Sunday, May 30, 2010

90 Days of: "Sleepless in Gaza and Jerusalem" - Reflections

I just finished watching Day 90 - Parts A and B - of Sleepless in Gaza and Jerusalem through You Tube.

The 90 days of daily videos were an incredible education for me in many ways. Seeing so many Palestinian people in so many settings has helped expand my understanding of so many different things related to Palestinians and Israelis and Americans as well as Moslems, Jews and various other religions that are in the West Bank and Gaza Areas as well as in Jerusalem.

While the series is/was seemingly not "political" in nature, inevitably the politics of life in Palestine and Israel was most important in the words and pictures I've taken in.

I return in my head over and over and over again to images - which link - Palestine with Apartheid and South Africa as well as Slavery and the oppressions which followed it in the United States. There are so, so many parallels - between how Palestinians are scapegoated and blamed for what has been done to them.

I have a mixture of emotions: sadness, anger and a general state of uneasiness. I do not expect that Most Americans will see the importance of a free and strong Palestine in their world(s).

It seems obvious to me that IF - a new and just peace were established through Israel and the United States either Honestly helping make possible or through international pressure forcing things to change that so many other things could more easily be dealt with. Obvious examples include: "International Terrorism" in general, the oppressive regimes of many, if not most other states in the Middle East, as well as Pakistan, a most dangerous place in today's world. Obviously Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Iran might either develop in alternate more accepting ways or at the very least be forced or able to deal with their own problems.

It is unfortunate that in the United States we both have a history of hurting others, while at the same time proclaiming our being "the best", better than others in the world. It is not enough to say that we are "better" than the worst of the rest of the world. We need to change our history (as it develops) so that the destruction of Native Americans, Slavery, as well as the many, many governments we've overthrown. In Iran - our efforts in the 1950's until the Shah was overthrown in the late 1970's - lead in so many ways to what is going on there now. Our actions in Cuba lead to Castro and his Cuban Revolution. We fail to see the good things that Castro did in Cuba such as creating a health care system for the people, which we still don't have in the U.S.

Understanding Palestinians through listening and caring is new to most of us. Hopefully we will start to see them as people, with needs and desires not that different from ours.

I hope that over time I will find other kindred spirits to communicate with related to Palestine. There is a US coalition of groups committed to peace through:
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/ - The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Locally there is: Jewish Voice for Peace - an excellent group of fellow concerned (mostly) Jewish people.

I would always welcome individuals who would like to share ideas and perspectives in a respectful, caring way! Thanks!

1 comment:

Liberality said...

Understanding Palestinians through listening and caring is new to most of us.

That is our life's work is it not? To treat ALL human beings with care and understanding. It was what Jesus asked of those who followed him, and it was what Buddha asked of us as well. It must be hard work as we are still so far from our understanding. Nice to meet you Geo.

Peace.