Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Painful Hope or Understanding How Much Israel and Palestine Suffer

For years now, my family and I have been watching the situation of Israel and Palestine evolve, with an ever-growing sorrow for what was happening on that side of the planet. Lately, however, with the late dramatic events, the struggle these two people experience in cohabiting with one another has turned into pure horror, which is why I decided it was time for me to write about it. Of course, as anyone probably knows the usual thing to do on this issue, is to take sides with one or the other State. So, for a few months now, I have tried to make sense of what is actually going on over there, and trying to find a clear-cut answer to who is to blame and what is to be done. As you may imagine, it is easier said than done. I finally ended up feeling compassionate for both peoples, and their contradictory beliefs, although for different reasons. The two most touching and inspiring videos that I could find on this unending struggle are Ali Abu Awwad's TedxTalk called "Painful Hope":

And Robi Damelin's "Can I reconcile with the man who killed my son":


Isn't it tragic that two peoples with extraordinary cultures, would fight over the land that is the birthplace of both their religion? Isn't it crazy that two peoples would fight unstoppably against all logic? What good could possibly come out of this state of war? More deaths, no reconciliation possible, constant hatred and stigmatization of the "other". All for what? Because that is really the question isn't it? It actually always is the same: Who benefits from this war? The Palenistinian people? The Israeli people? Of course not. Both nations have lost more than one could ever imagine. Then who does it benefit really? And why doesn't anyone (really) interfere? I actually have my idea on what the answers to these questions might be, and probably, so do you... But this is reaching another topic which I will tackle in a future article, talking about a book by Georges Corm. 

So, instead, let us see who is right? Is actually anyone right or wrong? I mean, Jews have been the victims of centuries of harassment and hatred all over Europe, and then their situation reaches its peak with the Holocaust and the attempt to their religion, their culture, their identity, and most of all, their lives. Didn't these poor people deserve to get a peaceful land that they can finally call home? But how on earth does it seem normal, that they would be granted the land of their ancestors (which, by the way, also happens to be that of the Christians and the Muslims) by Europeans, the ones who deeply wronged them, when this land is not theirs to give in the first place. Did this "gift" make up for all the horrors this people had gone through? Nothing can make up for that! Wasn't it easy to make peace with the ones you tortured by transposing your problem to someone else, i.e. the Palestinians?

How should they live this ripping of their land? They progressively became unwanted in their own homes, they kept having to move, and saw their share of land being stolen. Aren't they the victims too? On the other hand, what kind of a poisoned gift was it, a tiny share of land for a people whose common ground is Judaism? Weren't they bound to be far too many to be willing to stay in their part? Moreover, if Europeans admitted that this part of the earth was theirs in the first place, and simply denied the Palestinian people, why should Israel do differently? But still, why does it? As a newly-founded land whose people is united because of its past of being a victim, doesn't it understand the pain the Palestinians must feel?

You see, I am not trying to defend Israel in its aggressive moves towards Palestine, and neither will I comment whether Palestine did right in answering as it did, because that is not my point. What I am trying to show is, that this war, was never theirs to bear... They have been led in a horribly difficult situation where both peoples feel betrayed, both feel and actually really are victims.  A great part of the world has decided to take sides, with one or the other. The U.S.A. and most of Europe are on Israel's side, while most of the Arab world supports Palestine in its struggle. But honestly, how does that help? This only fuels each part's cause as it convinces them that they are right in their fight for their land, because indeed they both have legitimacy towards Israel-Palestine. Isn't time that the world stops taking sides, and stops dividing itself into two major antagonist worlds. A battle which, most importantly, is justified by a clash of religions or civilizations, when religion is all about caring for and accepting the other, whoever he/she is? Aren't past this stage in humanity? 

Isn't time for this war to end, for both Israeli's and Palestinians' sake? There is no good people and bad people, there are only two peoples in unbearable pain. Isn't time we saw this situation for what it is and go forward on the basis of that? Of course, I am fortunate enough not to live in these people's situations, so I can obviously not fully understand what they are going through, but do you need to go through so much pain to understand that there is nothing worst than war and its hating propaganda? I'll let you ponder on that for today.

Here is another TedTalk by Steven S. Drachman, calling for a truce between Palestine and Israel, by suggesting an interesting way of ending this war:

And finally, one last video, that of Fida Shafi about being a woman in Palestine:

Have a great day, and keep your mind sharp!