Truth be told, every single “no” was painful to hear.
Circumstances force us to dislike even the humane, the innocents, people who have nothing to do with the terror attacks. It becomes difficult to separate a person from his religious identity.
In the videos, it doesn’t seem to matter if the invited person is of good character. An invite is extended based on religion alone, on a generalization that “If one person of a community is like this, then all of them might be similar.”
I couldn’t help placing myself in such a situation – someone denying me an invite looking at my race, color, religion, caste and the actions taken by a group. It wouldn’t matter if I had raised my voice for the oppressed. At that moment, it only matters whether I am from “the other side”
It is not just restricted to Israel-Palestine, you can find similar cases world over.
The suspicions can’t be blamed either because time and again people have breached that trust. Suspicion is a natural form of self-defence. Better be safe than sorry. Yet mistrust can feel heavy when you are not personally to blame.
I pray for a world, where a person is judged by their own character, on humanity alone, and not from some unfair blanket generalization, even if such a hope seems far-fetched at the moment.