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'Die-in' photo wrongly perpetuates divisive, negative stereotypes

As the former co-president of a high school Co-Exist club, as a Jewish Individual who shared the responsibilities of president with a Muslim friend of mine, I am appalled at the display depicted in the photo of the “die-in”. I happened to walk by that area, and though I didn’t see this protest, I did end up signing the Hillel petition for peace. Peace is a wonderful word that’s so easily overlooked in a world filled with hatred. In the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I have opinions, but the most basic of them is that both sides have things they are right about, and things they are wrong about. The problem comes when we jump so quickly to radical expressions of opinions and ideas. I am not offended by the photo of the “die-in” because it expresses an idea, free speech is important…I am offended by the “die-in” because it expresses a radical depiction of both sides of the conflict.

What this photo depicts is a dead man giving the middle finger to another man, who is looking down as if he doesn’t care. The man who doesn’t care is wearing a yarmulke, and is wearing Israeli flags. A sign reads, “Another dead Palestinian”. What kind of world do we live in where this kind of depiction of our fellow humans is so easily done? I have never met a single Jewish person, Israeli or American, Brazilian, or other, who doesn’t care about the losses involved on both sides. There are thousands of places across the world where Judaism and Islam work together or can work together, from high school Co-Exist clubs, to partnerships between Mosques and Temples for charity.

So please, look at this from the human perspective. We’re all human, and in my opinion, displays like this only hurt chances at peace by spreading negative stereotypes.

Jordan Cohen is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student majoring in history and political science.

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