Generation of potential | 9 mei 2018 | by Tessa de Jonge

John, outside of Gallery Café. Photo by Tessa de Jonge

“You need to show young people some support”

Generation of potential: John

John, 24, is a student at university in Jerusalem, and aspires to be a television journalist. He has lived his whole life in the Old City of Jerusalem. In terms of resistance, living there is essential to him: “I’m living here, I’m Palestinian, living in Jerusalem. I think that’s the biggest resistance that can happen”. Even though he considers himself a peaceful person, who simply wants to get along with everyone, he does feel that he and his peers have an obligation to resist, in any way they see fit. Especially considering the fact that they specifically suffer from the harmful circumstances: “Usually, young people are the ones that pay the price. They are the ones that are taken into prison and everything is just thrown on them. That’s why it’s important to show that young Palestinian people are still resisting”.

To John, both the Israeli and Palestinian leadership do not do anything about this, and furthermore, they create an unsafe environment for young people to get into politics, with increasing restraints on freedom of speech and increasing repression in general. He explains: “We [young people, red.] feel that if we get involved into politics, we can get harmed. We should feel secure about getting into politics”. This is, according to John, where young people should get support, so they are enabled to move forward with their ideas.

To John, “representation is the main issue. We don’t get represented in any kind of decision-making”. In order for this to change, young people should get support in creating safe spaces for developing and expressing their opinion.

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