Gazan, Israeli citizens
crossing boundaries toward one another
31 December 2009
Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted,
And human love will be seen at its height.
Live in fragments no longer.
-- E.M. Forster (1879-1970)
= = 1 =
Exactly a year ago was unthinkable violence across the Gaza-Israel border.
Today citizens of both sides have newly connected.
This OTHER VOICE -- http://www.othervoice.org/welcome-eng.htm -- is spawning creativity that naturally follows human connection.
Between the Sderot and Gaza regions, diverse women and men "from all political backgrounds, professions, and beliefs" are saying "Enough!"
"It is our turn to take our destiny into our own hands and to act to stop the cycle of bloodshed."
These Palestinians and Jews clearly describe what is no longer acceptable:
"The leaders have tried every possible idea that involves violence and military force with no success at all.
We shoot at them and they shoot at us.
We retaliate and they strike back.
This is an endless and vicious cycle."
grassroots, Gaza and Sderot civilians are finding
creative ways beyond war to connect -- to hear a new voice and send a
clarion call from the region.
= = 2 = =
Friendship often starts with proximity, but Orel Elizarov and Marya Aman, both 8, have been thrust together in a way few elsewhere have.
Their playground is a hospital corridor in Alyn Hospital, Jerusalem.
He is an Israeli Jew from Beersheva with severe brain damage from a Hamas rocket.
She is a Palestinian Muslim from Gaza paralyzed by an Israeli missile.
They have developed a kinship that defies national struggle.
Someone forgot to tell them that they are enemies.
They are healing together.
The wounds of our children, their pain, our pain, have connected us, said Orel's mother, Angela.
Does it matter that he is from Gaza and I am from Beersheba, that he is an Arab and I am a Jew?
"It has no meaning to me. He sees my child and I see his child.
Hamdi Amanis, Marya's father, is regarded as a luminescent presence, an inspiration to staff, volunteers and fellow parents.
This is partly because the pain in his own story is hard to fathom -- the killing of his wife, oldest son, and mother while driving near an Israeli jet assassination attempt in Gaza three years ago.
Hamdi Aman: I have never felt there was a difference among people Jews, Muslims, Christians we are all human beings."
Angelina Elizarov: "Do we need to suffer in order to learn that there is no difference between Jews and Arabs?
A Mideast Bond, Stitched of Pain and Healing
The New York Times - 31 December 2009
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These and hundreds of other success stories are preserved at http://traubman.igc.org/messages.htm