Official diplomatic relations between the two countries may be at a nadir, but young citizens on both sides are finding common ground on Internet chat boards. Says a blogger: “We have tons of things in common. We come from two of the most liberal, educated countries in the Middle East….”
As soon as the first rockets began hitting the North, Shira, a 17-year-old from Haifa, went straight to the message boards of www.beirut.com where she asked a question no politician has yet breached: After all this, would you date a Jew?
“I asked a lot of questions, and that was one of them,” she said, adding that she felt the question gave her a broader sense of how Lebanese teens were feeling about Israelis as a whole. The responses she received were mixed, but the teen said that in all fairness, it was unlikely that she herself would date a Lebanese man.
Diplomatic talks between Israel and Lebanon may appear distant, but virtual talks between Lebanese and Israeli nationals are gathering steam daily on the Internet. Hundreds are signing on daily to blog, chat and post about the ongoing violence, with many finding new ways to relate to one another.