about a week ago i posted a letter to my palestinian brothers everywhere.
in my original letter, i was very harsh in my words regarding Hamas. I was pointing a finger at them clearly, this came from my gut, from the deepest, most hurting place in my heart. The reason i did that, is that the horrible stories i have heard about Hamas from my Palestinian friends who used to live in Gaza (and escaped, barely, from death by Hamas), plus the videos on youtube of hamas using children as a human shield, or throwing fatach personnel blindfolded and cuffed from the roof of a building, plus endless testimonies from Palestinians including the horrible video here, which you must see Nabil!!
All of this lead me to a very harsh reaction, praying the Palestinian people would finally be released from the clutches of this horror. I have not changed my mind about atrocities, cruelty and killing, but i know that pointing fingers at names and symbols is not the solution.
Let me give you an example:
Before the 73 war, Anwar Saadat of Egypt said he was willing to sacrifice one million soldiers to free the occupied lands. There was a horrible war, luckily it did not end in a million casualties, and soon after he reached out his hand in peace, and so did Menachem Begin who had said in the past that he would not give one inch of land ever. He ended up giving back 30% of Israel’s land at the time, the Sinai desert, and uprooting all the settlements there.
Yitchak Rabin said at the beginning of the first Intifada that we should “break the bones” of the demonstrators.
Eventually, he went to Oslo.
Rabin and Saadat both paid with their lives for their actions. THAT is a nobel death!
I am willing to change my mind at any moment about anyone who is willing to stand up for co-existence, freedom and mutual respect and recognition. I am willing to apologize to anyone who feels unjustly offended. I can even push aside past atrocities, as my country has done with Germany, so they are not obstacles in the path of peace.
The foreign minister of Germany is now in Israel trying to promote a cease fire. Is that a miracle, or what?
The outbreak of violence, like in the animal kingdom, is a result of a mutual feeling of threat.
The assessment of the threat is very complex.
Usually the side that feels subjectively more threatened, will move first. This is exactly the reason why pointing fingers is useless and only serves to continue the vicious cycle of violence. (it all started when “they” retaliated!!” )
Both sides have the responsibility of understanding what the other side is most sensitive about and minimizing the sense of threat, using all the means at their disposal, including rhetoric, which is extremely strong. An example: you cannot say “death to Israel, death to the jews, Israel to the sea, back to the furnaces”, and then roll your eyes to heavens and claim that you did nothing! You are intensifying the feeling of threat and with it the “disproportionate” military response. You cannot claim you “did not mean it”, or it was “only words”. There is no such thing in this subjective game. When we in Israel sum up the evidence including the rhetoric, the 8 years of rockets, the Iran and Hezbollah threats we react in proportion to a nightmare, not just to this or that incident. I believe the same thing is true for the subjective feeling of the Palestinians and the whole Muslim world. Therefore it is their responsibility to communicate through dialog their fears to us, Israelis, so that we can take it upon ourselves to melt this iceberg of suspicion just as we want them to reassure us of their peaceful and positive intensions and melt down our fears too.
My opinion is and was always the same: i am against violence in all it forms. I am against fanaticism in all its forms. I am against finger pointing and blaming as there is no end to it and i am totally against a unilateral black and white approach to anything. I think we all have the responsibility to look the truth in the face: we all brought this catastrophe upon ourselves and now it is our responsibility to do what we can to change it! That means, changing the threat we pose to each-other, in words and actions, exchanging negative, violent rhetoric (words are often stronger than actions!) with a rhetoric of peace, acceptance, dialogue and joint recognition (like the Geneva initiative which i totally support). This is our only hope.
The decision i made together with Mira Awad to go to the Eurovision contest with a message of peace is part of this theory: build, give a personal example of dialogue and co-existence, not the opposite.
i will be singing in an event in Israel next week organized by Doctors without Borders, to raise money for Medical aid in Gaza. i wish all people, in gaza, in israel, anywhere, the chance to live in peace and security!
Feel free to forward this to any of your friends or mailing list, who need clarification.
With love and eternal friendship,