Saturday, November 18, 2006

Voices of wisdom in the Middle East.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dragging for 60 years now. What started as land occupation is turning in a religious war. Two generations from both sides were raised in the hatred and the war. Both “countries” have been led with warriors, none of them was willing to give peace a chance.

What started as a result of a war, resulted in wars. The Exodus or the Jew immigration to the Promised Land accelerated exponentially with the raise of the Nazi power and then the WWII. The 1947 UN partition plan giving 55% of the Palestinian land to Israel is perceived by the Israelis as a right given to them by a body representing the whole world, while for the Arabs it was just plain occupation, resulting in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Since then, it never ended. Israel aggressively seeking to establish itself as a power in the region, never negotiated any issues, believing that it will be a sign of weakness. For the Arabs, it was arrogance and provocation and then the religion got in the middle making it impossible to think of peace.

Up until 5 years ago, any peaceful Israeli or Palestinian was considered a traitor by his own people. Anouar Sadat paid that with his life and so did Yitzhak Rabin.

I was raised hating Israelis and Israel. I could not pronounce it, for us it is Palestine. I still hate and disapprove what the Israeli government is doing but I don’t believe anymore in the war and the violence. If this conflict is going to end anytime soon, it will be through peaceful, wise people. Israel government is wrong in keeping with his non negotiation policy, it is wrong in fearing developed Arab countries as neighbors and is wrong in the flexing muscles policy aimed at making it feared by its neighbors. The Arabs are wrong in making it a religious issue and in going for the Eye for an Eye solution.

The good news in all this is that few voices of reason start to be echoed on both sides. People wise enough to see that the only way is to forget about the past and start a new chapter where we go back to live with each other in respect and peace. Israel need to go back to its pre 1967 border and help its neighbor’s development since it is its only way for peace. Palestinians need also to forget all this injustice and rebuild a country where they could live and let live.

Many Israelis are trying to get their wisdom voice heard among all these war goers. Following are some excerpts of an article from Gideon Levy ,an Israeli reporter in the Haaretz, an Israeli daily newspaper with a liberal editorial line and fervent supporter of the Oslo Accords. I try to follow articles from Amira Hass and Gideon Levy who are part of these voices of the wisdom.

In this article Gideon was reporting on the last drama of Beit Hanun and on Islam Al-Atamna (aka Asma Al-Atamna) , the 14 years old girl who lost 18 members of her family.I consider him a voice of wisdom because he is a reporter whose humanity doesn't allow twisting the truth.

This is Islam al-Atamna. A girl of 14. She is sitting in her black mourning clothes. Eight close relatives - including her mother, grandparents, uncles and aunts - were all killed before her eyes, one after the other. They were killed in the street after they awoke at home in horror at the sound of the first shell that exploded and then fled outdoors, where the next shells caught them. About 11 fell on a residential neighborhood, one shell a minute, a rain of death, pursuing them in their flight. Fatherless for some time already, the girl is left alone in the world with her two little sisters and her 3-year-old brother Abdullah, whose legs were severed and who is hospitalized in the Al-Hilal Hospital in Gaza.

What should we say to Islam? What can we say to Islam? That the chip in the radar system is to blame? That the electronic component is responsible? Perhaps that the Palestinians are to blame?
On the fourth floor, in the apartment of the family of Amjad Al-Atamna, where two shells fell on two children's rooms, tearing not-very-large holes in their ceilings, signs of the killing are still in evidence. The children were crushed here to pieces by the shells that landed on their heads while they were sleeping the peaceful sleep of little children. The Arabic notebook of Khalil Al-Atamna, wrapped in a cover with colorful cartoons, is among the ruins. Kahlil is hospitalized in serious condition. A third shell hit the wall of the stairwell, killing a mother and her two daughters while they were fleeing. The three were catapulted from the stairwell into the street.

The white IDF reconnaissance balloon looks down from the sky straight into the yards of the homes on this street. Did the balloon record the horror? Didn't they see up there what the Artillery Corps was doing for about 15 minutes?

The second example of ultimate voice of wisdom is form someone who suffered a direct strike of this non sense and still preaches peace. For those who looked at this tragedy and felt hate and felt like going kill some jews, please read this as reported here by the same newspaper.

Tahani Atamna, whose son Mahmoud, 12, was killed in the shelling, clutched her son's geometry book. "He was number one in his class. The best student," she said.

Three of her other children - Khaled, 7, Khalil, 9, and Khulud, 13 - are unwilling to return home, she added. "Yesterday, we brought them here with two psychologists. But they started to cry and said that they don't want to die. The whole family went. All those who remain are wounded in body or soul."

"I don't wish any Jewish mother to go through what I'm going through, this disaster of seeing her son die before her eyes," she continued. "I only hope that we will be the last victims of this war."

Nor did other family members sound hungry for revenge. "I don't want this to happen to anyone in the world," said Riad Atamna. "Not to Jews, not to Christians and not to Muslims. Enough blood. Enough."

I know that my post is in disagreement with the arab public opinion but my convictions lay in the fact that peace and forgiveness are the solution. Now call me a dreamer, an idealist, that would be a compliment :-)


MetallicNaddou said...

I share your dream

chanfara said...

I beleive only in one palestine with juish and chrestian and muslim people but it's palestine and no other name as it was for many centuries