woensdag 7 januari 2009

The promise

I know that writting an entry about the war in Gaza can be rather tricky. I might hurt people their feelings and that is the last thing that I really intenionally want to do but I feel like trying to express what I feel when I read the newspapers and watch the news. It is not a happy sight to see the troops of Israƫl engage into a war that just seems so hopeless to begin. It is not a happy sight to see the inocent victims that don't get to see a free world. Because after all these years I wonder what this war is going to bring? Will be the outcome peace? I doubt it. Although the idea that if this conflict would come to an end then many conflicts will, makes it so much more complicated and interesting at the same time.

What really annoyes me for the moment is the fact that this war is used for many causes. The price of oil was in free fall and ever since there was one shot more then usually the prices go up. My wallet is the first to feel if people out there in the Middle East want to make clear that they want to tell their violent story. I feel so helpless when I see the chaos created amongst innocent people when I watch the news. Inside and outside there is rage but ....

Some years ago I travelled to Jordan and what a trip it turned out to be. I walked through a country with a tremendous history, smelled incredible spices, felt the heat and ate wonderful food, met very friendly people but above all I was face to face with a nation with a breathtaking natural habitat. And it was not Petra that took me high up in the sky. No, it was an other trip that made me wonder how nice the world could be if this war could end.

MOUNT NEBO!!!! I have to be honest before hand I not knew it was going to take my breath away or make me feel light inside. But once I survived the long walk up I was face to face with a view that I never will forget. And there it hit me: this is the promised land, this is worth fighting for! Don't get me wrong not with weapons of destruction!!! While you standing up there and watch over a desolated land you will be overwhelmed with a very strange sensations. In the bible the word says that Moses stood on Mount Nebo overlooking the promised land. When the pope visits the Middle East he visits this place and stands up there and stares at the horizon. At Mount Nebo you can look the promise right into the eyes and makes feel so humble and respectful.

You see a landscape that just makes you wonder that Mother Earth must have an incredible power. The desolated heat you can sense once you drive down towards the Dead Sea takes you on a trip to the unknown. We took pictures of the sunset and we were silent for minutes. We were all travelling but then in contemplation. And suddenly the war is very close. There are tourists that will tell you can hear even gunfire when lying out there in the sun with your mudmask! When I watched the sun going down I felt very human and lonely at the same time.

But does it justify a war? For the moment Israel engaged into Ghaza and apparently kills many citizens. And that can't be justified. And to say that Hamas started is so childish. After all these years those two countries can't seem to settle for less: they want it all! They were promised something and that is worth a war. If we then in the West hear that Israel tells us that it will be a long conflict and that many more people will die if Palastina doesn't want to settle for less many of us don't understand this.

For some days now in many nations there is the outcry that this is unjustified and that we have to help Palastina! Yes, we need to do that and I totally agree. A person in need you have to hold out a hand and reach for. Being a human being with a sound mind makes you feel compasionate and you want to ease the pain. Try to understand the hell he goes through and calm him down and take care of him. It is a good thing that there are caring people on this globe that believe in a world without hate or revenge.

Is it going to help to end this conflict? I am very sorry to burst your bubble but no! If it would be a very clear black and white story it perhaps would have already ended. By now so many forces are at work that trying to understand the whole story is rather hard. I have heard so many people over the last days saying that they can't understand this. Well, be sure that there are even people in Israel that don't understand this anymore. That there are Jewish people who dream of a free land with no violence. There are many more then we can realise that even understand their Muslim neighbours and their call for a homecountry of their own. And even some rather extreme wing ones!!

Have we already forgotten what Rabin tried? And God, where we close!!!! I was a college student at the time and we were just into the whole Jewish story and it's clash with history. Our college professor took us on a very interesting journey and tried to explain the whole picture. Suddenly there was this Jewish guy who understood that you have to make compremises and that life can only be peaceful if we all want to settle for less. He reached out and tried to explain this to many all over the globe and found an alley in his enemy Arafat . So when I heard the news that he was killed by gunfire while he was singing for real peace I have to admit I cried! Suddenly peace was so out of reach.

We were back to square one. Many people only then realised when Rabin had tried to do. But then it was too late!! Some months later I bought the book his wife Leah wrote about him. I understood suddenly what a courage this one guy must have had. He had fought the war and yes he had killed people but deepdown he knew that if you want to find peace you have to use the power of the word. He truly believed in that force. Arafat probably has felt the same force. He even visited the house of Rabin in secrecy to pay his respect to his family. Must have been really strange to find your closest enemy on you doorstep to pay his respect for your loss.

Many years further, Arafat has died, many things have been tried to stop the violence. Hamas is the one now in charge and Israel has a governement that seems not to know where they heading for. I still believe in the force of the word. So when I hear people that tell me that Obama is to blame I am fed up!!! No war can be justified by any act or word. You can't point the finger at one person and then just get on with killing people. Then a bom could be the answer. The problem is that Hamas has said many times right out loud that they won't settle for the force of the word! They believe strongly in 'Jihad' and that the only law that they can obbey to this the law of their book of faith. Less is a word that you won't find in their dictionary!

And that is the reason why I have a hard time with now wanting to express my point of view. There are so many sights to one story. You have to be rather critical and take the time to reflect about this situation. I admire the people at work out there who want to help all people in need and I am sure that amongst them they are victims that even don't know what they got into. What we get to read and see are things they never see or read. They live the moment and want peace!!!

The promise I made is to understand the whole picture and keep believing in the force of the word. Let the force be with the people that really can end it. It will make heroes out of them but it will take time, patience, courage, diplomacy, faith and settling for less. We were promised all the land of peace and we have got the responsibilty to take care of that promise even when that means settling for less! Quite a challenge!! To all the soldiers for peace I want to cheer for: GO FOR IT! I believe in you!!!!

To end this piece some food for thought. When Yitzchack Rabin signed the Oslo Resolutions he said the next words:"From now on we face careless days, the end of loss of death that faces our homes and the end of wars! Let the sun rise!' I want to see that sun rise over Mount Nebo!!

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