite. It’s not from direct experience, it’s all through media. But what they’re understanding tends to be more correct than what Palestinians understand about Israelis. Palestinians – and both I would say – also love to just give slogans that they hear the politicians say or leaders or whoever. Just these empty sort of slogans that don’t really mean anything – so that drives me crazy. And they both do it. Whereas Palestinians are a lot more extreme in the sense: Israelis, yeah they exist, jet they are not legitimate, they are not indigenous. Jews are not really from here, they are all colonists from Europe. And so there is this idea that either they have to go back where they came from or they have to give up control in some way. Some people will say „Oh, we can live together”, other people say, „no we can never live together“, but that is sort of the idea: Israel is not a legitimate country, it is not real. It needs to be – I don’t know, if „destroyed“ is the word, but it needs to be undone for there to be peace and Palestine has to come instead. To me that is not very moderate or realistic, I mean what country suddenly says: „Oh, you’re right, we don’t have a right to exist.“ That just doesn’t happen. The US is never gonna say: „You’re right, we’re not from here. Lets all just go back.“
Then you ask deeper questions: So what does that mean, who goes back and who doesn’t?
And then you point out the inconsistencies in what Palestinians think. For example: Some will say „All the Jews have to leave, or have to be under Palestinian/Muslim control.“ Or maybe: „All Jews who came before 1948 can stay, but Jews after 1948 can’t, because they draw this artificial line in 1948.“ But they sort of forget that there was 600.000 Jews in 1948 and today that group is now half the population plus at least one persons’ grandparents of half the population comes from that group.
Or people inter-merry. There aren’t many people who don’t have a relative who wasn’t here before 1948. So they make this very simplistic claims and ideas: „All Jews who weren’t here before 1948 have to leave.“ If your great-grandfather on one side was here – does that mean you’re allowed to stay or you’re not allowed to stay? And even then – these are just artificial and philosophical ideas that will never actually happen, but they still believe that this is gonna happen. So that’s what I mean when I say, they are not very grounded in being rational.
Whereas Israelis understand Palestinians exist – they don’t really like them, they don’t really hate them, they’re just not part of the culture. But they know who Palestinians are and just don’t wanna deal with them. So they ignore them. That’s kind of what comes through.

Versorgerin: What is your impression if you talk to the people – does it make sense or do you get result if you confront them for instance with the fact that after the founding of the state of Israel Jews from Arabic countries were driven out and forced to leave. Just plain historic facts. DO you get results with facts?

Corey Gil-Shuster: No. No is the very short answer. That’s actually one of the questions I’m asking right now Palestinians. 800.000 – 1.000.000 Jews had to leave Arab lands, 700.000 Palestinians had to leave what’s today Israel, became refugees (this is somebody else’s question): „So therefore aren’t we even? There was a transfer of populations, this is what happened, can’t we now be even?”
Two people I’ve asked so far said: „No, that’s a ridiculous idea, because the Jews who came from Egypt or from Iraq they should and will go back.“ What I get out of all this – at least on the Palestinian side, is that they are very, very focused on one logical solution – and that logical solution is almost like a return to 1947 Palestine, meaning all the Palestinians will come back and everyone will live in the houses their grandparents lived in 1947. Whether with the Jews or without the Jews, that’s another thing. But that’s sort of the goal and if you try to give any information which puts some barrier in the way of that, which says „it doesn’t make any sense“, they are very quick to react to „no, no, no, you’re wrong“ and they ignore historical facts that might contradict that.“

Versorgerin: You mentioned that many of the slogans are media driven.

Corey Gil-Shuster: For Palestinians it might also be the mosque, I don’t know as well, but that’s what I’m told.

Versorgerin: So the conflict is now in the third or fourth generation. Are these stereotypes or slogans or simplistic solutions passed on from one generation to the other? I guess it’s not just media, but also family and so on.

