Israeli Jews, four Palestinians -- their faces toward an Arctic destination,
and toward one another, continue adventuring to prove cooperation is possible,
there and back home.
This short excerpt from their Daily Log speaks of the expedition's new Israeli-Palestinian peace flag -- the meeting of two peaceful doves, over a blood-red background -- to fly on the ship's mast. (See the photo!)
"Debate continues," and we wonder about the quality of listening, the ability to hear and accept different narratives of their lives and their experiences of history. Time will tell.
Photos are at http://www.breaking-the-ice.de/t_gallery.htm .
The full version of their Daily Log is at http://www.breaking-the-ice.de/WebLog/b2/ .
Tell you local newspaper.
BREAKING THE ICE -- Daily Log -- Wednesday, 7 January 2004
Wednesday, January 7, 2004
Flags count - or do they?
The next day. . .a colony of Gentoo penguins. . .a short dinghy ride away. . .the birds. . .waddling up and down the snow covered slopes. . .taking turns at entering the water to search for food. . .a few old whalebones. . .washed up here by storms. Before reaching Antarctica Pelagic Australis' captain, Skip Novak, had given everyone strict instructions to respect the environment, and not to take anything from or leave anything on Antarctic soil. The whalebones stayed where they were.
Avihu Shoshani, Nasser Quass and Suleiman al-Khatib. . .continue their debate from the night before. "You know," Shoshani told the others, "I may be an Israeli but I'm also a Palestinian. My grandparents lived in Hebron in what is now called the West Bank back in the days of the British Mandate when the entire area was known as Palestine." Eyebrows were raised. . .then the debate continued. It seems likely to do so throughout our journey.
After lunch. . .on Pelagic Australis, Breaking the Ice's initiator, Heskel Nathaniel, an Israeli living in Germany, gathered everyone on deck. There, Doron Erel and Skip Novak gave the first of what will be many briefings on the expedition's planned trek across the Antarctic ice. "Getting all your equipment organized and keeping the weight of your packs down is critical," Erel told them. "We've got to carry as little as possible. This expedition is going to be very challenging and it's also going to be dangerous. . .You've got to stay together during the trek and mountain climbing and pay strict attention to what the mountain guides tell you."
"Your safety is the most important thing," added Nathaniel. "We really want to get to the top of that mountain but it's even more important that all of us get there in one piece."
When they reach the summit of that unclimbed mountain on the Antarctic Peninsula, the Israeli and Palestinian members of the Breaking the Ice expedition will plant a symbolic flag there and give the mountain a name meant to reflect their yearning for peace and their hope that their two peoples can learn to work together in order to overcome the obstacles that stand in its way.
Still days away from reaching that summit and planting their flag, the expedition members symbolized their desires by attaching a painting by Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman to the mainsail of Pelagic Australis. Over a blood red background, It depicts the meeting of two peaceful doves. They will fly above the expedition team as it moves on towards its final destination.
After raising anchor. . .moving slowly away from Cuverville Island. . .setting sail for the Gerlache Strait and tonight's planned anchorage at Booth Island.