Letter to friends

by Erella -

To our friends,
I have already been sitting for an hour, staring at the empty word page and not finding words that would describe the pain – the pain of those of us who see straight. The pain of the sober, of those who knew that the bottled demon grows and grows, and when it is let out, it will be unbearable. And it has been let out.

Last night I spoke with my good friend from Gaza.

Over the phone he heard the din blast of the Gazan rockets that exploded near us, in an open field. At my end, I heard the Israeli bombing from the air near his home. We talked. He said: “You know what my dreamiest dream is? My dream is that still in my own lifetime I will be able to have coffee with you and your family (whom he knows personally from other times) in my kitchen.

Here, in Gaza. And then we will go to the beach and sit and count waves. As we did in 1999. Remember?” “I remember” I said, and could no longer speak for the tears that were
choking me, tears of simple love, of human longing for contact that is impossible to fulfill, only in the mind. I recalled another talk with Ali of the South Hebron Hills, who also called me last night to ask how I was doing, because of the rockets.

In our talk about the general situation, Ali said: “What do I want, after all? To get up in the morning and smell the earth that I plow, and reap in the spring, and bring bread to my children, and that you would be with us to
taste that freshly baked bread. I know you love it. And I also waited for an entry permit into Israel which we get for the Ramadan because I wanted so much to visit your home. But now it’s closure and no permits are issued. I am so angry about this”. This is what Ali said, and I said “I feel as you do”.

When my Gazan friend spoke with me, he added: “Let’s write something together?” “To whom?” I asked. “To the world”, he answered. I reminded him that 14 years ago, in the crisis of fall 2000, I wrote something together with
our common friend from Gaza (see attached), something “to the world”. I told him that it very precisely reflects the situation, even if merely because something from 14 years ago is still relevant today. I sent it to him, and he said he would hand it out to his students and to others.

I asked him to write something himself, and I would also distribute it.
I’ll call him again today…
More such phone calls are coming in and going out to
our friends in Gaza and the West Bank.
And as a friend from Salem, near Nablus, said to me today: “For people who do not have such ties as we do, it is easier to let hatred into their hearts. But in my heart there is no room for hatred. It is filled with love.” Thank you, dear friend, for these words which in Hebrew are a bit imperfect but whose truth is so real…

I have nothing more to say. The description of the present situation in various places, the different political analyses, the interpretations can all be obtained from various media.

Erella, on behalf of the Villages Group
________________________________

The following was written in 2000 at the beginning of the Intifada:

Here we go again.
Once more the blood counter ticks.

We’ve already been in this scenario. And because we know the scenario, we already
know what will happen in the next episodes.
Now there are fears. One fear is of the monster on the other side - the victim’s fear, and of the monster on the side of the perpetrator: the monster of the weak, and the monster of the strong. The monster of those who do not yet have a state, and the monster of those who do.

Another fear is that of seeing the home-monster, and of saying it out loud.The home monster is especially dangerous for it magnifies and activates that of the other side. The next episode is more bloodshed, a lot of it. For these monsters are ravenous. Fear turns into hatred, pain becomes a weapon. And the blood-counter? It measures the blood.

And the episode after that is inevitable as well – hatred will bear more fear and the monsters will manage death.

The leaders, too, are afraid, especially of the home-monster, for it is the one that might topple their rule, so they stop seeing it. They see only its shadow, falling on the neighbor’s wall.

We, Palestinians and Israelis, Arabs and Jews, the secular and the religious, call upon every person who is brave enough to encounter their own fear and pain, instead of acting them out. This enables us not only to be right, but especially to be wise, and attentive to the fear and pain of the other. Upon call upon all of these people to strengthen each other from within, and upon those on the other side, and the leaders, to implement agreements

that have already been reached, and continue seeking a solution to all that is still a controversy.

And to constantly remember – when the monsters emerge and get to work, the wound can

no longer be located...

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4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing these words....thank you

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  2. Your words are full of poignancy and grace. Thank you for the gift of sharing them. It helps me to understand the situation better. I pass your words along in hopes they will not fall on deaf ears. I am not "anonymous" out of any other reason than I did not have an available option to choose from on this website at this time. I say I am not anonymous because you will recognize me in the hearts and spirit of those who care about life...& who care about you. I am brave enough to take the challenge to encounter my own fear and pain instead of acting them out. Instead, I will act out my love. Inshallah, you will enjoy good times with your friends again.

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  3. Thank you for your moving article. We here in England hope so much for a lasting resolution of this terrible conflict and hope and pray for peace to return. We hope to be back to visit Israel in more peaceful times as planned early next year. Keep safe. Very best wishes.

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