People and their Roots

It was good to hear last week that the Israelis and the Palestinians have agreed to meet yet again in order to seek a peaceful solution to their bitter conflict.

Will they succeed this time to resolve their differences and bring stability to the whole region, and live in harmony with all their neighbours?

Although a lot of people of my generation are sceptical as to the outcome, they have not lost the hope that, like the Berlin Wall, a miraculous wind will sweep the division away and pave the way for an entente to brighten the prospects of an enduring accord.

For that to happen, Israel, the occupying power, must show goodwill as well as magnanimity to convince the world that the Jewish people who suffered a great deal through prejudice and oppression in their long history are now determined not to inflict similar tragedies on the Palestinians, who find themselves struggling to maintain their identity despite the odds stacked against them.

Being homeless is the biggest calamity that can befall an entire nation who live for the day when in their reckoning they will be free to breathe the air over the land of their forefathers, the land where they were born, and where they wish to be buried.

The roots of a person are so important to his morale it is a symbol that he carries with him all his life.

I was terribly angry when my father sold the little house in Nazareth where my grandmother and her sister lived, and where I spent the best year of my life in their company. I considered the sale an act of betrayal, for although I lived in the UK since the age of eighteen that house was where my roots resided. I felt an orphan who had lost the most precious thing he ever had. The house was my monument, my very existence, and I could not bear the thought of having lost it.

So it is natural that I sympathise with the Palestinians and their feelings of being in a wilderness not of their own making. One historical tragedy does not negate another. Israel should demonstrate to the world that peace is its paramount objective in the forthcoming negotiations with the Palestinians.

Sharing the Holy Land is a privilege for both Arabs and Jews. Let us cast aside any bias we might have had, and persuade the world that coexistence is not only possible but desirable. For the dignity of man rests upon it.

One response to “People and their Roots

  1. nehad ismail - London

    I agree. In my view the options and choices are limited. Either both sides sit tight, do nothing and maintain the status quo which means continued occupation and more settlements. The second option is to embrace the two-state solution with mutually agreed border adjustments. However imperfect, the second option is preferable to the first. Third option is a one-state solution for the two peoples. Israel has so far paid a lip service to the two-state solution and has been busy creating facts on the ground to prevent the viability of a future Palestinian state. The Palestinians and their Arab supporters want the two-state option.

    Israeli actions on the ground are in fact paving the way for a one-state solution which can either be a democratic state for all Israelis and Palestinians in which case the Jewishness of the state would be gradually diluted. Or worst of all, an apartheid state with all the implications and ramifications that would entail. We don’t need a genius to tell us which is the most practical and least damaging option is.

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