Jews, Palestinians, and helpful others,
The news is too painful. Palestinians and Jews murdering each other's children in their homes and strollers and family autos.
Here we are, two suffering peoples. Indiscriminately killing children, collectively punishing each other mindlessly, in a growing cycle of revenge that leads only to more agony and no worthwhile future at all.
The only great and distinctive act will now be to unilaterally reject violence. To then seek the wealth of creative steps that can heal Jerusalem and make Palestinians and Jews heroes to the world. That is our destiny.
At the same time -- any time -- we citizens must come together to heal, one at a time. Sit down and listen to each other. And learn what it means to become for both peoples, equally.
We must. We can. One at a time. Rather quickly.
ON LISTENING, AND BEING FOR BOTH PEOPLES, EQUALLY
"An enemy is one whose story we have not heard."
Mrs. Gene Knudsen-Hoffman
"During the many years of my career as
a Hebrew teacher for Palestinians in Gaza, and as
an Arabic teacher for the Jews and foreigners at Ulpan Akiva in Israel,
I have heard the same kinds of questions and comments
expressed by both sides, showing
how ignorant we are about one another.
We know nothing about each other, in spite of
being the children of sister Semitic languages and
having the same cultural roots."
Samira Shaa'ban Srur Fadil
Director, Palestinian Abraham Language School
"There" are two stories here and
there is a quality of transcendence - seeing beyond
the 'Jewish Narrative' or the 'Palestinian Narrative' - to
a perspective that can humanize both sides and
hear the 'other' story.
A transcender after all has
abandoned the exclusive quality of his or her narrative of origin."
Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener, Hartford, CT
To reconcile conflicting parties, we must have the ability to
understand the suffering of both sides.
If we take sides, it is
impossible to do the work of reconciliation.
And humans want to take sides.
That is why the situation gets worse and worse.
Are there people who are still available to both sides?
They need not do much. They need do only one thing:
Go to one side and tell all about
the suffering endured by the other side, and
go to the other side and tell all about
the suffering endured by this side.
This is our chance for peace.
But how many of us are able to do that?
Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist Monk