Last night, after a long day away from the computer, I opened my mailbox to find it bursting with interesting things - first, David's public referal, with compliments, to one of my blog posts. Second, lots of apparent comments. When I opened the post to see the comments, I discovered it had disappeared. Today I learnt it had been removed, the first blog post ever to be removed from iPeace, what an honour. I started writing a response to David privately and then ran out of room; and since the majority of what I had to say has more to do with the rest of iPeace, I might as well say it here:
...The funny thing about all this, that this is exactly what I was talking about in that post (not regarding your decision remove it, but people's reactions.) The hypocracy of it all. The hypocracy of the people who calmly compare Israel to the Nazis, but cannot stand the comparison of Hamas to them. And, to paraphrase, from all we know about Israel, they are not Nazis either (by the way - I didn't say Hamas WERE Nazis. I don't believe that. But I think there are similiarities that need to be pointed out, because if we fail to recognise warning signs, how are we ever to prevent the next holocaust? I am a granddaughter of holocaust survivors, by the way.)
The hypocracy, the hypocracy of people supposedly believing so much in peace and co existence and respect, but having a hard time accepting opinions that are strange and different from their own - such as, for example, a moderate left winged; who believes in and wants peace, but thinks that on occasion, depending on the circumstances, military action is unavoidable - though recognizing that the ultimate solution can only come from dialog and understanding. See, that's me. I'm not a bleeding heart. I'm not really into the happy go lucky kind of attitude. I believe in practicalities. It's who I am, how I raised, incidentally by a father who works with the Peres Center for Peace and runs enterpreunship programs for young Palestinians in East Jerusalem. And like him I believe in cause and consequences and taking responsibilities for your life; I believe in being realistic, and that peace will never be achieved through prayer or flowers or poems, nor by CHANGING one's views to those of the other - just UNDERSTANDING the views of the other. There is a difference. It would appear that the majority of people here, sadly and to my dissapointment, do not get that.
See, it is my belief that dialog does not mean "convincing the other that you were right". It certainly isn't what it is for. Dialog is for understanding what the OTHER thinks is right, and accepting that that opinion is legitimate. From that, one can grow and learn, and than both sides adjust to the other; and then, eventually, from that you get friendship, and understanding, and compromise and then - peace. It is a long process, it doesn't happen immediately, and people need to realize that until you get there, it is about more than repeating the word "peace" and "love" lots of times. It is, in fact, more about strategy, planning, practicalities and nuances. That is, if your aim is actually to get anywhere, namely to peace, and not just give lip service or feel good about your self because you 'believe in peace'.
Reality is not pretty. It is harsh. Saying that peace should be unconditional is a lovely idea - but it is highly disconnected from reality. In reality, for people who have been in conflict for many years, the road to peace is a lot less easy. It is paved with scars and fear and pride and the need to feel that their rights and safety are guaranteed. It is not a choice, it is psychology. They can't widely accept peace at ANY cost. So, what would be the practicality of bringing them around to make peace? forcing them into a generalized view of the term 'peace', or working with them and their needs?
Now, I didn't come here to be sweet, or get sympathy, or get people to like me. I came here because I thought this was a platform for a mature, informed, educated exchange of opinions. I once led such an exchange of opinions in my old blog, Joint Voices
, that I ran with Bashir from Beirut during the Lebanon War. Please feel free to look. We each held on to our own opposing views, but discussed them logically, and ended up not with someone changing their opinion, but with a friend. We, between the both of us, achieved peace (so I actually have proof of how this does work). The main success came, I think, from the fact that we talked to the point. No pussyfooting. No censorship around the tough issues.
I thought this was a place like that too. Alas, I find, that most people here are, in fact, mainly interested in making peace only with themselves, nodding and tsking to each other and reassuring each other that they are peaceful beings. So I fear this isn't the place for me. It's, sadly, rather pointless. With the exception of a few friends I made, like David and Ruach and Mohamad Sh., most of you aren't really interested in real dialog, but rather dialog between the like minded. How unfortunate that you fail to see that the only way to peace is dialog and friendship with those you DISAGREE with.
And so, David, in response to your question, I don't think I'll be staying. While I believe in sensitivity, I disagree with being 'extra sensitive'. I don't believe in hushing my opinions just because someone else thinks otherwise. I never cursed or insulted anyone, I just had a different opinion, and that is perfectally legitimate by any liberal, democratic criteria (free speech ahm ahm).With people who don't get that, there's no point in attempting a real dialog.
David, I thank you for the opportunity to speak. I have nothing but highest respect for you and what you're trying to do with this venture here. It's been really great to make friends with you, you're an amazing person.
Also, to all those good souls who made friends with me, a great big thanks, love and respect. It's been awsome. Keep up the friendships.
As for the rest of you, here's sad part, the big reality check. What I wrote in that post really wasn't extreme at all. I represent the opinions of what is known as the 'sane middle/left wing' in Israel. These are the opinions of the majority, they are even a little more to the right. If you are unable to bring yourself to converse with me and accept me, this means you are living in a bubble, blocking out the majority of Israelis and cancelling out any hope of conversation - and these are the people who hold the power, from this side anyway, to materialize peace. No dialog with the likes of me, means no dialog at all - and without dialog, correct me if I'm wrong, no possibility for peace.
Good luck everyone.