Friday, August 20, 2010

A Palestinian's Plea

From a Palestinian friend who read George Will's editorial, Skip the lecture on Israel:

I grew up in America. I was born in Jerusalem, but born an Arab, I cannot enter the city of my birth. I know the suffering conflict has caused both sides. In his article Mr. Will also knows suffering, but, in recognizing only Israeli pain and Palestinian terrorism, Mr. Will sounds like German officials mourning Ernst Rath, the German diplomat whose murder gave pretext to Kristallnacht. This conflict killed 1,000 Israelis since 2000, the same proportion the U.S lost in Vietnam, Mr. Will notes. He neglects 6,000 Palestinians, the same proportion of U.S fatalities in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II, combined, keeping the comparison. In the latest round of heavy fighting three Israeli, and over a thousand Palestinian civilians died. Like many, perhaps most, Israelis and Palestinians I grieve the suffering of each victim on either side. One is too many.

Israel’s first Prime Minister declared if he were Arab he “ would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country.” Some Palestinians share those sentiments, some do as Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he would do if he were a Palestinian, and join terrorist organizations. Thankfully they are a minority.

In 2002 Arab nations joined the Palestinians in offering Israel recognition on its internationally acknowledged borders. In this drive for peace, Palestinians offered everything more we have to sacrifice, the dream of regaining the 78% of our homeland which was cleansed of Arabs to make way for Israel’s establishment. Like the Native American we need what sliver remains. The former Israeli defense and foreign minister Moshe Dayan told my people that “we have no solution, you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave.” But there is nowhere to go. What more we have to offer; our hand in friendship and forgiveness we hold out gladly, hopefully. Sadly, that hand has been left outstretched for eight years, by an Israeli government which refuses to even discuss this proposal.

Unlike Mr. Will, I hope my moderate Israeli friends who join me in yearning for peace may cease to be a powerless fringe. They are too rare in a country where “death to Arabs” was an election slogan of the government’s second largest party.

1 comment:

Don Emmerich said...

Just when I thought George Will had returned to his senses (last year he argued that US troops should withdraw from Afghanistan), he goes and writes this stupid, hateful piece of propaganda.

If only the Washington Post had the courage and decency to publishes pieces like this one written by your friend.