Saturday, April 12, 2008

Away from home

I am on a 2 week trip abroad, away from home. I have planned taking this trip for some time, however since I could not take my family with me on this trip I was very hesitant in leaving them in the midst of the latest escalation and kept postponing it. The past month has been relatively quiet which enabled my departure.

In this sense Peace man's and my reality is different. He is unable to travel. No one is allowed to leave Gaza. The only people allowed to leave Gaza are people with need for immediate medical treatment that cannot be treated within Gaza. Many people in Sderot have left the town over the past few years, however the majority of people do not wish to leave and have not.

While abroad, I am asked again and again by everyone who knows I live in Sderot, why do I not leave. It seems inconceivable to people that one chooses to live in a war zone.
The answer is rather simple. I do not wish to leave the place where I have decided to build my home, where my friends are where my work is, where my kids grew up and have friends and bonds, where my community is. For many years I have built a life in Sderot, and leaving is not something I wish to do at this point. The rockets create fear and frustration, but do not change my will to keep my home and continue my life. If I were to leave now because of the situation I would become a refugee even if it may be considered "A refugee of choice".

The past month has been relatively quiet. It is not an official cease fire but there are only rare incidents of rockets falling in Sderot and much fewer actions taken by Israel in Gaza.
However, since the cease fire is not official, it can be broken very easily by any one-sided action that can once again cause escalation. It is extremely important that both sides declare an official cease fire to pervert this instability. Such a call can also enable in my understanding the end of the siege which is creating so much suffering on the Palestinian side. The end of the siege will also strengthen the stability by creating a trust building action by Israel that may be followed by similar trust building steps on the Palestinian side and further stabilize the cease fire. This is the process I cam see happening and creating a hopeful future for our region.

Our One Month Initiative is aimed at creating this opportunity.

If you have not yet signed our petition, you are welcome to do so:
http://www.one-month.org/

43 comments:

r0bbie said...

i've been reading this blog all day while i was at school.

i think what you're doing is amazing. you are showing the world YOUR perspective of what is going on over there. its blown my mind some of the things ive been reading. i fully support what you guys are standing for.

ive been wanting the same thing
people always say changing the world is impossible.
but its easy
it requires one thing
LOVE


i am a christian. the media portrays christians as people who think if you do one single thing wrong you're a horrible human being and going to hell.

DO NOT BELIEVE what the media is saying about that. a true christian loves and forgives no matter what.
I respect everyones views on what they believe.

but no matter what religion, race, gender, or age you are; we all should love each other.

its not hard. its all substance and what you're made of. you just have to have the courage to start building relationships with the people in the world.

if everyone could see that love is the answer to the worlds problems, then world peace would be achieved. we just have to make them realize what love is.

if you like what i have to say id love for you to check out my blog on how to change the world.

i love that you guys seem to want the same thing that i do.

you'll be in my prayers
=]

alan said...

Jew, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Atheist, Agnostic, whatever your faith or lack of it, loving and supporting peace is definitely the important thing. Bloodshed leads to more of the same. Violence begets violence. Support peace through your own personal choices in life. What else can you do? Peace is the only reasonable goal. May you enjoy your time away from the conflict, and it is admirable that your thoughts remain with those who don't have the luxury of vacation. Keep at it!

Anonymous said...

Alan, the religion aspect can only go so far in the Israel-Palestine conflict. It is basically a turf war (with complications). I wouldn't judge either the Jewish or Muslim faiths on the heated debate I hear about this conflict.

There are load of people on both sides of the border that would engage in negotiation. But they are being kept out of the debate.

Fullam said...

May Allah S.W.T praise all of you. All of the people there are always in our prayer. This is one of th Allah's tests. Be patient and stay strong.

sesga loves 1950s said...

I cant even begin to imagine how hard life must be ! my heart goes out to you and all who are trapped in this awful war ,you must be very strong person to stand up for you're life and right to a peacefull Country. I watch on the news but can never make sens of what is going on .from sesga in Wales

Nicki Valcius said...

i commend your spirit and your perseverence. you have no idea how important this is. most of the west lives in a rose-colored bubble with the media and the government feeding us the latest version of the sugar-coated "truth." Thank - you for giving me a small glimpse of your daily reality. I hope one day you and your family will be able to live in your home in peace.

