The Israeli/Palestinian conflict can be condensed to a 12 by 16 foot room. You may imagine that if an Israeli and a Palestinian both shared the same space as their living quarters, things could get ugly. The Palestinian might claim that the sink on his side of the room is his ‘West Sink.’ The Israeli may claim the TV his Tel Avision. The Israeli may relegate the Palestinian to a back corner of the room. The Palestinian would retaliate by lighting his farts on fire, leaving the room smelling like butt-ane. The Palestinian would go to the guys next door to ensure their loyalty. In fact, he would get allegiance from virtually the entire floor. The Israeli’s closest ally would be across campus, yet able to send representatives to his room due to their affluence. By the end of the semester, both sides would be too tired to fight and eat a sandwich.
In reality, I know of an Israeli and a Palestinian who were college roommates for over two years. I not only know of them, I know them. I not only know them, but they are two of my best friends, as well as each other’s. They were relatively good friends in high school, but grew closer in college. From my experience being around them, the crisis in the Middle East rarely came up, if ever. They were just people. Though extremists on both sides might condemn this arrangement, it was a no-brainer for the two.
I am not completely sure, but I think they took a Middle Eastern Studies class together. They also co-founded a short-lived campus organization whose sole intent was to get money from the university in order to see what they could do with it. They both had many similar friends, including myself. Hopefully, I will be able to hang out with them later tonight.