Corey Gil-Shuster: Absolutely Yes. That’s how my way of looking at it – I don’t know if you can call it a theory – but the way of looking at Palestinian society is that it’s a very closed system. It’s like a bubble where
they’re constantly talking and obsessing about their situation and about the conflict and about the unjustness of the conflict and they’re always reminding each other of what is the right way of thinking about the conflict.
Israelis don’t really talk much about the conflict. I mean, Israelis have more money, better education – they have other things to focus on. The Palestinians seem quite stuck in that they’re always obsessed with what is going on, what the Israelis are doing, how they feel the Israelis are trying to ethnically cleanse them. So there’s that echo chamber of speaking within the society, reinforcing the ideas that they believe in all the time. So it may not even be media; I haven’t really lived there, so it’s hard to know if it’s media. But I hear them talk about it all the time. As soon as I mention something, very quickly all of them get involved and get very emotional and have a lot to say about it. Whereas with Israelis I always get this impression like „Really, we’re still talking about this? Who cares?“ That seems to be the impression that I get when I’m having to ask them the questions.

Versorgerin: Would you agree that this echo chamber is some kind of a global echo chamber? These opinions of themselves: Are they reinforced by the UN, the refugee status of Palestinians (refugees in the third generation)? And the whole idea of bringing Israel to trial before the UN?
They are in contact with global institutions and try to influence them in their favor. So there is this
global dynamic that also comes into play.

Corey Gil-Shuster: Yes and no. First of all I would say internationally it’s talked about in a third way, in a different way than it is by Israelis or Palestinians (not just the activists, but in a general sense).
On the other hand when you hear, everyone just assumes (on the Israeli and the Palestinian side) that the world is against them and they’re alone. So there isn’t this sense for most Palestinians: „Ah the UN is with us, the UN loves us, oh the Europeans love us.“ They just see the world as „everyone hates Palestinians“ and Israelis see the world as “everyone hates Jews” and they’re all stuck in their own bubble. And they choose the information to reinforce that of course – what they choose to speak about is hand picked to reinforce that. That’s my impression.
At the same time though: I don’t think it’s helpful that the UN and the international bodies have not said to both parties: „Guys, get your act together“. For example: The right of Return – it’s never gonna happen, because it’s never happened with any other group. India and Pakistan are not gonna suddenly decide: „OK all this millions of people who were transfered between India and Pakistan in 1948/49 are not gonna go back. Yet for the Palestinians it’s sort of left as unclear: „Well, because the Palestinians see it as such an emotional thing, we’re gonna let you believe, what you wanna believe”. So the problem with the international community is, they are not saying [that]; and to the Israelis the same thing: „If you wanna be a player in the international community, this is what you need to do. You need to give up certain things and you need to be prepared to compromise.“

Versorgerin: You mentioned that people said on the Israeli side „Why are we still talking about this?“ But there’s somehow the need to talk about it, because people live under circumstances that are threatening and fearful. Would you say that the same closed mindset about the conflict is also transferring into a kind of claustrophobic situation in daily life?

Corey Gil-Shuster: For Palestinians or for Israelis?

Versorgerin: I guess for Israelis – in fear of terror attacks.

Corey Gil-Shuster: For Israelis there is a sense...; they don’t really care what the world thinks – to a certain degree. I mean they would, if really pushed to it. Most people would say they don’t really care, because Israel is doing fine. Everything is fine, even though there are terrorist attacks and people are a little tense and when it happens, everyone suddenly goes into victim-mode. The next day, it’s like nothing ever happened. Everyone here feels that we are and should be very self sufficient. And everything is OK in a sense. If you look at it, businesses are more or less doing fine, the high-tech sector is big in Israel and nobody is really threating that. There is a sense of being alone, but there is no sense of: „The world has abandoned us and that’s a problem.“ It’s more like: „The world doesn’t like us, we know that. What are you gonna do, we’re fine.“ And it’s always been that way, I don’t think that’s changed in any way.
For Palestinians it is much more claustrophobic, they have often less land, they have more of an obsession about that they have less, too. I would say, a lot of it is psychological. So when I’m talking to them (you can see in the videos), they talk about the biggest issue to them is the fact that it takes them – they claim – three hours to go from Bethlehem to Ramallah.
And I say: „But I just did it half an hour ago – it took me 45 minutes. And I do it once a month and  never had an issue. I’ve never been in traffic longer than 45 minutes. Maybe an hour.“
And they say „no, no, no, there are checkpoints“ and I say „but I didn’t go through any checkpoints“ and they say „no there are checkpoints, you just didn’t see them.“ And I’m like: „What do you mean, I didn’t see them, how is that possible?“ I drove the same road I assume they’re talking about.
So we get into this ridiculous – in my mind – argument about how much they’re suffering, where they have to insist that everything there is so hard for them. And I’m looking at them, going: „Please, we’re in Kentucky fried chicken, the place is packed with people, people living a decent quality life, from what I see. I see very little poverty and yet at the same time they have this perception that comparatively to other countries they are in a really horrible position. To me it seems much more psychological than something you can measure in terms of things like „is it really so difficult to get from what city to another“, for example. That’s my impression. But It’s hard for me – I get criticized for that impression all the time.