Global Indian said...

Great attempt friends....journey of thousands miles began with first step.

I think its a rational thinking that atleast a beginning happens...sometimes the solution to bigger problems are very simple and easy.

Just educating people to start thinking of WHAT THEY CAN SACRIFICE? instead of wasting many more years, lives in this bloddy war and a life of misery for future generations. This is the time to be flexible, progressive.

Let us all know for any contribution we can make...

Best Wishes...

BoredKidz! said...

everybody needs to work for peace. Peace, love, understanding and empathy are the only things that can help us now!!

Cu'cullen said...

One word - NAIVE!

incognito said...

hi i'm from singapore and i cant imagine what its like to live in a place where rockets fall all the time. cheers to u guys for starting this blog. keep it up and God bless! nick

Conchscooter said...

Peace, love, religion and ...water. Who drinks the Jordan River rules. Palestinians have it, the Israelis want it. End result? War.

Ben-Noach Ha-Am said...

Congratulations Hope & Peace

You are indeed an example of love conquering hatred.

never forget that you two are cousins

and that we are all brothers

samal90 said...

i keep checking everday 2-3 days for new posts on your blog. Its truly amazing, i have so much respect for you two. I love how you talk all patriotic about gaza, this is something I wish more people said in Canada...even though i am not canadian i love this country. Anyhow....keep up the good work..and just be careful out there :)

samal90 said...

i keep checking everday 2-3 days for new posts on your blog. Its truly amazing, i have so much respect for you two. I love how you talk all patriotic about gaza, this is something I wish more people said in Canada...even though i am not canadian i love this country. Anyhow....keep up the good work..and just be careful out there :)

enlightened1 said...

I have nothing but support for Israel however, I do not think that a one month peace agreement will solve anything. This is a war of ideas that will not end until one side is defeated. This war has been going on for thousands of years. You need to understand that you can't reach a compramise with these people. How do you reach a compramise with people who believe they are greeted by several virgins in heaven for killing innocent men, women and children? You just can't! They will not be happy until they have either killed all the jews and the rest of the non-muslim world or converted the rest of the world into the religion of Islam. Reading the posted comments I see all these comments about peace and love - haha what a bunch of bull shit. There is no peace and love for Islamic extremists as long as the Israeli State exists! It's not that I don't feel for you because believe me I do but, you can't sit here and expect a 1 month peace treaty to solve a damn thing. Religious dogma is fueling this whole ordeal - more in particular religous moderates are a big problem. In my culture (United States of America) it has become politically incorrect to say certain things about other peoples religous believes. To call a full fledged war on Islam would be eroneous in mainstream America. Instead, we promote accepting other peoples believes and not offending them. It is this moderate attitude that is causing so much trouble. We need to take a hard stand and confront these extremists with deadliy force. When I hear things like the Iranian President saying he wants to annihilate the entire Jewish state it really makes me wonder - how can we let such things stand? It's not the first time he said it. Unfortunately we have become so accepting of other cultures that we fail to rationally confront these issues. The world community needs to pull their head out of their ass and take a stand against this religion. I know that not followers of Islam are like this however, what it boils down to is a war of ideas. A war of Islamic dogma that can not go unchallenged.

Sinister said...

Linked to your blog on my blog. I'm a progressive Zionist in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. I think you've got a great thing going here in this blog. Keep it up, and keep hope alive.

Anonymous said...

It's so hard to believe that the world is not up in arms over the fact that Gaza is still under seige. Who gave Isreali soldiers the right to say whether or not the occupants of Gaza can travel freely, who gave them the right to invade innocent people's homes in the middle of the night and harass Palestinian children in the streets. The fact is they do not have the right to do any of these things. They are breaking international and human rights laws. How can the world trust a country that blatantly breaks the law? Isreal says it will end the seige once there is peace but at the same time they continue to harass the Palestinians ensuring that there will never be peace. You must show kindness in order to receive kindness. Isreal says they'll trade land for peace while building schools, housing developments and shopping plazas on Palestinian land. The world can no longer take Isreal at its word. Isreal not the Palestinians are the ones who need to show that it is possible for them to treat their neighbors with respect and kindness. They must make the first move and it must be a peaceful one. Not another seige or home invasion but an act of kindness towards their neighbors, the Palestinians, then if they continue to make ammends for their crimes -- peace is sure to follow. It has become obvious that Isreal is harassing the Palestinians in an attempt to get them to surrender their rights to their land and run away. I admire anyone who stands strong in the face of a bully. None of us can fully understand what you guys are going through over there. Stay strong. You are in our prayers.

