True Colors

November 22, 2023
Chloe Beal

Rye Brook, New York, United States

Class of 2025

Read more from this author →

When people ask me what my favorite holiday is, I always say that it's Thanksgiving. It's a time of love, family, and, most importantly, food! Every year, my dad prepares a massive feast that could feed a village, and my entire extended family comes over to eat. It's a time when I can be with the people I love most in the world and share how grateful I am for them. However, this holiday might look different for some families. Now, with the ongoing conflict occurring in Israel, people become separated by opinion. Although I am extremely lucky that my entire family supports Israel and their efforts, other people might not have this privilege. A holiday time that was once full of love and happiness becomes intercepted by tension and debate. When I found out that some people I knew supported the Palestine resistance, I felt heartbroken and betrayed. Had they not seen the widespread antisemitism all over the world? The Free Palestine protests that had turned violent? All the Israeli hostages that might never see their families again? Sadness turned to anger as I discovered the true colors of those around me. Typically, I'm the type of person who can set aside differences and not take it too personally when my opinions are different from another person’s. However, it is extremely difficult and nearly impossible for me to see someone the same way after I discover that they support Palestine. When I hear the words, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” all I can think about are my innocent Jewish brothers and sisters living in constant fear for their lives between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. 

This raises the question, what should you do in the event that a family member or close friend has a different opinion than you regarding this conflict? If you are like me, you will immediately want to argue and prove that you are right and they are wrong. However, here are some alternate steps that demonstrate both maturity and growth.

Shut down any conversations that veer in a debatable direction.

If or when a family member or friend tries to bring up something you disagree with, you should explain to them why you either don’t feel comfortable talking about it or simply don’t want to. If they persist in continuing the conversation, walk away. 

Do not try to educate them, and do not let them try to educate you.

Let them have their own beliefs, and you can have yours. You do not need to force anyone to believe what you believe, and likewise, they shouldn’t force you either. There is a myth that because someone is older, they have the authority to enforce their beliefs upon you. However, it's imperative to stand your ground and make it clear how you feel, even if the person is older. Side note: they won’t change their opinions simply because you say to. They have to learn for themselves about the different sides of the conflict. Either way, you can feel assured in the fact that you know what you are talking about. Although It's important to stay open-minded, there are some things that you can just agree to disagree with.

Be the bigger person. Know that there is always more to learn.

Although their actions and opinions may sound immature, don’t get angry, and don’t get worked up. Be the bigger person, and stay true to yourself and your values. 

Evaluate your relationship with them.-

If you decide that their opinions are a dealbreaker in your relationship with them, that is totally valid and okay. You choose who to surround yourself with, and if their negative and differing viewpoints deeply affect you, it's okay to leave that person behind. If they are a family member, this can be a lot harder. Just remember, simply being family does not mean that everything is forgivable. You can be cordial towards them to show maturity, but overall, you do not need to maintain the relationship you might have had before. 

Overall, stay true to yourself and your own beliefs. Am Israel Chai!

Chloe Beal is a BBG living in Rye Brook, New York. In her free time, she enjoys doing Model UN with her school.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

Explore More Stories

Get The Shofar blasted to your inbox