Versorgerin: One motive for the question was that I guess, the outside perspective on the conflict (from Europe) is: „How can people live under that circumstances. This state of alert all the time. And I guess it’s strengthened by the recent terrorist attacks in Europe. So I guess, people get the idea that that’s what it has to be in Israel all of the time.

Corey Gil-Shuster: When I told people years ago – when I was moving back to Canada from Israel, it was during the second intifada. The second Intifada really bothered me, I was very afraid all the time. Cause there were literally things blowing up every day, that’s not normal here. But when I told I’m leaving because of that they would just stare and had no idea what I was talking about. At least on the surface. Whereas if I would say: „Oh, I’m going to Canada, because I can make more money”, everyone said „ah, that makes sense.“ And I don’t know, if it’s a defense mechanism or they are just so used to it that they don’t see terrorism as being that strange. It’s hard to know. I can’t really give you a good answer. But the perception is that „that’s the situation, the situation will always be that way. We live in the middle east – it’s chaotic, it’s violent. There’s nothing you can do.“

Versorgerin: It’s strange to understand how people don’t feel the pressure that much.

Corey Gil-Shuster: They don’t. And sadly, there’s another side. They should feel the pressure, cause part of the reason for violent terrorism is the Palestinians saying: „Look at us, pay attention to us.“ And the sad thing is that Israelis will never or very rarely do anything positive, when Palestinians are acting in a positive way and always then wonder how it somehow became violent. Like it’s something that they’ve never been through. They all react shocked.
But it seems like, if people are as smart as they think they are, you would think that they would very quickly say: „Okay, listen Palestinians; if you cut out the violence for now, I’ll give you thirty days (or whatever) and then I’m gonna open this and this checkpoint.“ They would explain what they expect from the other side and then say: „Okay and here this is the reward, you’re gonna get.“  Which is very paternalistic and horrible, but you would think that’s what they would do. But instead it ends up in terrorisms, terrorism, terrorism, everyone complains. Suddenly there’s no terrorism, because Palestinians burned themselves out a bit and it takes the US or Europe to remind Israel: „Guys, make things easier on them and they reluctantly agree only because of the pressure and then they’re shocked, when there’s more terrorism later.“

Versorgerin: Although it’s kind of normal.

Corey Gil-Shuster: Both sides are so stuck in their way of thinking that they just refuse to see the psychology of the other side. Which always amazes me as a foreigner here.
You would think that they would learn something – they don’t.

Versorgerin: So maybe back to the people you asked. You asked quite a lot of different people – did you find differences in the answers concerning religion, gender, age, and so on..?

Corey Gil-Shuster: A little bit – it’s minor, but there is a bit of a difference. On the Palestinian side, older people tend to be a little more conservative. I would say all of them – both male, female at all ages are very influenced by Islam. Very influenced. To the point where – even if they’re pretty secular in their own lives – it’s very difficult for them to ever say it publicly or to hint it. Because it’s not allowed culturally. It’s still quite a conservative society compared to Jordan or Lebanon for example. I don’t notice a large difference between what men and women say – no, not at all. In fact sometimes women say some of the more extreme and harsh things about Israelis. I find that a little shocking – but they do. I do notice a bit in terms of people who live in cities vs. villages – that’s also another cleavage within Palestinian society. So people [who] live in cities are supposed to be generally more educated and higher class (or however you wanna define it) and people in villages tend to be much less educated. I find people who are much less educated are actually – interestingly enough – much   more open to Israelis or the idea of Israel because they see a benefit of dealing with Israeli money, of working for Israelis, or they’ve had the year’s experiences (mostly people who are older). People who live more in Ramallah, who are the intellectual class, tend to be much, much more extreme in their views about Israelis. They are much more against them, they refuse to meet them, refuse to have anything to do with them. That would be the only difference that I would notice.