[ZEITGEISTUPID] said...

From Chile I would like to congratulate you for this blog which gives us a human vision on the conflict between Palestine and Israel. And I sincerely admire your special friendship.

"The people united will never be defeated!"

kaustubhans said...

Hi guys, you are putting a brave effort in showing us the reality which the media doesnt show or the politicians don't speak . . . I am confident that your efforts won't go un-noticed and peace will reign in your place one day. But, its important for people in gaza to come out more openly and speak about about their lives to the world. I think you guys are doing a wonderful job on that front !

Maria V said...

you're doing us all a service telling us how you live there, thank you for sharing your life with us, i treasure my own after reading your blog

EVan said...

I am an ingorant Merican who avoids all payments of attention towards mass media. I like direct perception in which I can participate. Thank you for your honest, and direct reports. Here's my two cents worth.

What is up with the whole Palestine/Israel conflict, and why have we all allowed/supported/sympathized-with it to go unresolved for so long? The dragging on of this issue seems to discredit its importance. It is like my peers expecting me to sympathize with haters of my nation's horrible president, it is such old news that I cannot help the situation by exhibiting further hate. All of my life, I've heard stories about 'Israelites' and 'Palestinians' arguing, and projecting objects to secure some land. What happened to where I lay my head is home? I've been alive for 25 years, and I have got to believe there are enlightened 25year olds immersed in this conflict who can disregard it as a slightly petty, materialistic? rediculous? waste of energy and time, and learn to define their own lives in love. I try every day to live my own life independent of what Merican culture tells me is true. Let's hear about it. I write this with love and honesty, why sugar coat, empty calories. does anybody out there dig?

Administrator said...

great attempt to represent the plight of people of gaza who are caught in between dirty politics. all religions preach just one thing - peace and love

http://nullstress.blogspot.com

Grandma Julia said...

It is disturbing that people are asking why you don't leave your home. Shouldn't we be asking instead why the perpetrators of the war have invaded your home and why can't they leave you and your people live your lives in peace.

The Renaissance Man said...

All I can really say is enjoy your break. It sounds like you need it, and you certainly have earned. Good luck, and thank you for sharing your life with us.

Merche Pallarés said...

Wonderful blog, congratulations. I'm Basque-Canadian, I was about to go to a kibbutz in the sixties because we truly believed that Israel was the land of "milk and honey" and even though we weren't jewish many people of my generation did go. However, now- a-days, the situation has gotten so much out of hand and the situation is sooooo unfair that it's shameful. There are so many Israelis pro Palestinians that are willing to come to a peace agreement but, unfortunately, the governments are corrupt. Good luck. Kisses, M.

Francisco Norega said...

Hello Peace & Hope!
I'm a 14-years-old portuguese boy and I'm shocked with the inactivity of the international community concerning this conflict. I've firstly contacted with this conflict when I read the "Our Sacred Land: Voices of The Palestine-Israeli Conflict", wrote by Kenizé Mourad. Since that, I've been trying to talk about this as much as I can, with as many people as I can. Here in Portugal most people don't even know what this conflict is about.
I think this blog is a great idea, to show the world the conflict seen by the two sides. Nobody can accuse you of parciality!
Go on with this!

Congratulations! Long Live to the PEACE!

PS: I was feeling a little scared because of your long silences between posts in the blog. I'm glad you're ok ;-)

Anju Jindal said...

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Anonymous said...

After reading many of these postings and watching, with interest, the staggering news each day on this conflict, I have to wonder why so many editorials and media talking heads are so quick to judge former President Jimmy Carter in his attempt to have a dialogue with each faction. After all, isn't he doing exactly what so many faithful people preach? Or is that only for Sunday mornings?

