Sunday, August 08, 2004

Quote

Had to post this thing...

"Still, I couldn't help feel pity for the residents of Tel Aviv. Few children were to be seen on the streets, everybody locking their children at home out of fear. Rather than enjoy their lives, they were allowing their own fears to imprison them. Instead of dehumanizing us with the wall and the military oppression, they ended up dehumanizing themselves, like every good colonial occupier who thinks force alone can bring him security. "

That paragraphed genuinely moved me.

from Dr. Saber Zaitoun's article in http://electronicintifada.net

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Responsibility

First, apologies for not having posted anything for a month, been super busy and most of the time very much away from computers.

And now to matters at hand.

I have had many conversations recently with people who don't agree with my political views.
Naturally, these people all vary in their reasons for holding those views, but actually there are two main things I see.
I should mention these people are generally not very political, but when asked lean to the right.

One type of right-leaning-generally-a-political person was those who are just angry and scared.
They are angry because they know people who've been killed during the Intifada, they're scared... well... for obvious reasons.

The other kind is the people who naturally lean towards peacee and non-violence but they have absorbed the notion that "there is noone to negotiate peace, they don't want peace, they all want to kill us".

So where am I going with this?

I think the main problem of the majority of the Israeli public nowadays is that we are unwilling to accept the fact that we are not the victim. That we stopped being the victim a long time ago.
That we need to take responsibility for our actions, past and present.
I find it hard to believe that we can achieve any for of peace without acknowledging what has happened here, and the role we had in this.

I think Israelis should visit this site http://www.nakbainhebrew.org/ (The organization is called Zochrot, and what it does is go to places in Israel, where Palestinians used to live until 1948 and tell the history of the place and the people). I have visited the site and have read about the place where I live now. I knew there was a Palestinian village here, but never knew anything about it. And I must say seeing that has brought up many emotions. From guilt to sadness to a determination to somehow make things better.

I know many people would say I'm just being naive, which I am told constantly.
But I don't think I am naive. I think I'm trying to find a balance between ideology and realism.

I might also be blamed for being over emotional, but how can you not be?
Knowing that in 1948, thousands of people were chased away from here.
And knowing that I came here when I was 5 years old, in 1989, and had this place handed to me on a silver platter when there are people who've lived here for generations and are constantly told they don't belong here.

Call me what you will, but I refuse to surrender to fear and anger and misguided hate.