Versorgerin: This is a further factor I wanted to ask you about: Does it depend on the region? You mentioned Ramallah – there are some places you can’t go as an Israeli Citizens (as far as I gathered)?

Corey Gil-Shuster: I go everywhere, I don’t go to Gaza, but everywhere in the West Bank I go. Legally I’m not allowed to do what I’m doing, but I still do it. So I’m going everywhere. What you see are the major places in the West Bank.

Versorgerin: I recall one Interview-session you did about the attitude towards homosexuality. I remember, you specifically said: “I’m not doing this – on the Israeli side – in Tel Aviv. This would be too easy.

Corey Gil-Shuster: I tried to find people who were not from Tel Aviv. Because I’m gay myself and actually I didn’t want to do the Israeli video equivalent ‘cause I thought: “That’s too easy”. I’ve lived here for twenty years as a gay person with a husband and a child. I’ve lived in small villages and towns in Jewish areas and never had an issue at all. I know homophobia exists – people say stupid things all the time and some people are uncomfortable about gay people and whatever. But in terms of experiencing any anger, hatred or violence, I’ve never had anything like that. So at first I actually thought, I’m just not gonna do the video, because my purpose wasn’t to make Israel look good and Palestinians look bad, as a lot of people think it is. But people kept saying: “Oh, you’re avoiding it, you’re avoiding it.” So then I said: “Okay, if I’m gonna do this, I’m asking average – I wasn’t gonna go for fringe people – they’re all mainstream; but people who don’t live in Tel Aviv and who likely don’t know many gay people.” And so that was the resulting video.

Versorgerin: I found some of the Palestinian answers quite surprising. When I saw the topic, I thought there’s gonna be a lot of negative response, but as far as I recall it, there were even some religious people who said “of course it’s against Islam”, but they kind of gave two answers – one official, that it’s forbidden and one personal, that they didn’t mind. That’s the strange divide I found.

Corey Gil-Shuster: Because for them, religion has much more of a role in their society, than it does in Israeli society.

Versorgerin: Were there differences concerning ethnicity? You asked Jews from Syria, from Israel, from Ethiopia. Did you find differences in their answers?

Corey Gil-Shuster: A little bit. There was a video specifically on this, but most people who come from eastern backgrounds (Middle East, Afghanistan, the former Soviet Union, the southern Muslim areas) tend to be a bit more conservative, they tend to vote more right-winged. But that’s about it. It’s not black and white at all in any way. First of all, most people are mixed today anyways; even then I always find lots of contradictions from anyone. I’d say, the only real cleavage in terms of opinions tends to be between secular Israelis and religious Israelis – for most things.
People who are religious tend to live in their own closed worlds and they’re more similar actually to Palestinians in that sense. Meaning: religion has a much larger influence obviously and they tend to be much more conservative. But that’s about it. I’d say, people who live in coastal Israel, who aren’t religious – even if they are believers, but they’re not very religious – tend to have much more a spectrum all across. And again, often have changed their political opinions throughout their lives many times. That’s also more common in Israeli society.

Versorgerin: So from an outside view and from the videos, the Israeli Society seems to be a lot more diverse and heterogeneous than the Palestinian. Can you confirm that?

Corey Gil-Shuster: That it’s more diverse on the Israeli side?

Versorgerin: Yes.

Corey Gil-Shuster: For sure. In fact, there’s even a joke in Jewish society that some people – and I’ve seen this happen – where they have maybe not a very strong opinion about something, but they’ll chose the opposite opinion to everyone else. I don’t know, if it’s being noticed, or having something to say – it’s very common for people here to almost contradict their opinions. If everyone says A, you’re gonna say “no, no, no – B”. And then the same person in a different setting might say A, if everyone says B. I’ll give you an example: With my brother-in-law, we had a discussion about circumcision. And he is actually the person who convinced us that circumcision is barbaric. And then – when we decided, not to circumcise our child – he is the one who came and said: “I can’t believe, you did that.” And I said: “What are you talking about? We got the idea from you.” And he was like “what are you talking about?” And it goes: “You told us the story about someone circumcised and they did a bad job and the kid had problems, when he was young.” And he was like: “Ach, what are you listening to me for?” I don’t think, he’s fully a 100% convinced of either argument and he could go both ways on that.
And so it tends to be in Israeli society, it’s very easy to find a group of people, where you ask them a question and everyone will give completely different answers.