Bernhard said...

i live in Ashkelon...

as long as the State of Israel existed...

its people have been targeted by terrorists...

in the North, in the Center and in the South...

Sderot is no exception...

as long as the leaders of hamas, hizbollah, lebanon, syria and iran exist...

forget about peace...

Ceris said...

You guys are truly inspirational and insightful, I wish you peace and success xx

NatetheGrate said...

Nice blog. Hope is a great thing. But we all know that mere hope will not get the things we all want. The Palestinian leaders in Gaza won't even talk to the Israelis, much less pursue peace. How can you expect to get any agreements in that situation? You can't, and that's what the Hamas leadership in Gaza is angling for. You can be sure that even though the people in Gaza have no fuel and are running out of food, the leadership is all still well-stuffed. I have a blog, too. It's Views from the Left Coast (http://viewsfromtheleftcoast.blogspot .com). Pay a visit, leave some comments!

Katie said...

love your blog!

David said...

What you two are doing is to be commended. Too often we in the United States forget those who suffer the most want an end to the violence and peace between both Israel and Palestine. The consequences of peace between these two nations would be far reaching. The rhetoric of violence must end for a lasting peace to happen. Keep up the good work.

Do you have any updates on your proposed summer school? That is a brilliant idea and I hope that it turns into a reality (if it is possible).

OneOfAKind said...

This is an amazing initiative from both of you! Great idea! The media has been so focused on the numbers, the statistics, the general details. It feels great to get some first-hand, personal news/experiences.

Thanks to the two of you! I hope and pray for the safety of you and those around the world like you!

Amillennialist said...

How can there be peace when:

"the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: 'Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . .'" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4294)?

I pray for your safety and friendship.

Dubai Dreamer said...

Incredible blog!! I was just browsing and found you today!

Sentinel of Fidelity and Justice said...

A one month cease fire will not solve anything. It will only temperalily help. The Iranians signed a deal with the Swiss for a couple billion dollars worth of oil. That aint just oil company money, thats War Funds. So if you can get a month then get someplace safer. If not hope you have a good rifle to defend your family and some food saved up. Cant do much bout the rockets though. Anyway keep us posted if ya can Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

God bless and God speed

Fun With War Crimes said...

Please keep writing.

Anonymous said...

I feel for your desire to have peace. Being fired upon from both sides will do that; however, where is the outcry in Gaza for peace. The people in Gaza elected the Hamas and unfortunatly for them; they, got what they asked for. Why don't they complain to the Hamas leaders. If they stop firing rockets at Isreal, the reprisals will stop. If it does not stop, then the world opinion will force it to stop. Were are the leaders in Gaza asking for peace; I don't see any.

Anonymous said...

Your mother asked me to send this comment. . . The question I raise about the petition is. . ."Who will they send it to?". . .and since whoever that is hasn't done anything yet why would they do anything now?
Why is Hamas shelling Sderot? Who in Sderot is shooting back? What are our available solutions? Is there only one? Stopping the tit-for-tat shelling and rocket fire? Or is there some other more subtle, or ingenious method available to the peace-loving citizens of both areas that will resolve any differences that exist now? And stop the senseless killing. The people on both sides of the border have "issues". . .unless everyone gets killed on either side of the border than shelling or rocketing seems to be an inane approach to problem resolution.
I am absolutely thrilled but not surprised that a Palestinian and a Jew have combined to work together towards finding a solution and are using a Blog to do so.
I'm also totally amazed that both sides are relying on a World power to assist them when that very same power is in disrepute with many of your neighbors who could be assisting you in finding true peace. . perhaps you should fire your present negotiators and find someone or some country that can truly help you?

Ali said...

Hi, I realy appreciate your intiative and it's great for both sides to start connecting. But each time Hamas stays quiet, Israel retaliates and kills inocent civilians, yesterday Israel killed a mother and her 4 young kids, the pictures on TV made me sick to the stomach. I think it's your responsibilty to speak with your government offcials and peace groups like "Peace Now" to end all this violence. Unless the Palestinians wasnt to throw the israelis in the ocean and the israeliis want to do the same!

julie said...

How are these first hours of cease fire? Thinking of you & Peace mand and your families.