Sitting outside the Kirya, Israel’s equivalent of the Pentagon in Tel Aviv, Peled was cutting pieces of yellow ribbon off a large wheel last Thursday, handing them out to strangers passing by. The bands symbolize solidarity with the roughly 240 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.
It is this solidarity – and specifically whether it still extends beyond Israel’s borders – that Peled was questioning.
“I used to consider myself part of the extreme liberals, whatever they call themselves. But when I see demonstrations with cries in support of Hamas and stuff like that, I doubt that the world understands complexity … and when they can’t understand complexity, they see this as a one-sided thing and their sense of justice is very simple. But it’s not simple,” he told CNN. “I think the governments understand this, but the people… I don’t know.”
As global leaders continue to pile pressure on Israel over the mounting civilian death toll from its bombardment of Gaza and huge crowds gather for pro-Palestinian protests in cities like London, Washington DC, Berlin, Paris, Amman and Cairo – almost all in support of civilians in Gaza, rather than Hamas – many Israelis are getting frustrated with what they see as unequal treatment.
It’s a feeling that cuts across the deep divisions within Israeli society: the world does not understand us.