His call for empathy has made this Jewish studies professor feel isolated

Jewish history professor at UCLA, David Myers, spoke about feeling isolated after calling for empathy among Jews and Palestinians during the recent conflict.

Standing in the middle: Myers attempted to create a conversation where both Jews and Palestinians could safely share in grieving for one another.
* He states how his call for empathy has left him feeling as though he’s a traitor to his people – the Jewish people – and also like he’s failing to comprehend the extent of the Palestinians’ plight.

His own grief: Myers expressed his personal sadness over the conflict in Israel and Gaza.
* Although he is located in the U.S., he finds the accounts of suffering coming from the region “almost unbearable.”
* Myers’ experience of engaging with the conflict involves teaching, doing media appearances, and then retreating into periods of depression.

Tensions on campus: Myers witnessed “us versus them” tensions brewing among students at UCLA.
* He recounts seeing Jewish students in a state of shock while those advocating for the Palestinian cause feel that their suffering is not adequately recognized.
* Myers tried to bridge these divides by expressing a need for understanding and empathy on both sides in an op-ed piece.

Understanding through history: Myers talked about the importance of acknowledging the traumas of both sides, the Holocaust for the Jews and Nakba for the Palestinians.
* He suggests considering “how well” these historical grievances are serving both sides given the current conflict.
* Myers hopes humanity can move beyond these patterns of violence, embracing empathy and understanding instead.

Finding solace: Despite the conflicts and disagreements within his own community, Myers is finding comfort in prayer and Psalms. He carries hope that, in time, the current lament may transform into joy.

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