Versorgerin: Is it the same with political groups? I mean, when you interview people, you maybe got a picture in your head of how you would put that person on the political spectrum. Did you try to mix that? Was it harder for you to gather a broader spectrum on the Palestinian side?

Corey Gil-Shuster: First of all: It’s not a very broad spectrum on the Palestinian side. From what I understand and from experience, I would say (and this was actually in a video), cause somebody said it, and then it made sense, how everyone was reacting; and he said, there’s basically sort of two ways of being: There’s the Fatah/PA side – of you’re open to negotiations with Israel – and there’s the Hamas’ (or whatever other group’s) side, where the only way to deal with this is through the violent struggle against Israel. And each person has their foot in both worlds. And so they side with one side a little bit more than the other, but they are sort of waiting to see, which one will work.
And that’s the extent of the spectrum that I personally get from Palestinians. That they are sort of waiting to see, which one will work and they’ll side which the one in the end works.

Versorgerin: But there’s much more gray between black and white on the Israeli side?

Corey Gil-Shuster: At least publicly, yes. I get the sense from people – on both sides actually – that most people really don’t really think about this conflict that much. They hear certain things, they repeat it – but they don’t really think a lot. But there is more options for gray on the Israeli side, yes absolutely.
And just in general, definitely there’s more options to see both sides on the Israeli side – whereas on the Palestinian side, culturally they seem to be much more focused on the black and white.
That’s my impression.

Versorgerin: How do you choose the people for the interviews and can you talk about surprises? Like when you got answers that you didn’t expect from people.

Corey Gil-Shuster: And there have been a few. First of all: Israelis I can identify much better – kind of what they’re gonna say. Maybe not exactly, but more or less, what they’re gonna say. I’m actually looking for people who look very, what I call “mainstream”. People who look too “Tel Aviv” or very religious, I sort of ignore usually on purpose, because they’re not the average person. The religious are only 10% or the Ultra-orthodox and then there’s people who just wear a Kippa, like the “settler looking guys”, they’re another 10, 15%. Depends on the question, too – some questions I actually do want their view on, because I think it’s interesting. In others I just don’t care – I mean it just doesn’t really matter for the question. The only time I specifically look for someone who looks a certain way, is if I – lets say for example I got a lot of right wing answers just by chance, then I’ll try to find – I know that there’s a big minority at least, who think differently, I’ll try to look for someone who looks like that. Only to balance it out. But that’s rare actually – most of the time, 90% of the time, they’re completely just average looking people and I don’t really know exactly what they’re gonna say.
Palestinian side: It’s usually the translator who’s choosing them. Because I choose people and she goes: “No, no, no, let’s not ask them, they look grumpy”, or they look like they’re not gonna answer or they’re not gonna be good speakers or whatever. We don’t know, what they’re gonna say.
And then as we’re going through it, we try to get some on the street and some in Universities and some in stores – just different places.
And then on both sides I had surprises where I thought, somebody would say something right-winged or left-winged or whatever, and they surprised me with what they said. And that was actually kind of nice – even if I didn’t agree with them.
I’m trying to think of specific examples – there have been a view, even in the “Do you hate Israelis/How much do you hate Israelis” video. There was one Palestinian guy from Jerusalem who was quite open about having Israeli friends and because of that he doesn’t hate Israelis. It taught him, not to hate. And that’s something really nice to hear and surprising.
I’ve done a few of the Interviews in West-bank settlements and I have to say that I was surprised how much more moderate Israeli Jewish settlers seem to me (cause I’m kind of against them) than I expected. They seem much more open to a lot more than I would expect. They tend to be a bit less racist than I expect. More moderate, more open to different political ideas than I would expect or even how they vote normally. That kind of surprised me a bit.

Corey Gil-Shuster is currently working on developing a more general YouTube video series on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that looks at facts based on evidence vs. perceptions in the conflict.


The "Ask project"

In his „Ask Project“, Corey Gil-Shuster invites people worldwide to send him questions concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He then asks these questions Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs or Palestinians. The answers are mostly unedited, the ones in Hebrew or Arabic are dubbed with English subtitles. New interview-videos are uploaded twice a week, most of them between 5 and 20 minutes long. One can find the videos via:


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