Jews VS Muslims? We be of one blood, thou and I!
People might be surprised of me talking “politics” on this blog – as it’s usually a place to forget troubles and focus on the fun part of being a Tel Avivian – but as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. In my book everything is political: the music I’m listening to, the clothes I’m wearing, the food I’m cooking – as with every choice I make I also take a side. But for me it’s not about Jewish or Arab side, and religious or atheist side. It’s about promoting unity versus promoting separation. And I’m always on unity’s side. This is my religion.
I have been living in Israel for 5 years now, and I can honestly say, I never in my life met a person who was talking with hatred towards Muslims or Jews. In my surrounding – and trust me, I know a lot of people – Arab boys are dating Jewish guys, religious Muslim women are grateful for being able to study and work together with people of different cultures at the Israeli-built hospitals, universities and offices. I live and work in Jaffa every day and I see how Arab youngsters are using Hebrew phrases while communicating and not once I heard a Muslim saying how grateful he is that he has an Israeli passport so he does’t have to be afraid of the extremist terrorists running this never ending drama around Israel. I’m looking at all these hateful comments and threatening headlines on both sides, calling for revenge and destruction and I feel ashamed. How could a military action revenge the crime of the individuals who kidnapped and killed these poor Israeli boys?
The guys who committed the crime didn’t do it in the name of a country or a religion – they did it because they are not educated well, because they are confused, and because they had to grow up in a world where if anything bad happens people call for vendetta. Just like the people screaming “Death to Arabs!”, marching on the streets of Jerusalem don’t represent Judaism, or Israel – even if they think they do. Why are we still trying to decide “who was here first” instead of promoting the importance of peace, unconditional love and education? Before you judge keep in mind that you don’t see the full picture – there are people suffering on every side. Gaza doesn’t build safe rooms – the government rather spends the money on weapons, and they are shooting on Israel from schools and playgrounds so the IDF will be the “bad guy” if they respond. Jewish cars are being stoned by “Palestinian” villages day by day, often causing serious injuries. Did you know that many Arabs can’t even decide who are the Palestinians – because a few years ago, before it become a symbol of “victims of the Zionist terror” they never even used this word describing themselves? The All-Palestine Government, the State of Palestine and the Gaza strip all claimed different approaches, and the leaders of different terror groups and political parties are feasting on the misery of their own, misguided people.
How many of you can fully identify with the county’s government you live in? How many of you would feel frustrated if people from abroad would put you in the same box with “your kind”? Probably – unless you are a member of your country’s Parlament – there are quite a few things your “country does” you don’t agree with. Same here – as much as I love Israel, I don’t agree fully with everything what it’s leaders do – continuing building settlements for instance is certainly not something I feel related to. Just like this, not everyone in Iran, Jordan, or Egypt wants Israel to be destroyed – there are millions of good people out there who want the very same thing as us: to live as one, in peace. I don’t get why people dare to hate the citizens of Israel or Iran just because they were born into a complicated political situation. Would it be all right to hate all Russians because of Putin’s policy towards the LGBTQ community? I don’t think so.
Stop looking for someone to blame. Stop waiting for your Prime Minister, Presient, Imam, Priest of Rabbi to solve your problems, and start accepting the fundamental fact: there is no external enemy. The enemy is our very own, narrow minded thinking. Our fear, our egoism, and our wish to uniformize the world we live in. But people are different – thank G_d, and they always will be, so we can inspire each other with our cultures. So we can learn from each other – sometimes acceptance, sometimes new information, sometimes information which we already heard but forgot. Like Kipling’s mantra from the The Jungle Book: “We be of one blood, thou and I”.
This post is dedicated to all who’s been hurt, abused or murdered because of her / his religion or nationality. Please join this peaceful protest in Tel Aviv against radicalism and hatred. Follow me on Facebook for daily updates from the White City.