by Charlotte Carnehl

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The pictures are powerful. They are reasons for hope. They show positive relations between Arabs and Jews all over the world, as friends, classmates, partners, and coworkers. Relationships in which trust and respect are a granted normalcy. After #Bringbackourgirls it is now the hashtag #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies, which has gone viral on social networks. Arabs and Jews use Facebook and twitter to demonstrate for peace in Gaza and an end of the conflict.

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The Israeli Jew, Abraham Gutman, and his Syrian-American Muslim classmate at Hunter College, Dania Darwisch, created #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies, a slogan that has already been used in Hebrew for a couple of years. Under the same name they also initiated a Facebook group. In an interview to Voice of America Gutman and Darwish explain how they were disturbed by the hate they saw on social media channels after the escalation of the conflict in Gaza. Gutman said that with this online movement, they “wanted to create a space where people had the same experience we had with each other, that you can disagree, but you can have a debate, and try to be part of a solution in a productive way.“ Since its launch about three weeks ago, the Facebook group has already 55,903 likes (as of August 4).

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