Today is Israel's Birthday...61 years old..i am happy for this day and wish i could offer you wishes for a Happy Birthday for Palestine too. I remember when the Oslo Agreements were signed and i saw Palestinians riding on the main road by the kibbutz with Palestinian flags..I was both shocked and happy..Shocked because it was such an impressive display of power..and it took a few seconds to realize that power is not always bad. People empowered can be happy and good.
My Independence Day is the Naqba of the Palestinian People. It has taken me time to get used to using this word. A friend, another settler, taught me that we must understand and accept the idea of Naqba, the tragedy of the Palestinian People. We are part of the tragedy as our peoples were interlocked in struggle, violence and destruction: fear and sometime hate. The fear is always understandable and must be dealt with...the hate is unacceptable and only detrimental.
The Love of Zion started with the love and the desire fo the Jewish people to return to their ancient homeland..and Jews were doing that for centuries. Modern Zionism is a national movement that grew at a time the rest of the world also developed nationalism and that too, was the time the Palestinian nationalism could develop. Both of our modern national movements are effected by the West in that way and this is complicated, especially for Palestinians i think- since both of us are steeped in other older traditions and loyalties...to religion, to tribe, family, village, etc.
We are so alike in many ways and we could be a a enlightened example for the world.
Naqba was the outcome of violence: some just plain evil and much was the outcome of the denial of the possibility of living two nations here, either together or one alongside the other. We must all recognize the tragedy and the responsibility our lives have in creating it. This is not an issue of constantly looking to blame one another...to get bogged down in looking for "points" against each other..but to look at our past in sadness, to accept that we all have done bad things and have had negative attitudes that change now.
We can all find and make lists of the "bad things", of trying to demonize each other in negative terms. I have seen too much of this even on Ipeace, when Zionism is wrongly labeled as "racism", "ethnic cleaning", etc. For some the very existence of the State of Israel is part of the Naqba...This i find totally unacceptable.Naqba has to do with two things in my view, the sad situtaion where thousands of people were displaced and the fact that a Palestinian State does not exist. This tragedy has been caused by both of us (and by other neighboring countries)..and has been deepened over years of constant violence.
It is important to realize that both our peoples are dedicated to Life. We are all here to build and develop..NOT to conquer. There is room in this wonderful land and in our hearts for all of us.
I am with you and your efforts for Peace in the future...for developing loving hearts and a vision for the future.
May next year be a year that we can bless each other with mutual wishes of "Happy Independence Day" "Happy Days of Peace and Cooperation"