Living in the present with nothing to lose
I have a friend group of four, made up of myself, a cultural Jewish woman, a cultural Muslim and a practicing Muslim. I should note I’m culturally Christian, married to a practicing Muslim. None of the Muslims are Palestinian, though one woman has several friends who are. We are good enough friends that we started a nonprofit together in 2018 focused on creating interfaith events in our community. This friend group has been deeply strained since October 7. What has been most difficult for me is the Jewish woman has centered her trauma so thoroughly that she cannot see the trauma of the Muslims. It is isn’t a refusal as much as it is an inability. It’s been impossible to have conversation with a backdrop that doesn’t allow for victim hood on both sides, that can’t acknowledge the fear of the Muslims in the group. It definitely is changing my views of this person. I’m trying very hard to understand the impact of both 70+ years of a Jewish narrative centered in the horror of the Holocaust and decades of the narrative of Muslims as nothing more than terrorists, because both are impacting us right now.
These conversations get thornier with Jewish friends