O.k. it is the 40th anniversary of the sixth day war.
A war that had started in 1967 as the Arab nations surrounding Israel has attempted to wipe the small nation off the map
and as it turned out not only did they fail to do so but Israel had managed to conquer more land
what once was considered a hero, a victor, had turned with time to be seen as a villan by the nations of the world and why is that?
I could write about my own personal experience as a child in the bomb shelter in Tel Aviv
with my father in the army away from home
but i was very young and can only recall the lack of light and the mattresses
on the cold stone floor
and a photo of my father, i still have, in the old city of Jerusalem walking towards the ancient stones.
I have seen something on the CNN and i guess some more documentaries will be coming
soon but i will rather share what i think about a small segement i had seen on CNN.
Hevron, or as it is called the city of the fathers
some history is given, in 1929 some 70 Jews had been massacred by the Arab population
some decades later, an American born Jewish doctor had opened fire upon Arabs praying in a mosque killing scores .
Then there is a view of the city today:
On the one side there is a demonstration of "peace now", an American lady called Angela says
"if we give the city back to the Arabs maybe we can have peace"
One the other side Jewish settlers waving banners. "Hevron is a Jewish city" , "this peace is dangerous!"
The six day war is the war which enabled the unification of Jerusalem under Israeli rule and also annexed to Israel a large population of Arabs that lived in the territories which are now called "the occupied territories"
Now lets examine the following:
Are these territories indeed illegally occupied by Israel or how should Israel's borders be defined ?
Based on the biblical version or based on the British Mandate version?
Notice by the way that no one calls Northern Ireland or South Africa or even the island of Manhatten occupied territories, which they are without doubt so why Hevron and what is Hevron anyway?
Hevron was the place of burial of Abraham and Sara, Abraham being the father of both the Jewish Israeli nation as well as the Moslem Arab one.
So is it so clear that the Israelis have to give back the city if it has not been established clearly
who owns it?
Hevron , by the way, has had a small Jewish population throught the diaspara when the Jews had been expelled from the land of Israel and forced to wander the world.
Interesting to note that Americans immigrants to Israel stand on both ends of the divide, the extreme right which denies the Arabs have any rights at all to the city and the extreme left, the traditional place of American Jews that have been the pioneers of every battle for civil rights and equality whether in work or overcoming racial barriers ,who say, lets make sacrifices for peace.
It is hard to imagine these days that there actually was a peace process and that territories so called occupied in the six day war had been returned to Palestinian hands .
Rather than build a governing force and plan a future for their children the Palestinians had voted for the extreme Hamas , which has been busy fighting amongst themselves, igniting division and violence and sending missiles into Israeli territory.
If i could talk to both extreme sides of the political dispute in Israel i would say to them:
You can not give back what has not been proven as belonging to the Arab side
and it does take two sides to sign and implement a peace agreement.
Jewish people have always been on the side of the underdog, i have recently seen a Jewish woman advocating for Dafur on behalf of Amnesty international and the Holocaust museum in washington had a show on the massacre in Dafur
Therefore I don't think it is in the interest of Israel to ignore the rights of Palestinians just as i do not think it is right of the Palestinians to ignore the rights of Israeli Jews to live in Israel.
However and this takes us to modern day Iraq, you can not force people to live in peace and democracy if they do not wish to do so
I do wonder though why there is so little representation of Arabs and Moslems on human rights commision in Africa and elsewhere in the world.
I mean considering the fact that Arabs had been the slavetraders who had traded in African people, you would think with all the oil money they got they could somehow help out Africa in a fair and just world.
But the world is not fair and it is not just and therefore we can expect more violence from the middle east until one day free speech in the Arab media will allow the moderate voices to be heard without the fear of revenge .
Until the tradition of violence will be changed to the tradition of peacemaking as the prophets have promised , by turning weapons to farming tools
the only miracle we can expect out of the middle east is that one small nation still survives and has been able to overcome the armies of all its neighbors
as Nietzche once said "whatever does not kill you, makes you stronger!"
perhaps the miracle of peace requires more work at uprooting the violence sources of extremists ,
and definitely peace demands an intention which i can not see on the horizon ...anywhere in the middle east