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Amy York Rubin Headshot

Happy Birthday Tel Aviv?

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When most people talk about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today -- at the dinner table or in the media -- they talk about Hamas, how to deal with the security issues while not also being in a constant state of war. That is how the debate has been framed. Consequently, we tend to avert our eyes from the question of why we are in this position in the first place. The problem is that it is not enough to talk only about today when the conflict and feelings of hate rely so heavily on the past.

Trying to achieve peace in Israel without addressing the past is akin to trying to find a cure for cancer by treating the symptoms without ever considering why the cancer developed in the first place. One of the best ways we can attempt to treat the cause of the conflict, and not just the symptoms is to listen to the stories of the people who lived through the creation of Israel, the war of 1948, the founding of Tel Aviv and begin to understand where the hate, fear and violence is coming from.

This week, while most of Israel celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of Tel Aviv, is a particularly important time to do that -- to listen to the stories of Israel. This short video of interviews with people living in Jaffa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is an attempt to articulate the conflicting experiences and historical narratives in light of this week's celebrations in Tel Aviv. This video is just a sample of the conflicting historical accounts that are an integral part of the Israeli political narrative and root cause of the on-going conflict. There is of course much more that should be said, and heard, by a global audience.