Monday, September 18

Ramadan Kareem

Wishing all Moslem readers and friends Ramadan Kareem and peace.

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

hello:

thank you about your gretings.
I am palestinian girlworking at the palestinian working oman society for development and concern about the palestinian -israeli conflict.
do you think we find solution for this conflict?
you want from us to recognize Israel,?what about our rights?do you think that israel will recognize in our rights and indignity?
refugges,racism wall,settellment,check points...etc.

look to the conflict by the palestinianpeople, you will shocked,it is difficult to live more than 50 yrears under oppression and stupid occupation.
Israel is a racism state. take the lands and kicked the origional pepole out.

this is my email:
samar2711@yahoo.com

have good day Sir
in peace Samar

zac said...

Dear Samar,

Thank you very much for your note which I appreciate. I have been working for co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians for many years. I do believe that it is our mutual interest to live side by side in peace and dignity. We are both peoples of the the Middle East and as such we must seek a common language to solve our problems of coexistance.

I do appreciate the fact that the Palestinians have suffered much under the Israeli occupation and there are aspects of Palestinian human rights that have been abused by Israel. The closures, refugee camps and intense poverty are some well known examples which Israel has caused. Palestinian terrorists have contributed to the increased suffering of the Palestinians.However, despite that, I do believe that we, Israelis and Palestinians must get on with our lives and try to create an atmosphere of trust so that our lives can improve.

We both need peace desperately. Israel must have an open border policy that allows Palestinians to cross into Israel for work and medical attention if needed. The Palestinians must cease their terror activities against Israel and recognize her right to exist in peace and security. Of course, this applies to the Palestinians as well.

The history of Israel's establishment is a hard history and the Palestinian refugee problem that was created as a result of Israel's establishment must be solved justly. This can only be done of both sides sit down and discuss these very thorny issues. The excuse of the use of suicide bombers in the name of Islam to attack and kill innocent people because of Palestinian frustration and suffering is unacceptable!

Israel is not a racist state! Arab Israelis have the same rights as Jews. The same cannot be said of Jews who live in Arab countries. They go to the same universities and are considered equal citizens with the same civil rights as Jews. They have the same voting rights and there are Arab members of parliament. I do not say that the situation is perfect. There is room for improvement in the social sphere and work opportunities. I would not be telling the truth if I said that there is no discrimination. There are Arab judges who are on the payroll of the Israeli Judicial system and they judge Jews as well in the law courts.

However, in order to solve our mutual problems, the Arab countries as well as the Palestinians must sit down and talk to Israel on an equal basis so that the Palestinian-Israeli problem can be solved justly to the benefit of both sides. We need to recognize each other and be aware of the injustices on the Palestinians so that we can solve them and live in peace. Israel could help the Palestinians establish their state with their technical knowledge and conservation of water which is a severe problem for both peoples. The benefit to the Palestinian People if there would be peace is enormous.

Let us work together to reach the goal of a just, lasting peace and dignity for both Israelis, Palestinians and all the people of the Middle East.

Regards,
Shimon

zac said...

Dear Samar,

After our chat on the phone on Saturday night, I started thinking, (as I always do) on how we can solve this tragic conflict. My blog site is dedicated to that end and I do know one thing of which I am sure you will agree, is our common humanity.

I have wrestled with my own conscience so often about the human tragedy on both sides that it is almost impossible to come to the conclusion as to who is right and who is wrong. I think that the answer lies somewhere in the middle and both sides have to strive to come to the middle and talk heart to heart no matter how painful that is.

If I were to say that no injustices were done to the Palestinians by Israel then I think that I would be dishonest to myself. Of course there were injustices. Those injustices are visible in everyday life as you know. I think of the road blocks, the wall that crosses into Palestinian lands which results in much hardship as families are divided due to logistic problems that it has created. The dividing of olive trees and its destruction is also an example of a terrible injustice to the Palestinian people.The long delays because of security checks that further instill hate and frustration towards the Israeli Authorities and to Israel generally.

However, having said all that, I think that the Palestinian Authority is not totally blameless either for the hopeless situation that we are all experiencing. For one thing, the Palestinian Authority have not had the vision of providing for the people whom it claims to represent before the January elections when Hamas was voted into power. The terror directed towards Israelis for what ever reason can never be condoned any less than the terrible retaliations by the Israeli Army.The Palestinian Authority was dishonest towards her own people. The people wanted a change and voted in Hamas as they represented themselves as being clean and incorruptible. As time went by and the violence between the Fatah and Hamas factions continued, the only thing that seemed to unite these two factions was the hate for Israel for the various reasons that I mentioned and the occupation.

You know, Samar, I do not support the Israeli Government either. They seem to have a similar problem as the Palestinian Authority and that is the disease of corruption and insensitivity - not only towards the Palestinians, but towards Israeli citizens as well. Our President Moshe Katzav is a disgrace to Israel and I am ashamed of his behaviour. A president involved in sexual harassment and even being accused of rape does not bring dignity to his office.

I believe that we must try and find moderate and reasonable people in both the Israeli and Palestinian camps who are prepared to forgive each other for the injustices of the past and build up trust, understanding and dignity between each other. We have a very big problem to solve and the scars of tragedy has left its mark on both the Israeli and Palestinian People. We must stop blaming and hating each other for what has happened and try and solve this tragic situation once and for all. Both Israel and Palestine lack the imaginative leadership needed for this task - the task of building bridges of peace towards our two people so that we can reach out and embrace each other in love and respect.

We have more in common than what divides us as simple human beings. It should be left to us - the common people - to be the motivators of peace and understanding. Of course, the ghosts of the past can never be erased as the pain for both Israelis and Palestinians runs deep. However, sometimes the common pain if directed positively, rather than negatively, can be used to unite both peoples in a common humanity and desire for peace.

Best regards and keep in touch.

Shimon Z. Klein