A Path to Grow, by Abd-Allah T., Gaza, Palestine

I understand how closed communities feel about their beliefs.

I understand how in these communities, the narrative can be easily set by the people at the top because interaction with the different sides of the argument is minimal. I understand how someone can be attached to their beliefs as a result of being nurtured in one of these communities. It’s a normal human response to have because as human beings, we are tribal by nature. I’ve seen it clear as the light of day with some of my friends. And I myself am a victim of this tribal nature, as I’m sure most of us are!

I grew up very religious. Most of my beliefs about life, religion, and the outside world were determined by the people I’m surrounded with. Being an introvert is probably the only thing that has allowed me to create a healthy barrier between my community’s set of beliefs and my owns. But it wasn’t until I started pushing myself to go online and start debating people about religion, science, gender roles, and politics, that I started to grow to be the man I am today.

A Feminist Social Democratic Liberal! Who lives in a mostly sexist, kind-of-democratic, but fundamentally religious community. I’m not only saying that to share my identity or my perspective. What I’m actually trying to say is that I understand someone’s love for their military! Especially if that “someone” actually served in it.

You might say: “What does the military have to do with any of what you just said?!” Well, think about it. The structure and training of most military forces create the ideal network for the sense of tribalism to flourish. That is because it creates a clear and easy path from the top to bottom “ideological feeding” process to achieve its best results.

If you interacted with the people who run the military, and if you spent days and nights with people you respect and love, training, playing, fighting, and fuming, it can be extremely easy to be sucked into the tribalistic nature that we as humans have. This nature makes us susceptible to the message that the people at the top send, and this is why I always say that It’s the most understandable thing in the world for someone to be captivated by the message that these people are sending out and standing by.

No matter how clear it was to the rest of the world that this message is twisted and divorced from reality, you can’t help but see it from the point of view of the messenger. They are your “tribe” and you have a very deep understanding that they are looking after you; that they have your best interest at heart.

This fact applies when it comes to Hamas, it applies when it comes to the IDF, and the constant state of conflict is only working towards enforcing and maximizing its effects. This is why we can’t allow this nature to keep controlling us. We need to step away and look at what’s happening from an impartial perspective, and to do that we need to have a clear and strict moral code.

If we can’t agree on the basic moral code, then we will keep shouting at each other without reaching any results. If we can’t agree that every human life is precious and understand each other’s need to live in dignity, security, and economic prosperity then we should know that the only thing waiting for us is more loss, more death, more hatred, and more chaos.

This message is a call to revise our own morality, to reach out to the other side, to put ourselves in their shoes and to understand that our tribalism is the only thing keeping us from reaching any kind of solution, because it creates the perfect prison, holding us and our future captive to cycles of reinforced hatred and mayhem.

This is nothing but a message to break the chains of tribalism that are holding us back.

So reach out… It’s our only path to grow!


  1. hopefulanimal
    hopefulanimal says:

    I’d like to note that I 100% agree.
    The issues you’ve pointed out are the same many places around our green earth.

    May we all find the strength and understanding to go past this rubbish…
    Borders are scars on the face of the planet.

    Wishing peace, joy and goodness for everyone on earth, and to you,
    from Avi, in “Israel”

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